International Congress on World Civilizations, Historic Routes Kicks off in Bulgaria
The second International Congress on World Civilizations and Historic Routes kicked off here on Thursday, bringing together over 500 high-level delegates from countries and regions all over the world, Xinhua reported.
The two-day event would explore the possible ways in which world civilizations could be brought to life through tourism, in particular by making use of a network developed along historic routes, Bulgarian tourism minister Nikolina Angelkova said at the opening ceremony.
A special panel would discuss the role of governments and regional policies in the development of historic routes, "which requires a strong political will and effective transnational cooperation," Angelkova said.
Tourism has proven its potential as one of the main generators of global economic growth, accounting for 10.4 percent of global gross domestic product, and employing over 313 million people worldwide, the minister said.
Jaime Cabal, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Deputy Secretary-General, said in turn that cultural heritage has been shaping identities and everyday life.
Historic routes such as the Silk Road and Orient Express have inspired many travelers and become a powerful promotional tool and unique instrument to increase tourism competitiveness, he said.
Delegates from countries such as Iran, Greece, Turkey, Afghanistan, Italy, Spain, United States, United Arab Emirates and Cambodia participate in the event, jointly organized by Bulgaria's Ministry of Tourism and the UNWTO.
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