By Bahtiyar Abdulkerimov
KOKAND, Uzbekistan (AA) – The 6th meeting of tourism ministers of Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking Countries was held in Uzbekistan’s eastern Kokand city on Thursday.
Speaking at the meeting, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said: "Bringing our relations with Turkic-speaking countries to real potential has been Turkey's vision for a long time, and this vision has gained an important place in the last 20 years of global policies."
Touching upon Turkey's efforts to support its tourism sector during the pandemic, he said Turkey has been one of the few countries that took action to support the tourism industry and re-establish trust in tourism.
"Thanks to those timely interventions, Turkey's tourism sector hosted 16 million foreign tourists in 2020," he added.
Ersoy recalled that Turkey’s financial support and safe tourism certification programs prepared in cooperation with the relevant ministries and sector stakeholders started to be implemented as of 2020.
He emphasized that the tourism certification program is one of the first examples in the world.
Turkey will continue to support the joint tour packages on the Modern Silk Road, he added.
Commenting on negative effect of the pandemic on the tourism sector, Turkic Council Secretary General Baghdad Amreyev said he hopes that this situation will improve with the completion of the vaccination process.
Stressing the importance of increasing the tourism potential of the member countries of the council, he said the member countries have a great tourism potential in this regard.
Besides, at the meeting, the participants decided to declare Kokand as the tourism capital of the Turkic Council.
Other participants of the meeting included Uzbekistan’s Tourism Minister Aziz Abdukhakimov, Kazakhstan's Minister of Culture and Sports Aktoty Raimkulova, Azerbaijan's Chairman of the State Tourism Agency Fuad Naghiyev, Kyrgyzstan's Deputy Economy and Finance Minister Rysaliev Seyit.
Observer member Marta Fazekas, program director at Hungarian Tourism Agency also attended the meeting.