The 3rd ECO Ministerial Meeting on Tourism proceeded by the 5th High Level Experts Group (HLEG) on Tourism was held on 3-4 October, 2019, in Khujand, Tajikistan. The Meetings were hosted by the Committee of Tourism Development under the government of the Republic of Tajikistan. Delegations from the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Tajikistan (Host), the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Uzbekistan as well as the delegation of ECO Secretariat attended the Meetings.
The Meeting was inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Rajabboy Ahmadzoda, the Governor of Sughd Province of the Republic of Tajikistan. In his inaugural statement, he highlighted the potentials and progress of the Republic of Tajikistan in Tourism Sector under the leadership of the H.E. President Emomali Rahmon. He accentuated the holding of experience/knowledge sharing events regularly for fruitful activities and mutual beneficial cooperation among the Member States in tourism sector.
H.E. Mr. Numon Abdughafforzoda, the Chairman of the Committee of Tourism Development of the Republic of Tajikistan was elected as Chairman of the 3rd ECO Ministerial Meeting on Tourism. He highlighted the achievement of the Republic of Tajikistan during the last few years in tourism sector through introducing new policies by their Government. Also he has stressed the holding of exhibitions, fairs, forums, and conferences, seminars with the participation of representatives of the private and public sectors in the ECO framework and emphasized on creation of special ECO-tourism investment chain between the Member States, attracting investment in the tourism infrastructure including roads, hotels and hostels etc,
In his opening statement ECO Secretary General, H.E. Dr. Hadi,‹ Soleimanpour, underscored the importance of tourism and sustainable development of tourism in the region. He underlined that the tourism industry has gained a very positive attention from the Member States and has become a priority development field for the coming decade. The Secretary General highlighted that the development of the tourism industry throughout the region needs intra regional international connectivity through all modes of the transportation in order to ensure comfortable, cheaper accessible and security travel in ECO Region. He also assured that the ECO Secretariat will extend every possible support to implement the decision of this Meeting
During the Meeting, the Ministers/Heads of delegates from the Member States delivered their statements/presentations.
Main decisions are as follows:
- adoption of the ECO Principles for Sustainable Tourism Development in ECO Region
- adoption of the ECO Tourism Plan of Action
- Selecting the city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan as ECO Tourism Capital for the years 2020-2021 as well as the cities of Sari and Ardabil, Iran for the years 2022 and 2023 respectively.
The 4th and 5th ECO Ministerial Meeting on Tourism will be hosted by The Republic of Uzbekistan and Islamic Republic of Iran respectively in 2020 and 2022.