Within the framework of the “International Cultural Tourism Exhibition”, the ECO Secretary General H.E. Ambassador Khusrav Noziri along with the accompanied members of his delegation visited the Kish Free Zone Organization (KFZO) on September 6, 2022.
During the visit, ECO delegation held a meeting with the KFZO’s tourism, economic and construction representatives, which was also attended by Tehran-based Ambassadors of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan.
Welcoming the guests, the KFZO’s Deputy Director for Tourism expressed his pleasure over the participation of the ECO delegation in the Cultural Tourism Expo and briefed them on the potentials of the Kish Island as well as the current activities and development in the Island’s tourism industry. Moreover, he considered the forum as an opportunity to make exchange of proposals, ideas and views between the Kish authorities and the representatives of the ECO Member States aimed at promoting their tourism cooperation and other mutual engagements.
The ECO Secretary General, while noting the role and importance of the Kish Island to support and fuel the Iranian economy, believed that the establishment of direct flights between the ECO Member States and the Kish Island would accelerate the relevant activities, enhance tourists flow and promote people-to-people contact in the region through increased tourism. He assured that the proposals put forward by Kish authorities would be taken up during the 4th ECO Ministerial Meeting on Tourism scheduled for November 1, 2022 at the Samarkand City of Uzbekistan. In addition, the ECO delegates informed the participants about their ongoing activities in tourism, including transport and tourism facilitation, enhancement of cooperation among the private and public tourism stakeholders through establishment of tour operators’ network and promotion of investment incentives and opportunities.
Some private sector’s stakeholders taking part in this important interaction expressed their views and offered a few valuable suggestions to make a joint promotion of tourism sector. Among them were the CEO of the Center for Automobile Racing and Tourism of Iran, Dr. Sufi, the CEO of the Kish Entrepreneurs & Investors, Mr. Rahman Sadat Najafi, Mr. Tahmooreth Ghasemi, the CEO of the Kish Builders Association, Mr. Ramtin Roshan, the Managing Director of the Kish Travel Service Offices, Mr. Nadimi, the Member of the Board of Directors of the Community of the Marine Entertainment Clubs. Representatives of the two sides took into account various issues, including the mechanism for direct flights operation between the Kish Island and the ECO Member States, visa facilitation, cooperation for development of halal tourism, Member States’ mutual recognition of driving licenses and the development of health tourism.
The Ambassadors of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as well as the Representatives of the Embassies of Türkiye, Pakistan and Japan also underscored the potentials of region’s tourism sector, emphasizing on the necessity for increasing mutual cooperation amongst the Member States to boost sectoral activities and engagements.