Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism announces the appointment of Gloria Guevera Manzo, most recently CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), to the position of Chief Special Advisor to His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, the Minister of Tourism.
As a special advisor to the Minister of Tourism, Gloria will draw on more than 25 years of public and private tourism sector experience to help facilitate international collaborations, develop human capital and contribute to delivering the Kingdom’s ambitious, large-scale tourism investments under Vision 2030.
His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb welcomed the appointment, saying: “Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry has incredible potential and is already supporting economic growth and job creation across the Kingdom, in line with Vision 2030 and the leadership of HM King Salman and HRH the Crown Prince.
“We have a strong national heritage and thousands of unique stories to be told. Gloria brings international expertise and a tremendous global network from her time representing the global tourism and travel sector as the CEO of WTTC and direct experience with evolving a nascent tourism industry from her time as Secretary of Tourism in Mexico, that will help us as our large-scale investment in tourism moves to the next level.”
Gloria Guevara Manzo said: “I want to be part of the transformation and make the vision of Saudi Arabia as a leading tourism destination a reality. Tourism is the most promising sector in Saudi Arabia; this has been evident since 2019 when the Kingdom first opened for international visitors and became the fastest growing and best performer in Travel and Tourism on a global scale.
“Over 50% of the global travel and tourism workforce is female”
“In 2020, the Saudi leadership has done an incredible job managing the Covid-19 crisis and building its domestic tourism while continuing to advocate for global industry alignment and the recovery, and I am confident that my many years of expertise can help accelerate the next phase of development.
“Over 50% of the global travel and tourism workforce is female, and Saudi Arabia is rapidly scaling up the inclusion of women, so I also hope my appointment will serve to empower more Saudi women to pursue careers in tourism, aspire towards leadership positions, and fulfil Vision 2030’s female empowerment goals.”
Saudi Arabia has achieved accelerated progress in a nascent industry, taking a leading role in the revival of the tourism sector after Covid-19 through its G20 presidency, which achieved a joint pledge from participating nations to collaborate on developing sustainable, authentic tourism experiences. The Kingdom issued more than 400,000 tourist visas in the first six months following the launch of its new tourist visa system, as well as initiating a SAR 400 billion tourism fund and a SAR 2 billion tourism partners program.
The Kingdom issued more than 400,000 tourist visas in the first six months
The Ministry of Tourism is spearheading the sector’s development towards the Vision 2030 goals of increasing tourism’s contribution to GDP from 3% to more than 10%, creating an additional one million jobs for Saudi nationals and increasing visitor numbers to 100 million by 2030.