Nearly 80% of tourism businesses were MSMEs: OIC chief

Taha stated that investing in infrastructure, cultural heritage, and entrepreneurship can boost MSMEs, creating jobs and fostering inclusive growth….reports Asian Lite News

 The Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Hissein Brahim Taha, said that tourism stands as a powerful catalyst for economic growth, especially for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which form the backbone of the OIC Member States.

He added that by investing in infrastructure, promoting cultural heritage, and facilitating entrepreneurial opportunities, the OIC Member States can unlock the potential of MSMEs to generate employment, spur innovation, and drive inclusive growth.

Addressing the 12th session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers of the OIC, (12th ICTM) in Khiva, Republic of Uzbekistan, on 2nd June 2024,Taha said that about 80% of tourism businesses were MSMEs, according to UN Tourism and women made up 54% of the tourism workforce before the pandemic. He stressed that tourism possesses the transformative ability to alleviate poverty by creating income-generating opportunities for local communities, particularly in rural and marginalized areas.

Furthermore, by promoting community-based tourism initiatives and empowering local stakeholders, the Secretary-General affirmed that the OIC can ensure that the benefits of tourism reach those who need it most, contributing to poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Minister of Ecology, Environmental Protection, and Climate Change of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Aziz Abdukhakimov, afirmed the desire of Uzbekistan to further enhance cooperation among OIC Member States in the domain of tourism, in particular after the recovery from Covid-19 pandemic.

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