The 8th UNWTO Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting held
during the ITB Berlin Travel Trade Show, focused on the long-term
tourism vision for the historic Silk Road routes and how to
establish the Silk Road as the most important transnational
tourism route of the 21st century.
With the theme “2025 Silk Road Tourism Agenda”,
the Ministers and Heads of the National Tourism Administrations
shared their main ideas and strategies, which bring together 34
countries, Malaysia having become the latest member to join the
initiative spearheaded by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
“Our joint work on placing the Silk Road as an
internationally renowned and seamless cultural tourism route is
proving to be very positive. In countries all along the Silk Road,
there is growing awareness of tourism’s contribution to cultural
preservation, regional cohesion, and intercultural understanding,”
said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pollikashvili, during the
meeting. “Cross-country tourism projects are growing, and the
interest of trade and consumers in the Silk Road continues to
Primarily associated with inland routes, the
historic Silk Road also comprised an extensive network of maritime
itineraries linking various cultures. Against this backdrop, UNWTO
has assessed the tourism potential of Maritime Silk Road thematic
routes across Asia and took the occasion of this year’s meeting to
present the research study “Tourism Impact of the 21st century
Maritime Silk Road”, jointly developed with Sunny International.
UNWTO’s work around the Silk Road aims to
maximize the benefits of tourism development for local Silk Road
communities, while stimulating investment and promoting the
conservation of the route's natural and cultural heritage.
While Silk Road destinations stand to benefit
from the persistent strong growth of international tourism,
putting sustainability and trans-border cooperation first will be
key to fully develop its benefits.
The conclusions of the Silk
Road Ministers Meeting will be further specified during the 8th
UNWTO Silk Road Task Force Meeting in Turkey in April, and during
the 8th UNWTO International Meeting on Silk Road Tourism in Greece
in October 2018.
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