MINSK, 23 October (BelTA) – The countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States are interested in promoting joint tourism projects, BelTA learned from Director of the Tourism Department of the Sport and Tourism Ministry of Belarus Andrei Molchan. He is taking part in a session of an expert group set up to finalize and harmonize the draft strategy on cooperation in tourism between the CIS member states for 2021-2030.
“The tourism potential of the CIS member states is not utilized in full. It is encouraging that many countries of the Commonwealth invest heavily in their tourism industry with a view to boosting domestic and inbound tourism. Belarus tries to keep up with this trend. We learn from each other; there are really interesting examples of tourism promotion in the CIS. By the way, one of the highlights of the strategy is the development of compound and cross-border routes offering several destinations united by one or two themes,” Andrei Molchan said.
A case in point is Belarus-Russia cross-border routes for travelers interested in military history. “In addition to that, we have a joint route From the Varangians to the Greeks involving Ukraine and the Baltic Sea states. A large-scale project Great Silk Road that could link several states of Central Asia, Belarus and Russia is also under discussion. Development of a joint tourist product is one of the objectives of the strategy,” he noted.
The decision to draft the strategy was made at the session of the CIS Tourism Council. The document will become the second strategy to promote cooperation in tourism in the CIS. The current strategy will expire in 2020. It involves Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The new strategy will uphold the goals, objectives, principles, areas, and mechanisms of implementation of the first strategy and is meant to intensify cooperation and strengthen partnership relations between national travel organizations of the CIS countries. The document will facilitate consolidation of efforts of government agencies, national travel organizations, and other entities in the tourism industry.
The strategy is based on the notion that tourism is not only the most promising and dynamically developing economic sector, but also an efficient means of stepping up international cooperation, strengthening friendship, enhancing mutual understanding, and facilitating cultural enrichment of the CIS nations. The CIS countries aim to increase tourist flows in the domestic and international markets and to launch more joint projects and programs in tourism that will promote their national interests and boost international cooperation.