A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Another OIC joke?|
|10/10/02 at 01:41:00|
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd receives OIC tourism ministers who came to attend the third OIC Conference of Tourism Ministers in Riyadh on Wednesday.
OIC spurs tourism, wants anti-Muslim bias to go
By Javid Hassan, Arab News Staff
RIYADH, 10 October — Tourism in Muslim countries is expected to hit big time under a new OIC strategy that seeks to promote places of historical importance, organize international exhibitions and set up training facilities, all with a major role for the private sector to play.
The third Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers, which concluded here yesterday, also called for closer cooperation among OIC member states to promote tourism.
The 57 ministers attending the conference called for easing discriminatory measures against Muslims at entry points into some countries.
The concluding session, chaired by Prince Sultan ibn Salman, secretary-general of the Supreme Commission for Tourism, elected Saudi Arabia chairman of the conference for two years and approved the declaration of Makkah as the cultural capital of the Islamic world. Riyadh was named the cultural capital of the Middle East in 2000.
The conference elected Senegal chairman of the fourth OIC Tourism Ministers’ Conference for the year 2004.
The conference resolved to hold of tourism exhibitions, beginning with an exposition in Turkey next year, followed by similar events in Lebanon (2005) and Egypt (2007).
It was agreed that Iran would allow overflights by the Iraqi national carrier for carrying pilgrims during Haj or Umrah. The Iraqi delegation distributed at the conference illustrated brochures of the Islamic holy shrines in Iraq.
The conference highlighted the importance of promoting historical places in the Islamic world as tourist destinations. To this end, Saudi Arabia and Syria will coordinate in the formulation of a strategy to market historical places and archaeological monuments.
The conference adopted the Riyadh Declaration as a successor to the Isfahan Declaration passed at the First Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers held in the Iranian city Isfahan in October 2000. The Isfahan Declaration had underlined the importance of promoting tourism among OIC member states.
This was followed by the Second Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers held in Kuala Lumpur last year culminating in the Kuala Lumpur Program of Action. Prince Sultan ibn Salman suggested that a follow-up committee be set up to ensure implementation of the ministers’ recommendations.
The conference noted that tourism promotion was essential not only from the economic point of view but in light of the current international situation as well. It welcomed Malaysia’s initiative for setting up an OIC Center for Tourism Development to be financed by it.
By another resolution, the conference endorsed the idea of setting up technical training programs to hone the skills of employees in the tourism sector. The conference said Islamic tourism experts should meet and work out a strategy for an action plan. A proposal in this regard will be submitted at the next meeting of tourism ministers scheduled to be held in Iran from May 23 to 25.
By another resolution, it called upon the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to accord priority in its budgeting for tourism-related infrastructure development programs in member states.
The conference recommended that the private sector should be closely involved in the development of tourism.
It decided to organize a forum for the private sector tourism promoters once every two years. It was decided that the first such meeting should take place in Riyadh next year in cooperation with the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The proposed meeting would focus on new ideas on what needs to be done to use the latest technology.
The conference expressed grave concern over the bloody events in Palestine resulting from Israel’s blatant acts of aggression that have devastated the Palestinian economy and dealt a severe blow to infrastructure, particularly of tourism .
It reaffirmed the importance of preserving Al Quds as the future capital of Palestine. By another resolution it condemned any act of terrorism anywhere in the world.
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board