7th UNWTO Silk Road Tour Operators Forum

7th UNWTO Silk Road Tour Operators Forum
Thursday 8 March 2018, 14.00-16.00 
'Palais West Room’, ITB Berlin 
Generously supported by ITB Berlin, this year’s edition of the Silk Road Tour Operators Forum, a specialised event focused on the Silk Road private tourism sector, took place on Thursday, 8 March 2018 in ITB Berlin. 

During a 2-hour workshop, UNWTO ran a session designed to empower Silk Road tour operators to better understand, engage and work with the international travel trade. 

The opportunities, challenges and necessities of offering packaged tours across Central Asia, and Maritime Silk Road product development thematically framed the event. 

UNWTO recently concluded research assessing the impact of China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Project on tourism and, more generally, the tourism potential of Maritime Silk Road thematic routes across Asia. The main findings were presented by lead researcher, Mr. Robert Travers.

Ms. Saule Kalysheva from Caravanistan, an online Silk Road travel guide focussed on Central Asia, shared her expertise and ideas on how to raise awareness for a region that is increasingly attracting consumer interest.

novel speed-networking session was conducted in the framework of the Tour Operators Forum. It allowed participating tour operators to showcase their latest products tour packages, especially innovative proposals in the areas of transnational collaboration and experiential travel etc. to an international audience.

A competition for the best presentation took place in UNWTO Silk Road social media after the speed-networking sessionThe Republic of Buryatia was the clear winner, having gained the most likes on the UNWTO Silk Road Facebook pageHome to outstanding heritage and with a rich history linked to the historic Silk Road routes, Buryatia won a promotional package on the UNWTO Silk Road communication channels. The UNWTO Silk Road Programme congratulates the winner most dearly and looks forward to repeating the Silk Road experience at next year’s ITB Berlin.

Videos shown during the Forum:

World Nomad Games 2018

Keynote presentations:

Silk Road Tourism Update by Mr Patrick Fritz, technical coordinator, UNWTO Silk Road Programme

Maritime Silk Road Product Development: key research findings - Tourism Impact of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road by Mr. Robert Travers, UNWTO Consultant

The Silk Road Travel Guide: Central Asia: how to approach and market the heart of the Silk Road by Ms. Saule Kalysheva, Travel Consultant, Caravanistan


World Nomad Games, Kyrgyzstan, by Mr Azamat Zhamankulov, Deputy Minister of Tourism of Kyrgyzstan;

Republic of Buryatia, Russian Federation, by Ms Mariya Badmatsyrenova, Minister of Tourism of Buryatia, the Russian Federation;

Ak-Sai Travel, Kyrgyzstan, by Ms Alyona Strauss, Head of MICE & Marketing department;

Millennium Tourism Lufthansa City Center, Azerbaijan, by Ms Leyla Rasulzade;

Turkic Council, Turkey, by Ms Pelin Musabay Baki, Project Director;   

Baibol Travel, Kyrgyzstan - Mansur Abylaev, CEO;

Destination Vikings by Ms Ea Stevns Matzon, Coordinator;

EastguidesWest, Netherlands, by Ms A. Sjannie Hulsman-Louwers, Owner & Co-Founder;

KTA - Kazakhstan tourism association by Ms Alina Dauletbakova;

Creative Tourism Network, Spain, by Ms Caroline Couret;

Chamber of Commerce Uzbekistan by Mr Farrukh Omonov; 

Georgian Tour LTD, Georgia, by Ms Teona Nemsitsveridze;

Kyrgyz Communty Based Tourism, Kyrgyzstan by Mr Kuban Ashyrkov;

Chameleon Strategies by Mr Jens Thraenhart;

TCBTA – Tajik Community Based Tourism Association by Mr Dilshod Alimov.                



Background information on the 6th UNWTO Silk Road Tour Operators Forum at ITB Berlin 2017 here



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