Economic Cooperation Organization

(27 September 2023)

The ECO Secretariat joins the rest of the world to mark World Tourism Day on September 27, 2023.  Tourism has long been recognized as a catalyst for economic growth, and it plays a pivotal role in terms of sustainable development and collaboration across the ECO region. This year’s celebration of World Tourism Day takes on added importance as its theme `Tourism and Green Investments` aligns with the ECO Vision 2025, aiming to establish a peaceful and green tourism destination with diverse products and high-quality services in the region.  

World Tourism Day serves as a global platform to promote awareness about the invaluable contributions of tourism to communities, economies, and the environment. The ECO region stands as a testament to the power of tourism in driving economic growth, cultural exchange, and environmental protection.

The ECO, in accordance with Samarkand Declaration, adopted during the 4th ECO Ministerial Meeting on Tourism held on 13 December 2023 under chairmanship of Uzbekistan, continues to promote improved transportation to facilitate easy access to tourism destinations, making the region more accessible to travelers as well as fostering cross-cultural understanding through tourism, thereby strengthening social ties and enhancing cultural heritage preservation. In addition, implementing eco-friendly practices and conservation efforts to protect the natural beauty and biodiversity of the region and encouraging investment in tourism-related industries to create jobs, boost local economies, and reduce income inequality are also main objectives of the ECO.  

In recent years the ECO is also focusing on involvement of local communities to tourism activities in the region and promoting tourism destinations of ECO Members States. The ECO Tourism Capitals initiative of the Organization was successful in this regard. Current ECO Tourism Capital – city of Ardabil, Islamic Republic of Iran will host the 5th ECO Ministerial meeting on Tourism on 4-5 October 2023 where the representatives of the member states will discuss and determine regional tourism activities and tasks with the active participation of the stakeholders from the private sector.

The ECO is paying great attention to enhance cooperation with other regional and international tourism stakeholders. The 25th Session of UNWTO’s General Assembly scheduled be held in the city of Samarkand in the Republic of Uzbekistan will be another important event for the ECO region in this respect, as it provides a platform to promote regional tourism, preserve cultural heritage, boost the economy and improve sustainable tourism practices.