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  HE the GCCSG: The GCC Countries Made Significant Progress in the Tourism Sector, which has Become Source of Income in their Economies, Stressing the Keen Interest of Their Majesties and Highnesses the Leaders of the GCC Countries in the Tourism Sector

General Secretariat - Doha

His Excellency Mr Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), affirmed that the Council countries have made significant progress in the tourism sector, which has become a source of income in their economies, stressing the keen interest of Their Majesties and Highnesses, the leaders of the GCC countries, in this vital sector. 

His Excellency's remarks came during his participation in the 8th meeting of Their Excellencies the ministers responsible for tourism in the GCC countries, held today, Monday, February 19, 2024, in the Qatari capital, Doha, under the chairmanship of His Excellency Mr Saad bin Ali Al Kharji, Chairman of Qatar Tourism - President of the current session. 

At the beginning of the meeting, His Excellency extended his sincerest thanks and gratitude to His Highness Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar and President of the current session of the Supreme Council of the GCC, for the support and assistance provided by the State of Qatar to the joint Gulf work, especially in the tourism sector, and for the gracious hosting of the 8th meeting of Their Excellencies the Ministers responsible for tourism.

Furthermore, His Excellency the Secretary General highlighted that during the meeting, all participating ministers extended their congratulations to the Kingdom of Bahrain for selecting the city of Manama as the Gulf Tourism Capital for the year 2024. He emphasised that the designation of any city within the GCC countries as the Gulf Tourism Capital requires collective support and effective promotion through GCC-based media and tourism platforms. 

"This effort is crucial in showcasing the diverse tourism offerings of the GCC countries to tourists and visitors from around the world, fostering greater tourism integration among them, and establishing a comprehensive and extensive tourism system. This becomes even more significant following the blessed decision by the leaders of the GCC countries  during their recent meeting to adopt the unified tourist visa project. This project aims to facilitate the movement of tourists and visitors between the GCC countries, providing ease and convenience," His Excellency underlined. 

Furthermore, His Excellency said in his speech that tourism in the GCC is a vital axis for economic growth and cultural rapprochement. 

"By enhancing tourism cooperation and developing joint strategies between the tourism and culture sectors in the GCC countries, we can maximize the benefits of our rich history, natural resources, and unique culture, to promote our position as leading global tourist destinations," he stated. 

Meanwhile, Their Excellencies the ministers responsible for tourism in the GCC countries also discussed during the meeting a number of relevant topics concerning the tourism sector, including the Gulf Tourism Strategy and the vision for developing joint work between the tourism and culture sectors in the GCC countries, in addition to several issues that serve the joint tourism work among the GCC countries.