Saudi Arabia calls on tourism leaders to create global tourism innovation index to guide future tourism innovation, resiliency and sustainability

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Saudi Tourism Authority and Skift outline joint blueprint for Index and extend invitation to global tourism entities to collaborate

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: 30 November 2022: Saudi Arabia has made a call to action for worldwide collaboration among likeminded National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) in creating a new Tourism Innovation Index (TII) to enable sustainable, competent and innovative tourism landscape across the globe.

The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) is collaborating with the largest industry intelligence and news platform Skift to establish a framework for the potential index. STA brings its public sector experience and perspective and Skift its private sector tourism expertise.

The call to action came during the 22nd World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit in Saudi Arabia, where delegates heard how the proposed TII has the potential to contribute to resilient tourism ecosystems, destinations, and experiences.

In the future the TII could provide thousands of national and international organizations with data that will drive elevated sector services, inform policy reforms to boost and enable country-level innovation. The Index will continue to grow with inputs from countries around the world sharing insights, expertise and best practices.

The planned index has been structured to incorporate international best practices as well as global tourism and innovation indices. The proposed new index builds on the work that the World Economic Forum, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the World Tourism Organization are doing among others.

It would be based on surveys and hard data collection, and provide a holistic smart tourism score that measures performance across three pillars – the ecosystem, the destination, and the experience.

At the Summit, STA and Skift made a joint call to action for other tourism organizations around the world to help them in refining the methodology and framework required to publish the first index findings and set a powerful baseline for the future.

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Member of the Board, Saudi Tourism Authority, said: “As the fastest growing tourism market in the G20, Saudi Arabia is moving rapidly to create authentic, immersive and unrivalled experiences for travelers from around the world.

“The concept behind the Tourism Innovation Index is another important step in this direction and can give a truly global impact. It will provide invaluable data and insight that informs policy, drives meaningful change and promotes continuous enhancement.”

Rafat Ali, Founder, Skift, added: “Bringing together leading tourism players to share best practices related to destination stewardship, sustainability, connectivity and inclusivity is critical for the industry’s success. We are therefore delighted to collaborate with the Saudi Tourism Authority to look at the future creation of what will be a global index that clearly defines what really constitutes innovation in tourism. Among the countries and regions who have already expressed an interest in collaborating are Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Western Australia.”

The WTTC Summit in Riyadh is expected to be the most successful and biggest ever staged to date and is hosting nearly 3000 delegates from 140 countries.