United Nations World Tourism Organization Silk Road Summit

The UNWTO Silk Road Ministers' Summit is an event being hosted by the World Tourism Organization, a division of the United Nations. The Summit is designed to bring together leaders in the tourism industry from the 24 member nations to discuss ways to increase tourism while benefiting member nations in the development of sustainable tourism in a responsible manner, with a special interest in helping developing countries following the guidelines set forth in the Silk Road Action Plan.

The Silk Road Action Plan for 2010/2011 was established by the United Nations World Tourism Organization to aid in the development of tourism in developing countries along Asia's Silk Road. The growth of tourism in the region has continued steadily for the last several decades. With the continuing growth of tourism in the region, investment activity will be increased in turn helping to fight poverty as well as offering protection for environmental and cultural resources. The Silk Road, which spans a total of 12,000 kilometers, has the potential to become a premier tourism destination. Cooperation of the countries along the Silk Road will enable the long term goals of the Action Plan to be implemented successfully.

The purpose of the Silk Road Ministers' Summit is to offer a forum encouraging debate between Member States in creating ways to come together to promote a world wide Silk Road tourism brand. Key leaders from participating nations will meet, working together to determine optimum methods to promote tourism.

Goals for the Summit will be focused on the following areas:

Developing a competitive and growing economy and tourism industry in Middle Eastern countries and throughout Asia along the ancient Silk Road routes.

Enhancing and expanding transportation throughout Central Asia through a system of rail networks connecting with European destinations, eventually expanding to additional nations.

To meet current and future market trends aimed at creating a travel experience which caters to the demanding itineraries of today's travelers, incorporating tourism in developing nations with that of established nations in one travel experience.

The need for a mobile technology infrastructure and the part social networking and media plays in the overall strategy.

In summary, the main goal of the Silk Road Summit is to find ways for participating UNWTO Member Nations to work together toward successful implementation of the Silk Road Action Plan in creating new marketing strategies to attract tourism and promote the image of the region. Combined with this goal will be discussion about increasing the available capacity and related building needs to accommodate a larger volume of tourism as well as management of the industry in Member States, including transportation infrastructure requirements to enhance these goals.

Location of the Silk Road Summit:
ITB Berlin, "Istanbul" Room, Großer Stern
Berlin, Germany

March 9-13, 2011