Turkic Council delegation participated on 8th UNWTO International Meeting on Silk Road Tourism on 10-12 October 2018 Thessaloniki, Greece.

The Silk Road Member States, UNWTO Affiliate Members and international partner agencies, interested stakeholders from around the globe, both public and private sector representatives attended an event.

The meeting started by the opening remarks of Ms. Elena Kountoura, Minister of Tourism of Greece and Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). 

Minister Ms.Elena Kountoura highlighted the role of tourism in economy of Greece and expressed the support of her country for the all Silk Road initiatives. Secretary General Mr. Pololikashvili addressed the impact of global challenges to Silk Road and called all the countries to unite their strength. He also touched upon the new priorities of UNWTO, role of culture and education in tourism sector, applying innovations in tourism (more than 300 projects received by UNWTO during last year) developing the cooperation with China and India for branding of Silk Road as well as enhancing cooperation with international financial institutions (ADB, WB, EBRD and etc) for support of SME’s and implementation of projects to get tangible results on this field. 

Furthemore, the roundtable and specialized sessions speeches focused on assessing the role and relevance of the historic Silk Road routes within a globalized setting. UNWTO Secretary General proposed an idea to create Silk Road Club through joint cooperation between Azerbaijan and Croatia and use of silk as a logo of the said club. 

During the B2B networking session, aimed at strengthening business ties between European and Asian stakeholders, Project Directors Mr. Farrukh Jumayev and Ms. Zhanar Nugumanova presented “Turkic Council Modern Silk Road Joint Tour Package”. They informed the participants about on ongoing fruitful cooperation between the Turkic Council and the UNWTO since 2015, they briefed the audience about the aim, preparation process and the structure of the Joint Tour Package. 

Also, they highlighted the Turkic Council’s desire to cooperate with Uzbekistan, Mongolia and Georgia for their inclusion in the project through the creation of complementary destinations to the Modern Silk Road Joint Tour Package. 

The stakeholders expressed their interest in exploring the vast opportunities of trans-continental exchange that are encouraged to make the most of this networking opportunity.