Saudi Red Sea Development Company aims to grab the top spot in its shift towards sustainable development, according to its CEO John Pagano.
“We want to lead the global tourism industry in the transition towards sustainable development but, in fact, we want and need to do more. For us, sustainability is not enough. We need to aim higher. We want regeneration to be the ultimate goal for global tourism,” Pagano said.
Speaking on sustainability and regenerative tourism at a G20 media briefing on Tuesday, Pagano said that he loves Victor Hugo’s maxim: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
Pagano said that the novel corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic has created a pause in people’s lives, giving a moment to think about what is important in life. “People are now openly saying that the world will not be the same after COVID-19, and I believe that is truly the case,” he said.
Pagano added that the pandemic is in a way connected to our current ecological and climate crisis. He stressed that the shift towards sustainable development is not only desirable, but necessary, and added that today the world has the knowledge, technology and nature-based solutions for achieving sustainable development.
Pagano added that their mission at the Red Sea Development Company is “quite simple – to use the transformative potential of the tourism industry, to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable development while helping to fulfill one of the main ambitions of Vision 2030, which is diversifying the economy.”
Pagano said that tourism is very important as a global economic sector, representing more than 10 percent of global GDP, providing one in 10 jobs.
In the midst of current global despair, there is still a sense of emerging optimism, and Pagano believes that the tourism industry will recover swiftly once borders reopen.