The ECO Secretary General, H.E. Amb. Khusrav Noziri is visiting the Republic of Uzbekistan in order to participate in the 22nd Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to be held on 15-16 September 2022 in Samarkand. On the sidelines of the visit, the ECO Secretary General had a bilateral meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Uzbekistan, H.E. Mr. Aziz Abdukhamidov.
During the meeting, the Secretary General ECO highlighted that the tourism was booming industry worldwide, therefore, its speedy recovery was essential.
While mentioning that Uzbekistan, under the framework of the ECO, has declared the year 2022 as “Year of Strengthening Connectivity”, the Secretary General appreciated the Republic for hosting the 4th ECO Ministerial Meeting on Tourism on 1 November 2022 in Samarkand.
He further briefed the Deputy Prime Minister that the ECO Member States have finalized the draft Roadmap on Facilitating Accelerated Recovery, Safe and Sustainable Tourism after Covid-19 in the region, which is likely to be adopted during the upcoming Ministerial Meeting. Moreover, the ECO Secretariat is preparing draft Samarkand Declaration which focuses on regional tourism and other areas of mutual interests among ECO Member States. The initiative of the ECO Secretariat for declaring ECO Tourism Capital also came under limelight.
The Secretary General congratulated the Republic of Uzbekistan for hosting the 25th Session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 2023. It was conveyed that the ECO Secretariat welcomed the Tashkent International Tourism Fair to be held on 30 Novemeber-2 December 2022. Moreover, ECO Member States have been informed about the scholarships granted to the youth offered by the Republic of Uzbekistan to pursue Masters degree at Silk Road International University of Tourism And Cultural Heritage in Samarkand.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and Cultural Heritage, while thanking the Secretary General and applauding the efforts of the ECO Secretariat, opined that the tourism and connectivity were interlinked with each other. In this regard, the number of flights between various cities of Uzbekistan have been increased. Moreover, the Republic is erecting necessary physical infrastructure and is in process to relax visa regime so that it can attract large number of international tourists into the country.