The Iranian city of Ardebil hosted the fifth session of the ministers of tourism of the member states of the ECO on Thursday afternoon (October 5, 2023). The ECO secretary-general, the ministers of tourism of its member states, as well as a number of Iranian officials took part in the tourism meeting at the historical complex of Sheikh Safi al-Din Ardabili.
Dr. Zarqami announced the strengthening of interactions and communications between countries based on the development of the tourism industry. He added: Although the spread of COVID-19 has disrupted standards in this field, we hope to witness the resumption of relations with neighboring countries and the enhancement of tourism events and the presence of people from different regions through tourism tours, with the control and improvement of conditions.
He mentioned that Ardabil province has been the tourism capital of ECO member countries in the past year and has been able to utilize this capacity in introducing cultural, historical, and natural wealth and declaring close relations with ECO member countries. He emphasized that events such as 2023 with Ardabil as the host have paved the way for introducing this province and our country as a tourism hub, and undoubtedly, the people of this province and other regions will benefit from the fruits of such events.
Khosrow Nazari, the Secretary-General of ECO, said in the fifth meeting of the Ministers of Tourism of ECO member countries in Ardabil: The development of tourism relations based on the existing capacities among the member countries is a priority for the ECO organization, and the fifth meeting in Ardabil is striving for this purpose.
The Secretary-General of ECO added: "I express my satisfaction with being present in Ardabil and in the fifth meeting of the Ministers of Tourism of ECO, and I hope that this meeting, in addition to its goals in introducing the capacities of Ardabil as the tourism capital of ECO member countries, will be effective."
He emphasized: "Ardabil plays a key role in the history of the region and in the culture of the member countries, and as an influential city with a rich history, it creates an opportunity for the development of regional interactions."
He added: "ECO is known in the world for its natural beauty and cultural heritage, most of which is related to the historical Silk Road, and there is also a high capacity in the fields of culture, health tourism, and gastronomy. We can enhance the role of tourism in the regional economy through internal interactions.
The selection of Shusha city in the Republic of Azerbaijan as the tourism capital of ECO in 2026, the examination of tourism development strategies considering tourism capacities such as hot and mineral waters, and the development of interactions among the members, including the cancellation of visas between the members, were among the most important topics discussed in the previous meeting of senior tourism experts of ECO.