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Encouraged by renewed interest in the Silk Road - for cultural exchange, trade and tourism - UNWTO decided to revive the ancient routes as a tourism concept, uniting three continents once more in a project encompassing over 12.000 km

The Silk Road, commonly known as the first global trade route in history, had a scope and importance far greater than the simple exchange of goods. Indeed, the myriad of interconnected routes served as a vehicle for the fruitful exchange of arts, religion, cultures, ideas and technology. Many important developments, in fields ranging from mathematics and philosophy to architecture and gastronomy, were only made possible thanks to the intrepidness of pioneers eager to explore and overcome man-made boundaries and natural determinants.In present time, and building upon a natural and cultural wealth spanning thousands of years, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is in a position to revive and give a new significance to a route capable of transforming the way we think about and relate to travel. By collaborating in areas of mutual interest, Silk Road Member States and private sector tourism stakeholders are in a unique position to create new opportunities and tourism initiatives capable of favouring sustained and healthy growth.

With initiatives dating back to 1994, UNWTO was an early advocate of the tourism potential of the Silk Road. Today, 34 Silk Road Member States (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, DPR Korea, Rep. Korea, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan (as of February 2018)) from Europe, Africa, Central Asia and Asia & the Pacific, in addition to UNWTO Affiliate Members from around the globe, work together to promote the Silk Road routes as a transnational tourism adventure.

The concept of a Silk Road tourism project was first raised at UNWTO's General Assembly in Indonesia in 1993

Together we aim to maximize the benefits of tourism development for local communities, stimulate investment and promote the conservation of the route's natural and cultural heritage by focusing on following areas of work:






The Silk Road Task Force ensures that all Member States are duly represented and have the opportunity to provide input into the Programme.

The Task Force group is also responsible for:

  • Providing timely feedback on UNWTO Silk Road programme strategies and action plans

  • Discuss and endorse the Silk Road Action Plan

  • Ensure the coordinated implementation of the Action Plan, including strategies for immediate and longer-term action

  • Promote coherent and coordinated messaging and information sharing

  • Share and exchange know-how and best practices

Following Member States have nominated a Silk Road Task Force Representative (as of February 2017, enlisted Member States are grouped according to UNWTO's organizational structure):

Europe: Armenia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzystan, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Spain, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Asia & The Pacific: Bangladesh, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia and Pakistan

Middle East: Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria.


  • 8th UNWTO Silk Road Task Force meeting - Kayseri, Turkey (April 2018)

  • 7th UNWTO Silk Road Task Force meeting - Valencia, Spain (March 2017)

  • 6th UNWTO Silk Road Task Force meeting - Urmia, Islamic Republic of Iran (April 2016)

  • 5th UNWTO Silk Road Task Force Meeting - Seoul, Republic of Korea (April 2015)

  • 4th UNWTO Silk Road Task Force Meeting - Tbilisi, Georgia (July 2014)

  • 3rd UNWTO Silk Road Task Force Meeting - Baku, Azerbaijan (April 2013)

  • 2nd UNWTO Silk Road Task Force Meeting - WTM London 2012

  • 1st UNWTO Silk Road Task Force Meeting - WTM London 2011


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