A delegation of Uzbekistan attends meeting of heads of tourism administrations of SCO member states
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- The heads of the tourist administrations of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization discussed the consequences of coronavirus on the tourism industry in a video conference format, as well as the need to adapt to new conditions.
SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov said that, according to experts from the World Tourism Organization and UNCTAD, tourism was one of the most affected sectors of the economy, as well as the hotel and restaurant business, leisure and transportation industry, which were closely related to it.
As participants noted, the restoration of the tourism industry after a pandemic will be possible only after the abolition of the quarantine and other restrictions on freedom of movement, as well as economic activity, with the adoption of the most stringent security measures and ensuring public health.
SCO member states are implementing a number of programs taking into account quarantine measures, including in the field of tourism.
“The Secretariat together with the member states implements the program “SCO is our common home”, in the framework of which cultural days of the Organization’s member states, national holidays, symposiums, conferences and round tables are held,” Norov said.
The Secretary General added, noting that in order to promote the country tourism brand of the SCO member states, the Secretariat developed the concept of the Eight Wonders of the SCO series of events aimed at demonstrating the cultural diversity and tourism potential of the association and was successfully held in different countries.
According to the head of the international organization, the tourism industry can and should become the driver of the revitalization of the "pre-pandemic" level of the economy and its subsequent growth.
“The pandemic has created great difficulties and problems for all countries in many areas. At the same time, it is obvious that new opportunities arise related to the use of modern information and communication technologies,” he said.
An example was China, which successfully implements public-private partnerships, including the development of the tourism industry. Companies such as the Alibaba group and others have created platforms that allow the use of advanced technologies, including Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and others to provide non-contact services, virtual tours, and cloud exhibitions that are aimed to reduce operating costs, exchange of tourist experience, increase the ability to provide quality service and respond flexibly to emergencies such as the current epidemic of coronavirus.
The SCO Secretary General expressed hope that the draft Joint Action Plan for the implementation of the Cooperation Program of the SCO Member States in the tourism sector for the period 2021-2022 will give a new impetus to the interaction of the parties, since the document clearly defines goals and objectives, specifies the main directions of work, the start and end dates of the implementation and the expected results are indicated.
The parties noted the positive dynamics in the development of cooperation in the field of tourism between the SCO member states over the past period, exchanged information on the current state of the national tourism market and measures taken to realize the potential for the development of the tourism industry, and discussed the content of joint measures to further enhance tourist exchange within Organization.
The meeting participants agreed on mutual assistance and support in overcoming the consequences of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the tourism industry of the SCO member states.
The heads of delegations reviewed and approved the draft Joint Action Plan for the implementation of the SCO Member States Tourism Cooperation Program for 2021-2022 and decided in the prescribed manner to submit a draft of this document for signing during the next SCO summit.