On 3 September 2019, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov met with Deputy Mayor of Paris Jean-Francois Martins, who was also on a visit to Helsinki to take part in the summit of the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF).
Mr Norov told Mr Martins about the SCO history and its activity in the political, economic, cultural and humanitarian areas. He also noted the historical ties between Europe and SCO member states, in particular, the inter-civilisational dialogue that is going on along the Silk Road.
The Secretary-General also said that France and Paris in particular, being an important centre of cultural and historical heritage, play a significant role in the global tourism industry: "The voice and initiatives of France are playing an increasingly important role in shaping tourism trends and its development."
Mr Norov also told Mr Martins about the tourism initiatives, in particular, the Eight Wonders of the SCO project aimed at improving the tourism potential of the SCO countries.
Jean-Francois Martins praised the SCO's efforts and noted that the organisation could serve as an efficient platform for strengthening dialogue between Europe and Asia in culture, tourism and education.
The two officials also discussed the possibility of organising joint themed tourism events, exhibitions and fairs, as well as cooperation in education and advanced training in the tourism industry and hotel management.