On 28 May 2021, an international conference on tourism development in the SCO space during the pandemic, organised by the SCO Youth Council Secretariat and the SCO Secretariat with the support of the SCOLAR Network youth platform, was held via videoconference.
Representatives of Chinese, Kazakhstani, Pakistani, Russian, Tajikistani and Uzbekistani agencies and ministries responsible for the development of tourism, as well as the World Tourism Cities Federation presented their reports on the current state of the industry and steps taken to restore it as soon as possible.
SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov and Denis Kravchenko, head of the Russian section of the SCO Youth Council, delivered welcoming remarks.
The SCO Secretary-General noted the pandemic's impact on tourism in all the SCO member countries and stressed the importance of joint efforts for its rapid recovery. According to him, approving the SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital project at the upcoming Meeting of Tourism Administrations Heads of SCO Member States scheduled for mid-July will be among these steps. Vladimir Norov also suggested discussing the possibility of developing a bank of the best tourism solutions for exchanging experience and practice between the SCO member states.
"The pandemic has impacted all global tourism. At the same time, these conditions have given rise to new opportunities related to the use of modern technologies to create a new, high-quality tourism environment and boost the general level of tourism service development in our countries," Mr Norov said.
In his remarks, Denis Kravchenko noted that the international conference's main task was to share experience in order to create new opportunities for the effective recovery of tourism in the SCO member states and also to help develop anti-crisis measures that the industry could rely on in the future.
The participants of the conference also had a chance to visit one of the Eight Wonders of the SCO — the Po-i-Kalyan architectural complex (Bukhara, Uzbekistan) — as part of the virtual tour organised by the SCO's tourism platform, JOINPRO.