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Silk Road: an example for the world

The Silk Road, a tourism project that brings together nations of, in part, completely different systems and worldviews, is being met by increasing interest worldwide. At the 7th Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting at ITB Berlin Convention, Dr Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said that the success of the 31 member states of the tourism-enabled caravan route "is a reason to celebrate."

One good idea can spread around the world. Rifai was pleased that even nations such as Argentina, Brazil, and Ghana are interested in a transnational thematic route in their areas. While many regional and transnational Silk Road projects have been completed or are in planning in Aisa, the European region needs more time. Here, the requested member states are Spain, Italy, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Turkey. Scientists also help with the exploration of historical sections.      

The Silk Road is an extensive network of historical caravan routes. Its main route links the Mediterranean Sea with East Asia. The Silk Road nations, therefore, include Egypt, Russia, Tajikistan, Iran, Iraq, Bangladesh, China, Mongolia, Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia. For centuries, this route has fascinated merchants, historians, and researchers - and today, adventure and cultural travellers from all over the world. Alla Peressolova, Chief of the UNWTO Silk Road Programme, assured that each of these countries would see additional foreign exchange earnings through this niche tourism market. Border openings and visa facilitation would bring even more affluent guests. Tour operators at ITB Berlin confirmed that Silk Road tourists are very interested in history and culture and are among the better-earning travellers.

The countries identified by tourists as a typical Silk Road countries include China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Azerbaijan. These were the results of a TripAdvisor survey from last year. On their journey through several countries, tourists have the greatest interest in the cities of the Silk Road. This is followed by UNESCO World Heritage sites along the route, gastronomy, and shopping at bazaars and markets.

Bernd Kubisch

Press Contact: Patrick Fritz

Email: silkroad1@unwto.org

Tel.: +34 91 56781 37

www.UNWTO.org

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