Abstract: The article examines the efforts of the Turkic Council to increase tourism cooperation as one of the main means of integration of the Turkic space. The global trends in the sphere of tourism, the opportunities of its development in the Silk Road countries, as well as the main obstacles faced by them nowadays in this sphere are widely discussed.
Key words: tourism, Turkic Council, Silk Road countries, cooperation.
Tourism represents a concept that optimizes its popularity throughout the years. Thus, over the decades, it has been turned into a key driver for socio-economic progress. However, considering tourism as a means of cooperation is not something enough attention has been paid to so far. Construction of this linkage is essential for the regions that endeavor to increase the traffic of their visitors while striving to promote their regional touristic values worldwide. In this context, as far as revitalization of the significance of the traditional Silk Road is concerned, tourism prevails as an important tool possessing multi-dimensional assets.
As an international organization with regional focus, the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, shortly, Turkic Council, has recently added “tourism” in its effort to streamline cooperation among its Member States and in the region. Thus, since its establishment in 2009 with the signature of Nakhchivan Agreement by Heads of State of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey, the Turkic Council is fully involved in increasing the level of cooperation and has widened its horizons to encompass all areas among its Member States and in the region through various means. The Turkic Council considers cooperation as the main tool to providing peace, stability and prosperity in the region. In this respect, it pursues a comprehensive agenda of cooperation from foreign policy, culture, education, science, sports, diaspora to economy, transportation and customs among its Member States while developing relations with regional and international organizations on the issues of common interest. Within its multi-dimensional portfolio, tourism stands as a new cooperation area for the Organization. Despite its novelty, it contains a comprehensive agenda to make the Silk Road a well-established tourism brand.
In this article, the approach of the Turkic Council, pertaining to the role of tourism in the renewal of the Silk Road will be taken up. In this first part, the global trends of tourism will be analyzed while the prominence of the Silk Road for tourism will be touched upon. In the second part, the Turkic Council activities to boost cooperation in the region will be elaborated. The means and ways to turn the Silk Road region into a more attractive tourism destination will be discussed in the third part.
1) Tourism, its global trends and the Silk Road
In accordance with the inter-disciplinal character of “tourism”, its definition has been made in different ways. The root of the word is “tour” which has been derived from the Latin word “tornare” and the Greek word “tornos” that refers to the movement in a circle around a central point or axis. In this regard, the word tourism can be taken as a departure with the intention of turning. The process of giving an internationally recognized definition to tourism took a long while. Hence, with the joint efforts of UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) and UNSTAT (United Nations Statistics Division) , the deﬁnition of tourism was approved, with universal acceptance, in 1994. According to this definition, tourism means “the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for less than a year, for any main purpose (leisure, business or other personal purpose) other than to be employed by a resident entity in the country or place visited.” By definition, tourism has been distinguished from other forms of travel in terms of motivation of the journey, its destination, accessibility to the destination and the duration of stay. Under today’s circumstances where there are unlimited choices of tourism destinations, channeling motivation of tourists towards a particular region requires further efforts and additional attractiveness to offer.
Tourism means jobs and business opportunities for small and medium enterprises, the development of urban and rural areas and, if properly managed, the preservation and the promotion of regional natural and cultural heritage. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), “Travel & Tourism’s total contribution to the global economy in 2013 comprised 9.5% of global GDP (US $7 trillion) with a faster growth than other significant sectors such as financial and business services, transport and manufacturing”. It has left social, cultural and environmental footprints reaching almost every part of the world. Furthermore, nearly 266 million jobs were supported by Travel & Tourism in 2013, in other words,1 in 11 of all jobs in the world. This proves the importance and the value of the sector as a tool for economic development and job creation.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) long-term forecast, international tourist arrivals are expected to reach from the current 1 billion to 1.8 billion by 2030. 1.8 billion tourists mean 1.8 billion opportunities to bring wealth to local communities, to create links between people and to take serious responsibility in protecting world cultural and natural heritage. The UNWTO forecasted that “the arrivals in emerging economies are expected to surpass those in advanced economies by 2015. And In 2030, 57% of international arrivals will be in emerging economy destinations (versus 30% in 1980) and 43% in advanced economy destinations (versus 70% in 1980)”.Among other reasons, this might be related to the search of tourists for new destinations, new adventures, and sources of inspiration. Again according to the statistics, “for 2012, Asia and the Paciﬁc recorded the strongest growth with a 7% increase in arrivals, followed by Africa (+6%)”. Asia-Pacific region seems to further its share in the shift of tourist flow in the coming years, and the traditional Silk Road possesses an exceptional value and diversity of the tourism potential to mount the amount of this share if it is fully utilized. It constitutes an interesting option for tourists looking for something unusual.
