ISLAMABAD, May 29 (APP):Pakistan on Friday suggested for setting up a Coordination Council in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to maximise exchange of information in tourism sector for the collective benefits of the member states.
National Tourism Coordination Board Chairman Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari floated this idea in a meeting of Heads of Tourist Administrations’ meeting which held via a video link.
Addressing the meeting, Zulfikar Bukhari proposed establishment of a coordination council in SCO to facilitate exchange of information and best practices among member states in tourism sector.
According to a news release issued by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) , Heads of Tourist Administrations from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the SCO Secretary General also participated in the meeting.
The meeting focused on the challenges faced by the tourist industry in SCO member states in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zulfikar Bukhari, who is also a Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on OP&HRD, said the present government was striving to develop the tourism sector. Development of the tourism sector was one of the top priorities of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he added.
He said the government had finalized a 10-year policy for developing a sustainable and eco-friendly tourism in the country. A five year ‘Action Plan’ had also been devised to implement the policy. The COVID-19 pandemic had delayed launch of the policy, he regretted.
The SCO member states comprised almost 44 percent of global population and had the potential of making a very important contribution in reviving the tourism industry, the SAPM noted.
“As the situation will start improving after COVID-19 pandemic, the domestic tourism sector would be the first to recover,” he said.
He pointed out that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government had prepared the Standard Operating Procedures to deal with the situation.
The meeting, which held the other day, adopted the joint action plan to implement the Tourism Cooperation Program of SCO member states for 2021-22.
SCO is an eight member trans-regional organization. Pakistan became its member in 2017 and considers it as an important forum to promote regional cooperation in security, economic and social-cultural sectors.