Published on : Friday, March 10, 2017
The 7th UNWTO Silk Road Ministers Meeting held at ITB Berlin on 8 March 2017 focused on how to promote sustainable tourism development along the Silk Road. Celebrating International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, 31 countries from the Silk Road and beyond exchanged best-practice on how to advance the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To quote Dr. Taleb Rifai, the UNWTO Secretary-General who addressed the meeting, “2015 was a landmark year with the approval of the universal SDGs by the international community. Tourism can contribute to all 17 Goals. Indeed, if properly managed, tourism can positively help address all the interconnected challenges facing people and planet including ending poverty, promoting gender equality, fostering jobs and inclusive growth and fighting climate change.”
The meeting was moderated by Christa Larwood from the BBC. In the meeting, ministers and high level officials shared their views and experiences in promoting sustainable tourism, in areas of heritage protection, community participation, sustainable business practices and the development of niche tourism itineraries and products.
Important input was also contributed by UNWTO Affiliate Member, TripAdvisor, who presented the findings of the TripAdvisor Travel Trends for the Silk Road 2017. On the occasion, Greece’s Minister of Tourism, Elena Kountoura, announced the hosting of the First Western Silk Road Workshop in Alexandroupolis, Greece, on 26-27 April 2017.