Cooperation among SCO countries in medical and health tourism to be in focus at SCO Tourism Ministers’ Meet

New Delhi: A Joint Action Plan on the development of cooperation in Tourism among Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries would be adopted at the SCO Tourism Ministers’ Meeting (TMM) to be held at Varanasi on March 17-18.

The 2nd Tourism Expert Working Group Meeting got underway today to discuss and finalize the Tourism Joint Action Plan to be presented before the SCO Tourism Ministers’ meeting.

The Joint Action Plan envisages various measures relating to promotion of the SCO tourism brand and the cultural heritage of the SCO Member States in tourism, promoting mutual cooperation in medical and health tourism sharing and exchange of information and digital technology in tourism, and improving the quality of services. 

India has assumed the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) Chairship for 2023. As part of the tourism track activities under India’s chairship, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India had conducted an SCO Tourism Mart during SATTE (South Asia's Travel & Tourism Exchange) from February 9 to 11.

The SCO Expert Level Tourism Working Group Meeting and SCO Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in Varanasi is the second programme envisaged as part of the tourism track activities.

This would be followed by a SCO Food Festival in Mumbai from April 13 to 19.

The eight member countries of SCO represent around 42% of the world population and 25% of the global GDP. There is an immense tourism potential in the region which can be promoted by increasing awareness about SCO countries. 

The total cultural heritage of the SCO Member States, observers and partners include 207 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

To showcase this unique product of the region, SCO member countries have decided to designate one city from SCO member countries as tourism and cultural capital every year under a rotating initiative.

Varanasi, known popularly as Kashi, is the first city to be designated as the cultural capital of the SCO under this initiative.

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