UNWTO RE­GIONAL COM­MIS­SION FOR THE MID­DLE EAST CALLS FOR IN­NO­VA­TION

Hospitality News Middle East - - NEWS - Unwto.org

A key in­dus­try event, the 44th meet­ing of the UNWTO Re­gional Com­mis­sion for the Mid­dle East, or­ga­nized by the World Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion (UNWTO) and the Min­istry of Tourism of the Arab Republic of Egypt on May 8 and 9, fo­cused on in­no­va­tion and dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. It was fol­lowed by this year’s UNWTO Re­gional Con­fer­ence, which high­lighted the im­por­tance of tourism’s la­bor mar­ket per­for­mance un­der the ban­ner ‘Hu­man Cap­i­tal De­vel­op­ment in Tourism: New Per­spec­tives’. Around 6 mil­lion jobs in the Mid­dle East are re­lated to tourism and the sec­tor is ex­pected to grow strongly in the com­ing years. Tourism is there­fore ide­ally po­si­tioned as a gen­eral job provider, par­tic­u­larly as an en­try point into the la­bor mar­ket for youth, and a source of eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment for women through em­ploy­ment, the con­fer­ence found. Zurab Polo­likashvili, UNWTO sec­re­tarygen­eral, high­lighted the enor­mous op­por­tu­ni­ties for the cre­ation of de­cent jobs and en­ter­prises through tourism in the MENA re­gion. In line with UNWTO’S new in­no­va­tion and dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion agenda, he said that “tourism hu­man cap­i­tal de­vel­op­ment needs to pre­pare the work­force through ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing and by em­brac­ing tech­nol­ogy and dig­i­tal so­lu­tions as ed­u­ca­tional and train­ing tools.”

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