China's Urumqi Inaugurates SCO Forum Year Of Tourism 2023 (PHOTO)

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) URUMQI, China, November 24. The International Exhibition Center of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in Urumqi has hosted the opening ceremony of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Forum "Year of Tourism 2023", Trend reports from the scene.

The event involves over 300 leaders of tourism organizations, representatives of international organizations, government and business entities, tourism experts, and diplomats from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Algeria, Morocco, and Uzbekistan.

The ceremony was preceded by the presentation of an exhibition showcasing the tourism potential of different countries and various projects in the development of the tourism sector to the guests.

Welcoming remarks to the forum participants were delivered by the Chairman of the XUAR Government of China, Erkin Tunyaz, the Secretary-General of the SCO, Zhang Min, and the Deputy Secretary-General of the SCO, Janesh Kain, who briefed on the achievements of the SCO in the field of tourism and the attractiveness of the tourism sector in XUAR and shared future plans.

Azerbaijan is represented at the forum by employees of the State Tourism Agency and the Embassy of Azerbaijan in China.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan, an active SCO dialogue partner, was one of the first countries to endorse China's "Belt and Road" program, greatly contributing to its execution with its economic and transportation-logistics capacity.

Given the importance of tourism growth to the economy, it is worth noting that Azerbaijan's commercial turnover with SCO member countries climbed by 45.8 percent last year, surpassing $9 billion.

Last year, these countries accounted for 17 percent of Azerbaijan's foreign trade. SCO members have invested more than $12 billion in the economy of Azerbaijan.

The government put $3.2 billion into the economies of SCO members.

As a result, future tourist growth between Azerbaijan and the SCO will be a mutually beneficial partnership.

The Year of Tourism 2023 SCO forum being held on November 23–26 is the first thematic forum held by the SCO Secretariat and XUAR in China as part of the SCO year of tourism announced by the heads of state at a meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in order to support the tourism industry and increase the appeal of cities and regions in the SCO space as tourism destinations.

The main goal of the forum is to help develop the tourism sector of SCO member states (China, India, Pakistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Iran), develop projects between groups of member states, and form a common tourism space.

Within the framework of the forum, thematic sections“Tourism Potential of the SCO Space,",“Tourist Potential of the XUAR of the People's Republic of China”,“Promotion of Sustainable Tourism in the SCO Countries,",“Tourism Development as a Factor in Poverty Reduction," and a networking session in B2B/B2G (Business-to-Business/Business-to-Government) format were organized.

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