Arab Tourism Day

The ARC-WH celebrated on the 25th of Feburary ''Arab tourism day'' with the attendance of Dr.Taleb Rifai the Secretary-General of United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation based in Madrid.The theme of this year’s Tourism Day is “Arab sites in danger” , Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) President Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa said ARC-WH is celebrating the Arab Tourism Day at a time when several world heritage sites in the region were going through difficult times and are under constant threat on a daily basis. She added that they valued the visit of Taleb Rifai, the Secretary-General of United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation based in Madrid, who had always been supportive and advocate of all ARC-WH activities

Taleb Rifai Stated that February 25 was declared Arab Tourism Day five years ago and it was an initiative that started from Bahrain and they were keen to come every year to Bahrain to celebrate this day.Rifai said the day was very important this year because it had come under very challenging circumstances that the whole region and world beyond was passing through. He said the threat of much destruction to their cultural heritage was very much kept in their minds and this meeting was taking place against that background. He said they were trying as much as they could to raise awareness to the importance of preservation and the conservation and the protection of their cultural heritage,” he said.

“The biggest challenges are the security and the preservation challenges,” says Rifai, “We need to make sure that we keep our heritage intact and travel safe and seamless.”

Dana Firaz from Jordan said they were here to join voices for the protection and preservation of the Arab cultural heritage. “A lot of destruction is happening around the world and we are here to say ‘enough is enough’ to those who are engaged in such destructive activities,” she said.She said that they strongly believed that the key to this is education and awareness.

Heba Aziz, Advisor at Bahrain Cultural Authority for cultural tourism remarked that 300,000 people visited different cultural sites in 2015 and out of them 48 per cent were foreign tourists. She said that Bahrain Fort alone received 171,000 visitors.

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