United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) Committee on Tourism and Sustainable Tourism Meeting which gathered nearly 120 participants from the Middle East and West Asia (MEWA) region, was held on 1-2 August 2017 and hosted by Konya Metropolitan Municipality.
After the four sessions, “Sustainable Tourism for Development in the MEWA Region”, “Sustainable Culture Tourism”, “Tourism as an Instrument of Social Inclusion” and “Sustainable City Tourism”, the meeting ended with the last session where the executive decisions of
UCLG-MEWA Committee on Tourism were taken and the Presidency of the Committee were assigned.
Mr. Mehmet DUMAN, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General, one of the opening speakers of the program stated that the purpose of the meeting was based on this question: “What can be done for the development of sustainable tourism?” and emphasized that the local authorities have an important role on this issue.
Mr. Mohamed SAADIEH, President of the Union of Dannieh Municipalities, Co-President of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Tourism and Co-President of UCLG-MEWA, expressed that this meeting will be an important tool to implement the targets set in 2015 for the solutions of social problems.
As the last speaker of the opening session Mr. Tahir AKYÜREK, Mayor of Konya Metropolitan Municipality and Co-President of UCLG, mentioned the tourism’s contribution on world peace and intercountry relations after giving the general information about the mission and vision of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Tourism.
Sustainable Tourism for Development in the MEWA Region
During the meeting, Sustainable Development Goals and tourism approaches for development in the MEWA Region were discussed; Ms. Günnur DİKER, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)-World Committee on Global Ethics Member, mentioned five principles that should be adopted by local authorities. Within the same session, the concept of brand city was defined as well as the tourism projects and good practices were presented by the brand cities.
New President of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Tourism: Eyyübiye Municipality
In the last session, executive and technical issues of the Committee were evaluated during the meeting of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Tourism; the program of activities of the Committee for 2017-2018 period was adopted unanimously. After the new membership requests, the numbers of the Committee members increased to 25; the Presidency of the Committee was transferred from Konya Metropolitan Municipality to Eyyübiye Municipality.
The new President of the Committee announced that the next committee meeting will be held in Eyyübiye-Şanlıurfa; the date and the theme of the meeting will be announced to all members in a written letter.
After the administrative session, Mr. Mehmet DUMAN, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General,
Mr. Mohamed SAADIEH, President of the Union of Dannieh Municipalities, Co-President of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Tourism and Co-President of UCLG-MEWA, and Mr. Abdülmelik ÖTEGEN, Deputy Secretary General of Konya Metropolitan Municipality, made their closing speeches. The meeting ended with the emphasis that resting and travelling are also rights and UCLG-MEWA Committee on Tourism is the only voice to support economic development with tourism.