CAREC Institute Director Spoke about Promotion of Sustainable Tourism in the CAREC Region

24 Nov 2023

On November 24, Director of the CAREC Institute Mr. Kabir Jurazoda provided welcoming speech at the Xinjiang Tourism Sub-forum under the title “Promoting Sustainable Tourism in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)” under the SCO Forum “Year of Tourism 2023” in Urumqi, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. The sub-forum brought together the representatives of national governments of the SCO member-countries, tour companies, academic institutes and other organizations working on tourism development.

During his speech, Mr. Kabir Jurazoda noted the role of Xinjiang as the hub of the Silk Road tourism development. Due to the unique geographic location, Xinjiang and Central Asia faced high migration and people’s contact, large number of caravans moving from East to West and vice-versa. All archaeological data show that different nationalities contacted each other, lived, and worked together in the long history of the region. Central Asia laid a solid foundation for multi-ethnic habitation, multi-religious co-existence and cultural integration and plurality. And today, countries are restoring the Silk Road economic links and rebuilding a new and modern cooperation including in the tourism sector between our countries.

Central Asian countries are now facing an unprecedented opportunity to become a center of trade and tourism. For this reason, eleven countries have come together to create the CAREC Program and the CAREC Institute to promote regional economic development through cooperation. In December 2020, ministers and senior officials from the 11 CAREC member countries endorsed the CAREC Tourism Strategy 2030 to promote safe, sustainable, and inclusive tourism development in the region, and enhance its attractiveness as a competitive tourism destination globally.

However, the biggest challenge in the CAREC region is the infrastructure gap that needs to be addressed on a priority basis to avail itself of the full potential of tourism. Unfortunately, the quality and standards of services vary significantly across the CAREC region, skills development is required to raise the hospitality standard, and low levels of digitalization penetration are some of the obstacles to tourism proliferation. “Collaborative efforts within the CAREC region can lead to the development of joint tourism initiatives making it easier for travelers to explore multiple countries, and the CAREC Institute will continue contributing to expanding tourism and economic linkages between CAREC member countries through knowledge sharing and cooperation,” said Mr. Kabir Jurazoda.

He suggested the countries enhance joint efforts to promote tourism packages and simplify visa procedures to enhance intra-region travel. CAREC member countries can arrange cultural festivals, exchange programs, and educational initiatives to foster a great understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultures within the region. National governments can work together to develop and implement effective and harmonized tourism legislation, as well as to improve air and land connectivity, simplify border crossing procedures, harmonize visa requirements, and improve tourism infrastructure. Educational institutions can work together to provide comprehensive regional training programs for both public and private stakeholders in tourism and culture learning.

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