By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan plan to create a Modern Silk Road.
The Turkish countries plans to create a single tourist package. A memorandum of understanding on this issue was signed at a meeting of ministers of tourism in Baku on May 20. The meeting was held within the framework of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking countries.
The main purpose of the memorandum is to support the creation of a joint tourist product of Turkic-speaking countries, increase the role of the private sector of member countries and expand cooperation between them, Secretary General of the Council Ramil Hasanov told journalists.
Culture and Tourism Minister, Abulfas Garayev said the projects that will be supported by the associations of private tourism, will be raised to the international level.
"This helps to attract a large number of tourists to Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan," the minister said.
The meeting participants noted that in the future Hungary and other countries will also be able to join this cooperation.
Azerbaijan proposed to create a single navigation map of Turkic-speaking countries, Garayev further said.
He said, this map can be based on the existing e-card GoMap.az, created by the Azerbaijani company SINAM commissioned by the Ministry.
"The navigation map of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia has already been prepared. We believe that if the project connect Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other Turkic-speaking countries, a unified navigational map of Turkic-speaking countries can be created," he said.
GoMap.az is the only map accepted and used by the state. The map shows the name of historical sites and cultural monuments located in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as well.
Reliable identification of places and topographic names in GoMap.az, the minister said, can play an important role in eliminating mistakes made by Google on its Google Map.
Head of the Tourism Department of Kyrgyzstan, Maksat Chakiyev, in turn, said the Turkic speaking world possesses enough natural facilities and historical places to generate the interest of the global community.
“The Great Silk Way brand must be used in order to develop tourism. For this reason, we are working out a joint tourism product,” Chakiyev said.
The agreement to create a common tourism product was reached between the countries last year. The plan of action that should be taken in this direction has been worked out and will gain force in near future.
The third meeting of tourism ministers will be held next May in Kyrgyzstan. The first of such meetings was held in Istanbul, Turkey, and the second in Baku.
The abundant culture and history of these countries may attract the attention of many tourists. The economically advantageous location will be another plus as tourists will be able to see four countries and the pearl of the region the Caspian Sea as part of common touristic zone.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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