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SAUDI ARABIA IS THE FASTEST GROWING TOURISM DESTINATION IN THE G20

SAUDI ARABIA IS THE FASTEST GROWING TOURISM DESTINATION IN THE G20
PR Newswire
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 27, 2022

Saudi sees +121% pre-pandemic recovery sector growth, according to UNWTO Tourism BarometerMinister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb: “Thr…

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SAUDI ARABIA IS THE FASTEST GROWING TOURISM DESTINATION IN THE G20

PR Newswire

  • Saudi sees +121% pre-pandemic recovery sector growth, according to UNWTO Tourism Barometer
  • Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb: "Through continued leadership and commitment, we have made incomparable progress."
  • UNWTO Barometer reports +60% global tourism sector pre-pandemic recovery

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Saudi is the fastest growing tourism destination in the G20. Saudi Arabia's exponential sector growth has seen an extraordinary +121% increase from pre-pandemic international tourism levels as recognized by the newly published UNWTO Tourism Barometer. The substantial tourism recovery recognizes not only Saudi's considerable investment in tourism, but also the country's pioneering leadership in future-proofing its tourism sector.

Saudi was swift in its response to the pandemic and rolled out vaccines to ensure high immunization rates quickly which accelerated the easing of restrictions and the reopening of the country to tourists. The government also implemented several measures aimed at supporting companies and employees working in the tourism sector thereby mitigating the effects of the pandemic. Tourism is a key pillar of Saudi's transformative Vision 2030 and the country has ambitious goals to ensure that tourism contributes 10% of the country's GDP by 2030, with one million jobs created along the way.

According to the UNWTO Tourism Barometer, the global tourism sector saw international tourist arrivals almost triple from January to July 2022 (+172%) compared to the same period of 2021. This means the sector recovered to almost 60% of pre-pandemic levels.

His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Tourism Authority said: "Recognition of Saudi's achievements in the UNWTO Tourism Barometer is a key milestone in our extraordinary recovery and much of the success lies in our leadership's multipronged approach to managing the pandemic and accelerating the sector's pace of recovery. Saudi opened to the world in September 2019 and through continued leadership and commitment, we have made incomparable progress toward realizing our ambitious Vision 2030 tourism goals.  We are invested in a sustainable future for tourism, and today I am proud of Saudi's position as the fastest growing tourism destination in the G20."

In 2020, Saudi Arabia's G20 leadership shaped strategies for recovery to foster a more sustainable and resilient sector, and today, Saudi Arabia has outperformed the G20 countries in pre-pandemic tourism recovery. A core pillar of Saudi's transformative Vision 2030, an ambitious roadmap for the future, building a resilient tourism ecosystem is fundamental to the Kingdom's economic diversification strategy, with people at its core. In line with the National Tourism Strategy, Saudi has ambitious goals to ensure that tourism contributes 10% of the country's GDP by 2030, with one million jobs created along the way.

 

About Saudi Tourism Authority

Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), launched in June 2020, is responsible for marketing Saudi's tourism destinations worldwide and developing the destination's offering through programs, packages and business support. Its mandate includes developing the country's unique assets and destinations, hosting and participating in industry events, and promoting Saudi's destination brand locally and overseas. STA operates 16 representative offices around the world, serving 38 countries.

About the UNWTO Barometer

The UNWTO Barometer monitors short-term tourism trends on a regular basis to provide global tourism stakeholders with up-to-date analysis on international tourism. The report is published four times a year and includes an analysis of the latest data on tourism destinations and source markets. The Barometer also includes a Confidence Index based on the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts survey, which provides an evaluation of recent performance and short-term prospects for international tourism.

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SOURCE Saudi Tourism Authority

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First-ever social responsibility report of Chinese enterprises in Saudi Arabia incorporates BGI Genomics projects

On December 1, 2022, the Social Responsibility Report of Chinese Companies in Saudi Arabia was officially launched, which is the first such report released…

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On December 1, 2022, the Social Responsibility Report of Chinese Companies in Saudi Arabia was officially launched, which is the first such report released by the Contact Office of Chinese Companies in Saudi Arabia. BGI Genomics projects in the Kingdom have been incorporated into this report.

Credit: BGI Genomics

On December 1, 2022, the Social Responsibility Report of Chinese Companies in Saudi Arabia was officially launched, which is the first such report released by the Contact Office of Chinese Companies in Saudi Arabia. BGI Genomics projects in the Kingdom have been incorporated into this report.

This event was attended by around 150 representatives of Chinese and Saudi enterprises, Saudi government officials, experts in the field of sustainable development, CCTV, Xinhua News Agency, Saudi Press Agency, Arab News and other media professionals. This Report presents the key projects and best practices of Chinese enterprises to fulfil their social and environmental responsibilities while advancing the Kingdom’s industry development.

