The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) announced that the Ministry of Tourism in Yemen has become its third destination member in the Middle East, joining Oman and Palestine.
Yemen recently gained a new President and also a new Minister of Tourism. Said Minister of Tourism and Chairman of Yemen Tourism Promotion Board HE Dr. Kassim Sallam Said: “Emerging from a period of conflict, the new government recognizes the important role of responsible tourism in sustainable development, which is top of our agenda; working with our international partners, we look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world and a return to our previous levels of growth.”
Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President of ICTP, said: “The addition of Yemen as an ICTP member adds strength to our growing membership in the Middle East, where tourism as a driver of economic development perhaps has the greatest potential to promote peace and prosperity. It also brings into play a country with the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Arabia, stretching from Shibam ‘the Manhattan of the Desert’ to Socotra ‘the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean.’ The combination of ancient cultural and natural heritage and a rich tradition of Bedouin hospitality provides an outstanding opportunity for ecotourism that provides a foundation for sustainable development in Yemen.”
The Yemen Tourism Promotion Board (YTPB) is an executive agency of the Ministry of Tourism with responsibility for marketing the destination internationally. It works with a network of representatives around the world, including another ICTP member, Dunira Strategy in the United Kingdom, Yemen’s most important European market. Commented YTPB’s UK representative Benjamin Carey: “Yemen is the most economically-disadvantaged country in the Middle East, but it is also by the far the richest in terms of heritage and culture. It offers huge rewards for adventurous travelers and experienced tour operators that want to discover the essence of Arabia Felix.”
Chairman of ICTP, Juergen T. Steinmetz, said: “Yemen is now emerging from conflict, but its travel and tourism industry continues to suffer from blanket travel advisories by many foreign governments. It is the vision of the ministry to promote responsible tourism as a driver of sustainable economic growth, especially for women and young people in rural areas, and Yemen deserves more balanced travel advice. ICTP is pleased to build this alliance with Yemen to support its vision for sustainable tourism growth.”
The Ministry of Tourism is charged with the task of ensuring sustainable economic development along with the growth of the tourism industry by promoting broad stakeholder participation.