India to host SCO Tourism Ministers’ Meeting on March 17-18 in Kashi
India will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Tourism Ministers’ Meeting on March 17-18 in Kashi (Varanasi), which has been designated as the first cultural capital of the SCO, reports Mint.
India is the current chair of the SCO. During the Tourism Ministers’ (TMM) meeting, a joint action plan on the development of cooperation in tourism among SCO member countries will be adopted, the Ministry of Tourism said in a statement.
The TMM will be preceded by the second Tourism Expert Working Group Meeting on March 14-15. During the meeting, the dignitaries will discuss and finalise joint action plan before it is adopted at the SCO Tourism Ministers’ meeting on 17 March.
“The Joint Action Plan to be discussed during the 2nd EWG meeting will include actions relating to Promotion of the SCO tourism brand, Promotion of the cultural heritage of the SCO Member States in tourism, Sharing and Exchange of information and digital technology in tourism, promoting of mutual cooperation in medical and health tourism, improving the quality of services,” the Ministry of Tourism said.
As part of the tourism track activities under India’s chairship, the Ministry of Tourism has planned various activities, including SCO Tourism Mart during South Asia’s Travel & Tourism Exchange (SATTE), SCO Expert Level Tourism Working Group Meeting and SCO Tourism Minister’s Meeting in Kashi (Varanasi) and SCO Food Festival in Mumbai.
The eight-member countries of SCO represent around 42% of the world population and 25% of the global Gross domestic product (GDP). According to the Ministry, there is immense potential in the region which can be promoted by increasing awareness among SCO countries.
The total Cultural Heritage of the SCO member states, observers and partners include 207 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as per the Ministry of Tourism press release. In order to showcase this unique product of the region, SCO member countries have decided to designate one city (from SCO member countries) as tourism and cultural capital every year under a rotating initiative. Under this initiative, Kashi (Varanasi) has been designated as the first cultural capital of the SCO. (Source: Mint)