Chen Weiqing, the Chinese ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said in his video speech that the Report highlighted Chinese enterprises’ best practices in serving the local community, safe production, green and low-carbon development and promoting local employment. The release of the Report helps Chinese enterprises in the Kingdom to strengthen communication with the local community, laying a stronger foundation for future collaboration.

Epidemic control and accelerating post-COVID 19 recovery

BGI Genomics has been fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities and worked with the Saudi people to fight the COVID-19 epidemic.

In March 2020, Saudi Arabia was hit by the pandemic. The Saudi government decided to adopt BGI Genomics’ Huo-Yan laboratory solution in April 2020. At the forefront of the fight against the epidemic, the company has built six laboratories in Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Dammam and Asir within two months, with a total area of nearly 5,000 square meters and a maximum daily testing throughput of 50,000 samples.

By the end of December 2021, BGI Genomics had sent 14 groups of experts, engineers and laboratory technicians to Saudi Arabia, amounting to over 700 people, and tested more than 16 million virus samples, accounting for more than half of the tests conducted during this period. The company has successfully trained over 400 qualified Saudi technicians, and all laboratories have been transferred to local authorities for the operation.

In the post-epidemic era, the Huo-Yan laboratories can continue to make positive contributions to public health, working with local medical institutions and the public health system to make breakthroughs in areas such as reproductive health, tumour prevention and control, and prevention.

Enhancing genomic technology localization and testing capabilities

In July 2022, BGI Almanahil and Tibbiyah Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Saudi Faisaliah Group, announced a joint venture (JV) to establish an integrated, trans-omics medical testing company specializing in genetic testing.

This JV company will help improve Saudi Arabia’s local clinical and public health testing and manufacturing capabilities, promote the localization of strategic products that have long been imported, contribute to the implementation and realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 roadmap, and significantly enhance local capacity for third-party medical testing services as well as local production of critical medical supplies.

BGI Genomics attaches great importance to fulfilling its corporate social responsibility and has released its social responsibility report for four consecutive years since 2017. Since its establishment, the company has always been guided by the goal of enhancing health outcomes for all, relying on its autonomous multi-omics platform to accelerate technological innovation, promote reproductive health, strengthen tumour prevention and control, and accurately cure infections, and is committed to becoming a global leader in precision medicine and covering the entire public health industry chain.

The company will continue to work together with all stakeholders to contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the Belt and Road Initiative and looks forward to growing with our partners.

 

About BGI Genomics

BGI Genomics, headquartered in Shenzhen China, is the world’s leading integrated solutions provider of precision medicine. Our services cover over 100 countries and regions, involving more than 2,300 medical institutions. In July 2017, as a subsidiary of BGI Group, BGI Genomics (300676.SZ) was officially listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

 


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Alcohol deaths in the UK rose to record level in 2021

Nearly 10,000 people died from alcohol in 2021.

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Deaths from alcohol in the UK have risen to their highest level since records began in 2001, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In 2021, 9,641 people (14.8 per 100,000) died as a result of alcohol: a rise of 7.4% from 2020.

The leading cause of alcohol-specific deaths (deaths caused by diseases known to be a direct consequence of alcohol) continues to be liver disease. More than three-quarters (78%) of all alcohol deaths in 2021 were attributed to this cause. The remainder of the deaths were due to “mental and behavioural disorders because of the use of alcohol” and “accidental poisoning by, and exposure to, alcohol”.

Although there is no such thing as a safe level of drinking, and many people would feel the health benefits of reducing consumption, most of the risks of developing health problems and dying are skewed towards those who drink the most.

Between 2012 and 2019 alcohol-specific deaths remained relatively stable. It is no coincidence that deaths rose sharply during the first two years of the pandemic: those that were already drinking at harmful levels increased their consumption further during this period. Although liver disease can take years to develop, this process is accelerated when those drinking at harmful levels increase their consumption further.

Other statistics show that unplanned alcohol-related hospital admissions decreased during this period, which may have meant missed opportunities to provide help for those people experiencing problems with alcohol.

Looking beyond the headline figures, there are important differences in various groups within the population. Alcohol-specific deaths were not spread equally. For example, men were twice as likely to die as women. In 2021, 20.1 men per 100,000 died compared with 9.9 women.

Where you live in the UK matters, too, as deaths in Scotland are the highest, followed by Northern Ireland, Wales then and England – although the gap between the nations seems to be narrowing.

In England, deaths are highest in the north-east of England (20.4 per 100,000), which is twice as high as those in London (10.2 per 100,000). Although rates have increased in all regions; for example, there was a rise of 38% in south-west England from 2019 to 2021. This reflects what is already known about the relationship between deprivation and harm from alcohol. There is a two to fivefold higher risk of dying among lower-income groups compared with those from the higher-income groups.

