The Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization said: “ECO, in cooperation with the governments of the member countries, seeks to strengthen tourism to help improve the welfare of the people of these countries. ECO has paid special attention to tourism to support the overall development process of the region.”
At the opening ceremony of the international event Sari 2022, Khusrav Noziri said: “The city of Sari and Mazandaran province won the title of tourism capital due to their cultural, tourism, and natural attractions. The capacities of this city were the reason why ECO introduced it as one of the most important tourist spots in the region.”
He added: “The introduction of the ECO tourism capitals is an effective step for bringing the nations of the region closer together with common historical backgrounds and also helps to strengthen economic exchanges. I congratulate the people of Sari and Mazandaran on this worthy choice.”
The ECO Secretary General stated: “ECO, in cooperation with member governments, seeks to strengthen tourism to help increase the welfare of the people of these countries. ECO has paid special attention to tourism to support the overall development process of the region.”
He said: “The fourth meeting of tourism ministers, which is scheduled to be held this year in the old city of Bukhara, deals with marketing, standards of tourism services, and some of these related issues. We hope that this increased attention to tourism will play an important role in the development of the region.”
He further noted: “Tourism has surpassed trade and global economy. This industry accounts for 10% of global GDP and has created more than 330 million jobs in the world. ECO region can be one of the best tourist spots. Due to its important historical background, this region has 74 historical heritages registered on the World Heritage List but holds only 6% of the inbound tourism, which is low and the need for optimal cooperation of countries in this field is felt.”
He stated: “ECO region earned about 49 billion dollars from international tourism, which is 2.7% of global tourism income. Unfortunately, Covid-19 had a negative impact on tourism in the region and reduced 60 to 70% of these revenues. In this regard, the ECO Secretariat prepared an action plan to resolve the consequences of Covid-19 in the tourism sector with global guidelines to restore the confidence of travelers.
Noziri added: “The Republic of Uzbekistan, chairing the Economic Cooperation Organization, called the year 2022 the year of development of relations for ECO region. Therefore, strengthening relations among the countries helps to achieve this goal. We have a duty to show the natural, historical heritage, and tourism capacities of the region to the nations of these countries.”
He thanked the authorities of Iran and Mazandaran province for holding this event and hosting the 264th meeting of the Council of Permanent Representatives of ECO member countries. At the beginning of his speech, the general secretary of ECO also read poems about Mazandaran and considered this province as the historical land of the ECO region, and his poetry reading received applause from the audience.