(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) HE Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari met here Monday with dr.Taleb Rifai, the secretary general of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), currently on a visit to Doha.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed the common elements that unite culture and tourism and the importance of taking advantage of this integration to develop both sectors
They also reviewed aspects of cooperation with the international organization in this regard
For his part, the secretary general voiced his appreciation for Qatar's focus on heritage and authenticity in the process of modernization as well as his admiration for the cultural infrastructure and the global reputation Doha has achieved in this area
Qatar Tourism Authority Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi attended the meeting
Dr. Taleb Al Rifai, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), has earlier said that in the last ten years, the number of international passengers in the Middle East has doubled from 24 million in 2000 to 52 million in 2013
In his address at the opening ceremony of the the conference on "Tourism in Tomorrow's World, in Doha earlier Sunday, Al Rifai, said that number is expected to reach by 2030 to 150 million passengers in the Middle East, attributing such a rise to the performance of the Gulf States, especially Qatar, which he said has recorded an increase of 3-fold increase in the number of passengers since 2000 to 2013