Reflecting the growing trend of young people drinking less than older age groups, it is those aged 50 to 64 that account for most deaths due to liver disease. In 2021, for example, 39 people aged 25 to 29 died from alcohol-related liver disease, compared with 1,326 of those aged 50 to 59. This is related to a greater number of years of drinking but is also a general reflection that when older adults were younger, they tended to drink more than younger people do now.

Numbers of alcohol-specific deaths, by five-year age group and individual cause. Office for National Statistics – Alcohol-specific deaths in the UK: registered in 2021, National Records of Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency

Addressing harms

So what can be done to begin to address alcohol harms? It has been estimated that almost a quarter of drinkers in the UK drink above the recommended low-risk drinking guidelines. So this is a health and social issue that requires a national response. Low-impact initiatives, such as education and awareness raising, may not be enough.

The costs of alcohol to society are significant. A recent review estimated this to be £27 billion annually, with only half of this offset by tax revenue on alcohol products.

Timely access to specialist treatment can help to reduce the health risks associated with alcohol. Unfortunately, there have been significant cuts to funding for this type of intervention.

Around 80% of people classed as dependent on alcohol in England are not currently getting treatment support. While there has recently been extra funding for drug services to try and correct historic cuts, this has not been extended to alcohol. Reversing this by investing in services could help to reduce the rising number dying prematurely from alcohol.

A new strategy is long overdue

The last government strategy for alcohol was published in 2012, so there is a pressing need for a new one. This must address all the ways that the harms from alcohol can be tackled, from marketing and pricing to specialist treatment and recovery services.

A group, led by Liverpool MP Dan Carden, with cross-party support, recently called on the government to initiate an independent review of alcohol harm, along the lines of the review led by Dame Carol Black, which had a significant influence on drug policy and treatment funding.

Without such a review and strategy based on it, the harms caused by alcohol including premature death will continue to rise year after year. So much has changed since the last alcohol strategy in 2012 not least the current cost of living crisis. The outlook for investment in public health looks bleak, added to which this government doesn’t seem willing to curtail the efforts of the alcohol industry in marketing and protecting its products.

Harry Sumnall receives and has received funding from grant awarding bodies for alcohol and other drug research. He sits on grant-awarding funding panels, and is an unpaid scientific adviser to the MIND Foundation.

Ian Hamilton does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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Remote work triggers move to DAOs in the post-pandemic world: Survey

A survey from a sample of the general U.S. public suggests that millennials are more likely to join a DAO than any other age group.

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A survey from a sample of the general U.S. public suggests that millennials are more likely to join a DAO than any other age group.

A survey sample of working Americans suggests that millennial and Generation Z workers are far more in favor of joining decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and working remotely in the post-Covid-19 world.

Over 1,100 Americans took part in a survey conducted by MetisDAO Foundation which explores trends in remote working preferences and the emergence of DAOs in recent years. A key consideration is the effect that Covid-19 has had on worker sentiment and the growth of DAOs in corporate governance.

Citing a research report on DAOs published by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, the results of the survey highlight how DAOs saw their treasuries swell from $400 million to $16 billion in 2021.

This coincided with growing participant figures, up from 13,000 to 1.6 million people during the same period. Drawing comparisons to some of the largest multinational corporations, global DAO workforce numbers are equal to one Amazon, 18 Facebooks, seven Microsofts or 11 Google.

Related: Toss in your job and make $300K working for a DAO? Here’s how

The impact of Covid-19 is a primary driver of Metis’ report investigating workers readiness for decentralized employment opportunities. The unexpected, rapid shift to remote working conditions of the pandemic has seemingly driven knowledge and understanding of DAOs and decentralized autonomous companies (DAC), particularly among millennial and generation Z workers.

A major takeaway from the results is that nearly 75% of respondents believe that companies will need to adapt how they run their businesses to offer more remote work options. Millennials working in hybrid or remote settings offered the most positive responses on how DACs offer workers opportunities to help govern a company.

47% of the respondents also indicated that they would be open to working for a DAO or DAC as a contracted employee. The survey also indicates that millennial workers are more willing to work for a DAO or DAC than any other age group.

Meanwhile, Gen Z respondents most accurately defined a DAO compared to respondents from other age groups and a majority of Gen Z participants also defined DAOs as ‘revolutionary movement changing the future of work’.

MetisDAO concludes by highlighting the influence of prolonged remote working conditions driving the desire for more decentralized and autonomous work environments.

“The survey results show that a majority of respondents seek all of the things that DACs provide; remote work opportunities, independence from management, and influence over the organizations they work in.”

MetisDAO’s survey came from a sample of 1112 respondents through SurveyMonkey in November 2022. The DAO forms part of Metis, an Ethereum layer-2 rollup solution.

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