UNWTO Silk Road Training and Capacity Building Programme
The first edition of this executive training was organised by UNWTO Silk Road Programme in cooperation with the UNWTO.Themis Foundation and the University of Valencia, and with support of UNIDO* andUNESCO and took place in October and November 2017 in Madrid and Valencia, Spain.
Held in collaboration with the UNWTO.Themis Foundation, the operational instrument of UNWTO to deliver its education and training activities, and theUniversity of Valencia, a UNWTO Affiliate Member who also provided the setting and technical expertise necessary for this training, the project aimed to develop technical expertise and raise the capacity building standards among Silk Road members by training NTA officials and university graduates in areas such as national and transnational cooperation, destination management and tourism route development.
With the participation of Member State officials and Young Tourism Professionals from Silk Road countries, the training consisted of two interlinked pillars: 2 two-week online courses, where the participants learnt about key tourism concepts, strategies and ideas, and a 10-day onsite course in Madrid and Valencia, Spain from 20 till 29 November 2017.
During the onsite course the participants were given an opportunity to apply the knowledge received to develop transnational tourism projects along the historic routes of the Silk Road. Multidisciplinary in their approach and guided by a renowned team of international tourism experts, the transnational tourism projects aimed to highlight the potential of collaborative initiatives to foster sustainable growth and job creation, and showcase the Silk Road as an internationally renowned and seamless travel experience.
The UNWTO Silk Road Training and Capacity Building Programme is an official activity of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and, as such,works towards the objectives contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UNESCO Tashkent Office, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are official partners of this training. Special gratitude is also due to the Travel Weekly Group, the Agència Valenciana del Turisme of the Generalitat Valenciana (the regional government of Valencia), Turismo Valencia, Turkish Airlines, the Patronat de Turisme Diputació de Valencia, the Valentia Ars Magna, the City of the Arts and Sciences of Valencia, the Royal Seminary School of the Corpus Christi, the Del Tros al Plat, the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts, and the College of the Great Art of Silk of Valencia for sponsoring this training.
*United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes and accelerates inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Member States. The relevance of ISID as an integrated approach to all three pillars of sustainable development is recognized by the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNIDO’s mandate is fully recognized in SDG-9, which calls to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. In 2016, UNIDO launched a project “Linking the tourism industry to product activities in the Issyk-Kul region of the Kyrgyz Republic”, which was developed at the request of the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic and financially supported from the voluntary contribution of the Russian Federation through the UNIDO Industrial Development Fund. The long-term objective of this three-year project is to stimulate economic growth and employment through promoting linkages between the tourism sector and related productive industries. The project will strengthen the processing capacity and market access of select agro-industries. Value adding activities in selected agro-industries and light manufacturing have the potential to lift rural population out of poverty through providing additional employment and income generating opportunities in addition to advancing country’s image abroad as an attractive tourist destination.