SCO Tourism Ministers’ Conference
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held a tourism ministers’ conference recently in Varanasi, where India mooted an action plan to mark 2023 as the year of tourism development in the region. The conference aimed at improving tourism and developing cooperation in the tourism sector amongst member states.
SCO – A brief overview
The SCO is an intergovernmental organisation founded on June 15, 2001, in Shanghai, China. It comprises eight “Member States” and four “Observer States,” including India, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
SCO’s primary aim is to address security-related concerns, with addressing regional terrorism, ethnic separatism, and religious extremism top on its list of priorities. Apart from security, it also promotes cooperation in the fields of economics and culture.
What does the Action Plan for ‘Year of Tourism Development in the SCO Space in 2023’?
The Action Plan for ‘Year of Tourism Development in the SCO Space in 2023′ was adopted at the recently held tourism ministers’ meeting. The plan identifies a list of activities and events to promote and showcase tourism products of SCO member states. Notably, Varanasi has been declared as the first tourism and cultural capital of SCO.
The joint action plan finalised and approved at the tourism ministers’ conference aims to promote the SCO tourism brand, share information and digital technologies in tourism, and promote mutual cooperation in medical and health tourism. The member countries will also undertake various activities jointly, such as SCO tourism exhibitions, SCO Food Festivals, webinars and seminars on tourism, conferences and expert sessions on promoting tourism in the region.