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Tourism in Kuwait promises more projects

The Tourism Communication Conference, organized by the Ministry of Information, kicked off on Tuesday with the participation of officials from the State of Kuwait, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and regional countries.

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, Dr. Nasser Muhaisen, said in a speech on behalf of the conference sponsor, the Minister of Information and Culture, Abdul Rahman Al-Mutairi, that hosting this conference comes out of belief in the importance of activating tourism communication.

Any communication process has a positive impact on sustainable tourism development through a focus on activating tourism partnerships, exchange experiences and regional and international experiences.

Muhaisen pointed out that the conference discusses Gulf tourism and the empowerment of tourism through management by the private sector, in addition to the vital role played by civil society in the tourism industry as it has become the vital artery of global economy, contributing to prosperity and progress of countries.

He added that our countries possess a cultural heritage, climatic diversity, and urban development, which enables us to raise the level of tourism in our countries with an aim to enhance economic growth. He stressed that tourism in Kuwait, with its promising components, should include more projects of this nature, and promote participation of the private sector to attract foreign investments.

He expressed hope that the recommendations of this conference would add a new building block of responsibility placed on all of us to support and enhance tourism in our countries.

The Regional Director for the Middle East at the United Nations Tourism Organization, Basma Al-Maiman, said in a similar speech that tourism in the Middle East is considered an economic pillar, expressing “optimism about the future of tourism in the region, especially since the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are witnessing the launch of a new phase and a platform for many initiatives, projects and proposals that support Tourism-related work.”

Al-Maiman added that the Middle East region is still the only region in the world that has exceeded the levels of 2019 before the Corona virus pandemic, noting that Kuwait is a founding member of the United Nations Tourism Organization and this is in line with the interest that the country gives to the tourism sector in complete consistency with the development plan. (New Kuwait 2035), which emphasizes the importance of achieving a distinguished international position for the country regionally and globally.

She pointed out that “the tourism sector in Kuwait is not new and has previously attracted visitors from all over the region since the 1960s due to its tremendous potential,” expressing confidence that the Kuwaiti tourism sector will witness steady growth in the coming years thanks to strong government support. She indicated that most airports in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries witnessed significant increase in the number of passengers during the year 2023, and this increase represents additional evidence that the region is turning into hubs for global flights.

She stated that statistics indicate that Dubai International Airport attracted 86.9 million passengers, Hamad Airport in Doha 45.9 million passengers, King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah 42.7 million passengers, Kuwait Airport 15.6 million passengers, Muscat Airport 12.6 million passengers, and Bahrain Airport 8.7 million passengers, as these numbers reflect the continued growth of the air transport industry.

In the region. Al-Maiman called on the State of Kuwait and all Gulf countries to continue working to strengthen cooperation between them to draw a road map for the tourism industry aimed at maximizing common interests through policy coordination and the promotion of regional and intra-regional tourism programs and products. She expressed the United Nations Tourism Organization’s aspiration to continue working with the tourism sector in the Kuwaiti Ministry of Information and stakeholders in the private sector so that this sector regains its vital role in economic and human development.

The acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Tourism Sector at the Ministry of Information, Osama Al-Mukhial, told KUNA and Kuwait State TV during the conference that under the patronage and instructions of the Minister of Information and Culture and the guidance of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, this conference is being held, which hosts a group of leaders of the tourism sector in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the regional director. Basma Al Maiman for the Middle East at the United Nations Tourism Organization.

Al-Makhial stated that the conference addresses the successful experiences of the Gulf countries in the field of tourism, as well as the experiences of academics and the private sector in the same to raise the level of tourism in the State of Kuwait, adding that during the conference these experiences will be reviewed and topics will be addressed that enhance this industry for economic development and create many job opportunities.

He stated that tourism is not only entertainment, rather a large industry that represents an important economic tributary to any country and provides an attractive investment environment that can stimulate the private sector to participate in developing new tourism projects and improving infrastructure.

The sessions of the one-day conference address several topics, as the first session was titled Gulf Tourism Experiences, in which the Assistant Undersecretary for Tourism Excellence at the Saudi Ministry of Tourism, Eng. Mishari Al-Mishari, reviewed the achievements of ‘national tourism development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’, while the Advisor at the Bahrain Tourism Authority Dr. Ali Fouladh, referred to an ‘integrated tourism system for sustainable economic growth’, while the Director General of Tourism Development at the Omani Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, Saeed Al-Obaidani, presented the topic ‘tourist experiences and related projects.’

In the second session, entitled ‘Empowering Tourism… Vision and Future’, Dr. Osama Al-Falah, Head of the Department of Economics and Finance at Gulf University, reviewed the topic ‘The Impact of Tourism on the Economy and Sustainability’, while Professor of Commercial Arbitration at the College of Business Studies, Dr. Yousef Al-Ansari, touched on the topic ‘The Impact of Regulation and Legislation on tourism’, the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwaiti Hotel Owners Union, Abdul-Ilah Marafi, touched on ‘the hotel industry and its impact on the tourism renaissance’, and the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Waves Company, Abdul Rahman Al-Saadoun, reviewed the topic ‘Supporting tourism activity between opportunities and challenges’.

The third session was entitled ‘Tourism and Civil Society’, during which the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwaiti Festivals Association, Tariq Al-Obaid, touched on the topic ‘Festivals and Exhibitions and their Role in Tourist Attraction’, while the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwaiti Public Relations Society, Jamal Al-Nasrallah, presented the topic ‘The Role of Public Relations in the Kuwaiti Tourism Renaissance’, while Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwaiti Heritage Society, Fahd Al-Abduljalil, reviewed the topic ‘heritage tourism’.

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