BEIJING, Nov 29 (APP):The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Year of Tourism 2023 forum was recently held in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China.
The SCO Year of Tourism 2023 was the first thematic event held by the SCO Secretariat and the People’s Government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China, as part of the SCO Year of Tourism, which was announced by the heads of state during the SCO of Heads of States Council meeting in Samarkand, Republic of Uzbekistan, in support of the tourism industry and to increase the tourist attractiveness of cities and regions across the SCO space, according to SCO Secretariat here.
The forum brought together more than 300 participants from over 20 countries, including heads of tourism authorities, officials and business leaders, and representatives of think tanks, international organisations, as well as diplomatic missions.
A discussion on the following issues took place at four themed sessions: the tourism potential of the SCO space, the tourism potential of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the promotion of sustainable tourism, and the development of tourism as a way to reduce poverty.
Promising areas of interaction, as well as problems and ways to solve them, were discussed.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming stressed that tourism was an important way to promote international cooperation and mutual understanding between countries.
According to Zhang Ming, the SCO region has great potential to attract tourists. “Today, the SCO member states attach primary importance to interaction in the field of tourism and other humanitarian areas striving to create favourable conditions for the development of this industry.”
“I hope that thanks to this event, the agreements between the member states will be implemented and the relations between states in this and other areas will become even stronger,” Zhang Ming added.
Messages of greetings at the opening ceremony were also delivered by Chairman of the Government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China Erkin Tuniyaz, Special Representative of the Government of China for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Yerkinbayev, Deputy Minister of Tourism of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ali Asghar Shalbafian, Additional Secretary of the Cabinet of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Hammad Shamimi, Chairman of the Tourism Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan Umid Shadiyev, Minister of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus Sergei Kovalchuk, and Deputy Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organisation Jandos Asanov.
All the speakers thanked the Secretariat and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government for the high level of the presentation of the forum.
They expressed hope that the forum would serve as an ideal platform for dialogue and cooperation between the SCO countries, contribute to the implementation of the agreements of the SCO heads of state and give a new impetus to the development of cooperation in related areas.
On the eve of the forum, the high guests met with Member of the CCP Central Committee, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Communist Party Secretary Ma Xingrui.
The forum also served as a venue for an exhibition on the tourism industry by the countries belonging to the SCO family.