BTEA Participates in the 25th UNWTO General Assembly
The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) proudly represented Bahrain at the 25th UNWTO General Assembly in Uzbekistan.
Leading the Bahraini delegation was Dr. Nasser Qaedi, the CEO of BTEA, who was accompanied by representatives from more than 150 member nations, including ministers and high-ranking officials from the tourism sector.
During the opening sessions of the UNWTO General Assembly, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan acknowledged the challenges faced by the tourism industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasized the vital role of tourism in the global economy, stating, “Tourism is one of the most rapidly developing and promising sectors of the world economy, accounting for about 10% of the world’s GDP and 7% of its exports before the pandemic.”
Zurab Pololikashvili, the UNWTO Secretary-General, highlighted the significance of this Assembly as a collective effort by all members to advance common priorities for the future of tourism, with a particular focus on investments and education.
On the sidelines of the 25th UNWTO General Assembly, the CEO of BTEA engaged in discussions with the UNWTO Secretary-General, focusing on the remarkable progress made by Bahrain’s tourism sector. They also discussed areas of collaboration and mutual interest.
During the meeting, multiple projects between Bahrain and the UNWTO were discussed, further solidifying the Kingdom’s role in UNWTO operations as part of Bahrain’s membership in the UNWTO executive council.
Dr. Qaedi also met with counterparts from the GCC, emphasizing the importance of joint efforts in promoting GCC countries as leading tourism destinations.
He participated in a high-level ministerial panel at the global tourism education forum, alongside Jordi Torres Falcà, Minister of Tourism and Commerce from Andorra; Anayansy Carolina Rodríguez Castillo, Minister of Tourism from Guatemala; Christina Garcia Frasco, Minister of Tourism from the Philippines; and Rodney Sikumba, Minister of Tourism and Arts from Zambia.
Additionally, the BTEA delegation attended two executive council meetings.
Throughout the schedule of the 25th UNWTO General Assembly, Bahrain garnered recognition as one of the fastest-growing tourism markets. The Kingdom was honored with the opportunity to host the 9th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in 2024, the world’s largest event focusing on gastronomy tourism.
“We are delighted to actively participate in this prestigious UN event, with a strong commitment to identifying opportunities for shaping new policies and effective tools to support inclusive and sustainable tourism development, bridging skill gaps, and creating value-added employment opportunities,” stated the BTEA CEO.
He also expressed that the General Assembly provided an ideal platform to showcase crucial UNWTO initiatives, with a particular emphasis on efforts to promote Bahrain as a destination and enhance travel and tourism partnerships.
“We are eager to collaborate with regional and global leaders and decision-makers to shape the future of the global tourism sector. At BTEA, we are dedicated to adopting innovative approaches in conjunction with our international partners to further contribute to the advancement of global tourism and international cooperation.”
Dr. Qaedi added, “With our promising tourism strategy for 2022-2026, the Kingdom is on the right path to achieving its tourism objectives, including diversifying our tourism products, increasing the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP, attracting more tourists globally, and adding value to the Kingdom’s sustainable development by attracting tourism investments, generating employment opportunities, and launching creative initiatives to support tourism progress.”
Under the theme “Crossroads of Cultures,” this significant UN tourism event featured a diverse array of activities as the tourism sector paved the way for a rapid recovery. The General Assembly also hosted two thematic forums on education and investments, along with various meetings focusing on education, innovation, and sustainability, providing a platform for participants to express their views and concerns aimed at improving future activities and projects of the UNWTO.