The 7th session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM) was held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, on 28-30 November 2010. The Ministerial Session, which was held on 30 November 2010, was preceded by a two-day Meeting, on 28-29 November 2010, of the Senior Officials preparatory to the 7th Session of the ICTM. Senior Officials from 22 OIC member countries and representatives of the OIC General Secretariat and eight OIC institutions, namely: COMCEC Coordination Office, IRCICA, SESRIC, ICDT, IUT, ISESCO, IDB and ICCI attended the Meeting. The SESRIC was presented at the Conference by Dr. Savas Alpay, the Director General of the Centre, and Mr. Nabil Dabour, Director of Research Department.
The Senior Officials reviewed and discussed the progress achieved in the implementation of the resolutions and decisions of the 6th Session of the ICTM, which was held in Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic on 29 June – 2 July 2008. In so doing, the OIC General Secretariat presented the Progress Report, which was adopted by the 2nd Coordination Committee Meeting on Tourism. The Report includes the various activities accomplished under the Short-Term Plan and Programme, including recent bilateral activities and regional projects. It also highlights various activities of the OIC institutions towards the implementation of the Framework for Development and Cooperation in the Domain of Tourism among OIC Member States. The recommendations of the Progress Report of the OIC General Secretariat include the need for increasing public awareness about the existing tourism resources in OIC countries, the development of more regional and bilateral tourism projects and creation of an annual “OIC City of Tourism” award in recognition of the exceptional contributions to the improvement of tourism in the OIC member countries. The representatives of Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran presented reports on various activities, which were carried out in their respective capacities as Focal Points on Tourism facilitation, Marketing, Research and Training. In this context, they informed the Meeting of the need for the Member States to submit necessary inputs and data to facilitate the mandate of the Focal Points.
The Senior Officials also considered the reports submitted and presented at the Meeting by the following OIC institutions: IRCICA, SESRIC, ICDT, ISESCO, IDB and ICCI. In this connection, Mr. Nabil Dabour, Director of Research Department at the SESRIC, presented the report titled “International Tourism in the OIC Countries: Prospects and Challenges-2010”. This report examines the performance and economic role of the international tourism sector in the OIC member countries in the latest five-year period for which the data are available. In so doing, the report analyses the major indicators, which are traditionally used in measuring international tourism, i.e. international tourist arrivals, international tourism receipts and international tourism expenditures. The report also attempts, as much as the available relevant data allows, shedding light on the state of intra-OIC tourism. The analysis is made at both the individual country and the OIC regional levels. The report also highlights the impacts of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 on the international tourism sector worldwide. In its conclusion, the report sheds light on the challenges of tourism development in the OIC countries and the issue of tourism cooperation among them and proposes some recommendations to serve as policy guidelines.
In the light of these reports and presentations, the Senior Officials deliberated on a set of common issues of concern to the member countries with a view to enhancing cooperation among the member countries in the field of tourism. They also discussed and prepared the Draft Agenda and Work Programme of the Ministerial Sessions as well as the “Draft Resolution on Tourism Development among the OIC Member States” and the “Draft Tehran Declaration” for consideration and adoption by Ministers of tourism at the Ministerial Session.
The Ministerial Session was held on 30 November 2010 with the participation of Ministers and Heads of Delegations from 29 member countries, the representatives of the above-mentioned OIC institutions and the representative of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UN-WTO).
Following the adoption of the agenda and the work programme, the working session of the Ministers started with the consideration of the Report of the Senior Officials Meeting. The Ministers and Heads of Delegations made presentations on the various activities of their respective countries towards the development of tourism sector. During the general debate, the following issues have been raised: the facilitation of tourist visa arrangements, the protection of true image of Islam through tourism activities and developing unified approach among the Member States, the role of the private sector in tourism development, the promotion of student exchange programmes among the member countries, the development of tourism as an important tool for poverty alleviation, and the promotion of ecotourism, health tourism and regional tourism projects in OIC member countries.
The Conference adopted Resolution on Tourism Development among the OIC Member States and Tehran Declaration, and welcomed the offer made by the Government of the Republic of Sudan to host the 8th Session of the ICTM in 2012 and urged the Member States to actively participate in the Conference.
International Tourism in the OIC Countries: Prospects and Challenges 2010 (English) (Arabic) (French)
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