Uzbek project won prestigious international “To Do 2014” tourism award in ITB Berlin

Uzbek project won prestigious international To Do 2014 tourism award in ITB Berlin

Uzbek project won prestigious international To Do 2014 tourism award in ITB Berlin

 

Monitoring Desk: A project from remote village of Uzbekistan won prestigious international responsible tourism award in ITB Berlin.

The 20th International Contest Socially Responsible Tourism Award popularly known as To Do 2014 award were held world biggest tourism fair—-at ITB Berlin main stage, reports Dispatch News Desk news agency.

Uzbek project won prestigious international "To Do 2014" tourism award in ITB Berlin
Ravshan Turakulov, the Director of Silk Road Destinations speaking at Award ceremony

The TO DO Awards are equally distributed among winners and this is first time that any project from Uzbekistan contested for award and Samarkand based responsible tourism project of Silk Road Destinations (C.A.T.I.A) tour company won this prestigious responsible tourism award.

The expert jury selected three projects, each of which was checked on location. All these projects confirmed the positive impression from the applications submitted”, said TO DO authorities.

Winners of To Do Responsible Tourism Award
Winners of To Do Responsible Tourism Award

It may be mentioned that Silk Road Destinations (C.A.T.I.A) is an incoming tour operator in Uzbekistan who set up a community-based project in the remote village of Mitan. In Mitan, the guests get into direct contact with local families and their Muslim culture and traditions. The project is aimed at generating an additional income for the villagers. It is also meant to contribute to cultural exchange and to a better understanding between people with different social and religious backgrounds.

This project namely “Mitan Responsible Tourism Project” is unique in a way that no local or foreign funding is involved in this project from the stage of initialization to the level of its operation comparing to other Community Based Development (CBD) or Community Based Tourism (CBT) project as mostly of them have local or foreign donations/funding at almost every stage of the project.

This project is more than Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) because Silk Road Destinations (SRD) Company was not getting any business or economical benefit from this area before initiating and launching this project in Mitan village. This remote village had never been on tourism map of Uzbekistan as “destination” till tourism operation was started by Silk Road Destinations (C.A.T.I.A) and visitors were introduced to this village.

This project is exceptional in the region (of Central Asia) as it is providing practical training of tourism development and destination management to youth of a remote area at doorstep and creating tourism workforce for future so youth of this small village can ensure their jobs in tourism sector in future.

Project is providing a model of interfaith harmony to youth of this Muslim Community and facilitates a face-to-face intercultural dialogue among groups and individuals having different social and religious backgrounds.

It is worth to mention that Silk Road Destinations is founding member of The Region Initiative (TRI that is Tri-regional Umbrella of Tourism related organisations. TRI is functioning as a link among three regions—-South Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. It offers blended tours packages, consultancy, networking of tourism organisations, tourism research opportunities, marketing of small tourism stakeholders, promotion of need of usage of renewable energies, advocate sustainable tourism and ecotourism.

It may be mentioned that 3 founding organizations of TRI were included in the UNWTO Compendium of Best Practices and Recommendations for Ecotourism in Asia and the Pacific in year 2012. These were Ecotourism Society Pakistan — Dream Nepal and Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation.

The President of Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation Mr. Palitha Gurusinghe while congratulating in his message to Mr. Ravshan said that award testified that Central Asia is a land where responsible tourism is working successfully.

The President of TRI Agha Iqrar Haroon was of the view that Silk Road Destinations has written a new history of responsible tourism initiative in Central Asia.

Tayyab Nisar the founding member of TRI and Manager of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation that is national tourism organisation of Pakistan congratulated the Silk Road Destination over this achievement and added that Silk Road Destinations is a role model for other responsible tourism organisation.

The President of Ecotorusim Society Pakistan Mr. Husnain Khan in his message said that Silk Road Destinations should keep supporting other ecotourism and responsible organizations of the region.

TRI partner organisation AVALON Kazakhstan in its message congratulated Silk Road Destinations and its focal person Vitaliy Shuptar said that this award is an honour for TRI members.