Murodjon Buriboev, ECI President, and Ali-Asghar Shalbafian, Iran's Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, met at the ministry headquarters on Wednesday, October 26, and discussed the development of joint cooperation in the field of tourism.
According to the ECO Cultural Institute, the ECI President, during the meeting, referred to the inseparable relationship between tourism and culture, explained the capacity of ECO Cultural Institute in the field of tourism and enumerated the activities of the ECI which have been carried out so far, such as the publication of special issues of the ECO Heritage Quarterly pivoting around the introduction of various cities in the ECO region, allocation of certain sections of the ECI's website and social media to the introduction of the ECO member countries, and also the launch of cultural tours.
Emphasizing the importance of promotion of tourism in all the ECO member countries, Buriboev pointed out that the country of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the ECI host, has countless capacities. Moreover, he put forward the idea to launch cultural tours and invite tourism officials and activists to hold meetings, festivals and awards particularly for the youth, with the aim of promoting all aspects of culture and tourism and getting to know the people of this region.
Welcoming the ECO President at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts headquarters, Shalbafian stated that although the capacities of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in the field of tourism are very valuable, they have not been fully used of. He noted: "The measures taken by the ECO Cultural Institute in this area are significant and can serve as the basic impetus for deeper actions."
He further embraced the ECI's proposals and announced the readiness for mutual cooperation. Shalbafian also alluded to the importance of the gathering of ECO region youth in the field of tourism, creating familiarization tours for influencers, and holding press conference for the journalists who are active in the field of tourism in the ECO member countries. He finally, recommended that they can also be scheduled to be organized together with the event set for Ardabil, the ECO tourism capital in 2023.