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Flags of Israel and Saudi Arabia

For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, a government minister has arrived in Saudi Arabia to participate in a conference of the United Nations Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Tourism Minister Haim Katz landed in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday afternoon for a two-day visit to the powerful Arab nation. He is the first Israeli minister to head an official delegation to Saudi Arabia.


Global tourism policy leaders are gathering for the event, which is being held to commemorate International Tourism Day. Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) expressed strong interest in expanding his nation’s tourism sector in a recent interview with Fox News.

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Katz is scheduled to participate in several events and professional discussions and meetings with his counterparts, including those from the Middle East.

“Tourism is a bridge between nations,” Katz said in a statement. “Partnership on tourism issues has the potential to bring hearts together and create economic prosperity. I will work to create collaborations to promote tourism and Israel’s foreign relations.”

Israel was recently elected for the first time ever to an official position within the UN Tourism Organization and to lead with Spain a task force aimed at shaping the organization’s global tourism concept.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.