UNWTO meeting discusses prospect of Silk Road tourism

March 5, 2015 11:55 am 

BERLIN, March 5 — Ministers and representatives from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on Wednesday expressed high hopes for the prospect of Silk Road tourism here at the ongoing 2015 International Tourismus-Boerse (ITB).

The ministers met to focus on how to strengthen the cooperation through transnational route developments at the world's leading travel trade show.

Speaking at the meeting, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai highlighted the importance of the concept of Silk Road tourism. "Any concept that makes us go from the level of country to the level of tourism community, is a concept worth supporting."

According to Rifai, Silk Road tourism is both good for the member countries, and their neighbours.

"It's a win-win situation," he said.

Rifai maintained that the concept is also very important on an economic level, as it would attract more investors.

Ministers discussed developments with regard to transboundary routes across Silk Road regions, including the addition of the first Silk Road Heritage Corridor to UNESCO World Heritage List, the VeRo Tour project, the Maritime Silk Road, and the Spice Route project, among others at the meeting. They outlined the developments and also the difficulties of Silk Road tourism in their respective countries.

Rustem Khairov, an advisor to the Russian tourism minister, sees the idea of Silk Road tourism as very important for Russia, due to its geographical position between Asia and Europe, and hoped Russia would attact more tourists from all around the world, especially from China.

For Muhammad Ajmal Gondal, a Pakistani official, tourism is not only about people moving from one country to another, but bringing new ideas to one country and taking ideas from the country back, he said. Silk Road tourism is just a starting point, he said, adding his hopes that people and business among the Silk Road countries can flow freely in the future, he said.

Zoltan Somogyi, a UNWTO executive, said the UNWTO is trying to promote tourism among its member countries by trying to find and strengthen the links between them. (PNA/Xinhua)



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