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Kuwaiti minister sees link between tourism growth, national development

Tourism growth is often a precursor to broad development and prosperity, Kuwait’s Information Minister Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi said on Monday, citing the sector as among the most pivotal sources of national income.

Thanks in part to their “rich cultural heritage” and “diverse landscapes,” Gulf Arab states have the potential to morph into tourist hotspots with the ability to beguile visitors from across the globe, the Kuwaiti minister told a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – wide gathering of tourism minsters in the Qatari capital.

Any measure aiming to develop the tourism industry across GCC states enjoys the full backing of these countries’ political leaders, the minister underlined, pointing out that a panGCC strategy to develop the region’s tourism industry should keep the number of tourist arrivals in the region on an upward trajectory.

Having welcomed some 100 million visitors recently, he singled out Saudi Arabia as a regional success story in terms of tourism growth, while he acknowledged neighboring Qatar’s achievement in host global events such as the World Cup.

Echoing the Kuwaiti minister’s sentiments, the Riyadh-based bloc’s chief Jasim Al-Bedaiwi said the tourism industry forms an “integral component” of economic growth and development, agreeing that the “pivotal sector” is key to national development plans.

On recent initiatives introduced, the GCC chief mentioned a unified visa scheme within the six-member bloc as among the endeavors aiming to propel the tourism industry to greater levels, saying he expected similar moves to follow suit. Saudi Arabia and Qatar’s top tourism officials, Ahmad Al-Khatib and Saad Al-Kharji, respectively, attached equal significance to the crucial sector, agreeing that growth there invariably leads to national development.

Source: KUNA

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