Key Focus Areas

Marketing and Promotion

To raise the profile of the Silk Road on the international stage, UNWTO has been collaborating with a wide range of partners, both from the public and private tourism sector. 

In recent years, different types of events have been organized – from high-level ministerial meetings such as the 8th UNWTO International Meeting on Silk Road Tourism in Thessaloniki and our annual Silk Road events at ITB Berlin to capacity building workshops and Task Force Meetings.

Additionally, UNWTO has worked with important partners such as Pilot ProductionsBBC 4 and Discovery Channel UK.


Capacity Building and Destination Management

The transition towards a service based economy poses both challenges and opportunities. A signal of economic maturity, it also implies the need to constantly innovate and excel in the deliverance of services, a feat that can only be accomplished by a highly qualified workforce.

Applied to the tourism industry, service excellence implies personal skills, customer service training, knowledge of the tourism product, and know-how in the field of tourism management – all areas in which we can support our Member States.

With experience in developing trainings in many Silk Road countries together with a strong group of UNWTO Affiliate Members and sister organizations such as UNESCO, the scope of activities developed can range from training of tour operators; skills training for heritage guides; the development of international marketing strategies, and marketing workshops.


Tourism Route Development

In terms of route development activities, two main ideas guide our work:

First of all, globalization, urbanization, the rise of new industries, and the spread of English as a global lingua franca have influenced every sphere of life, including tourism. Indeed, the signal effect of these changes is the ever-increasing salience of aspiration as a motivator of our actions and behaviour. As representatives of the tourism sector sufficiently know, “experiential travel”, the search for new experiences and destinations, is a global phenomenon on the rise, from which especially Silk Road destinations, who offer unique and untapped travel opportunities, can benefit from in the years to come.

Secondly, with rich and authentic experiences already in place, we see UNWTO’s role not so much in reinventing available routes from anew, but in boosting best-practice examples already taking place across the Silk Road.

Recently, our route development activities have been focused on developing the Western Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road.


Silk Road Tourism Research

Primary Silk Road tourism data is scarce or even non-existent, and by collecting information on the interests, needs, expectations, expenditure patterns and satisfaction levels of the international traveller, we aim to gain valuable source information on how to strengthen the Silk Road attributes of participating destinations.

Based on trainings and Visitor Surveys conducted in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in 2018, Member States gain important know-how on how to attract and improve services aimed at the international traveller, and how to plan associated tourism infrastructure and facilities, an area ranging from the hospitality industry to tourism products and available tours, in a targeted and cost-effective way.

Additional Information:

Silk Road Action Plan: For additional information on how UNWTO's work on the Silk Road has evolved over recent year, please click here.