The Silk Road described as the “greatest route of all time” formed the first bridge between the East and the West being a gateway for trade between ancient empires of China, India, Persia and Rome. Dating back to 200 BC, the route in its full capacity was a caravan line in East-West as well as North-South directions. Its length of 12,000 kilometers was also a channel for contact between people and cultures, stimulating exchange of dialogue, religion, art, ideas and technology. This interaction also reflected the names given to several cities in Central Asia. For instance, as a result of the settlement of Hindu traders in Central Asia, several cities’ names in this region are of Sanskrit origin. “Bukhara” is an example of which, since, most probably, derives from a Sanskrit word “vi-hara” which means “temple”. The mingling of populations along the Silk Road transmitted oral and written literature from one side to the other. Consequently, episodes of Molla Nasrettin or Nasrettin Hodja have become widely known as far a distance as Ethiopia. Afghanistan and Anatolia were spiritually connected by emigration of Mevlana Celaladdin Rumi from Balkh to Konya. The shadow play of “Karagöz” definitely traveled through the Silk Road to reach its final destination of Bursa, in Anatolia. This cross-cultural exchange also influenced architecture in the region. Accordingly, the decorations of Central Asia have found their places in the mosques and caravans of Anatolia and Iran.
Although the prominence of the Silk Road as a land route in world-wide trade started to diminish after 15th century with the discovery and utilization of new sea routes, its importance never disappeared. Today, with its historical and cultural heritage as well as natural and geographical diversity, the Silk Road constitutes a unique network of destinations with immense tourism potential that needs to be further exploited. The Silk Road countries possess attractive and diversified tourism products based on their outstanding natural and cultural heritage, which could be made more widely available for domestic and international tourists. However, materialization of this potential requires a full-fledged regional tourism strategy that includes items of capacity building, destination management, marketing, travel facilitation and heritage preservation. The Turkic Council attributes importance to each of these items while developing tourism cooperation.
2)Efforts of Turkic Council to Increase Tourism Cooperation
During the Third Summit of the Turkic Council held on the 16th of August, 2013, in Gabala, Azerbaijan; H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, in his address to the Council of Heads of State, brought to the attention of the Member States that “tourism” should be taken as an additional cooperation area in the portfolio of the Turkic Council. In his address, referring to Kazakhstan’s hosting EXPO-2017, he emphasized on potential benefits in tourism development for all Member States and proposed the establishment of a working group for this specific topic within the Turkic Council. By putting forward this proposal, he stressed the importance of exchange of experience and public-private partnership for such development. H.E. İlham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, supported the idea and suggested to take concerted action in promoting tourism destinations of the Turkic states through ways including jointly participating in tourism fair and exhibitions hosted by the Member States or organized in the third countries. Bringing up the uniqueness of Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Aral Lake and Issyk-Kul Lake in terms of their natural richness, he highlighted on devising joint projects to boost tourist flow to the region.
These suggestions were highly welcomed by H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, and H.E. Almazbek Atambayev ,President of Kyrgyzstan and the topic of the Turkic Fourth Summit to be held in Turkey was determined as tourism cooperation. Since then, the topic of “tourism” has been put on top of the Turkic Council agenda. Following-up the instructions of the Presidents, the Working Group consisting of experts from the Ministries in charge of tourism affairs was immediately established within the Turkic Council.
At the launch of this cooperative area, some objectives were set forth by the Turkic Council. Through increasing cooperation in tourism sector among the Member States, the Turkic Council does not intend only to raise the number of the touristic cross-visits among its Member States but also to promote regional touristic values to the third countries. Subsequently, contributing to the emergence of Silk Road destinations as an attractive tourism brand is one of its main goals. Therefore, the Turkic Council concentrates on how to raise the touristic profile of the Silk Road by promoting its comparative advantages such as cultural values; historical attractions; natural beauties; traditional handicrafts, dances, sports, music etc. Hence, this is clearly underlined in the agreed minutes of the Working Group meetings and of the First Ministerial meeting as well as in the Cooperation Protocol in Tourism signed at the First Ministerial meeting.
During the first Working Group meeting held on the 10th of December, 2013, the tourism experts agreed that cooperation among the Member States in tourism should be further maximized on topics such as the enhancement of promotion of the traditional Silk Road, the implementation of a joint destination marketing strategy; the coordinated improvement of service sector in tourism and the cooperation with relevant regional and international organizations. Therefore, they underlined the importance of ensuring cooperation between public and private sectors to enhance collaboration in tourism within the Turkic Council. Furthermore, stressing the significance of determining joint tourist destinations to make the Member States and the region touristically more attractive, they highlighted the need to develop a joint tour program called “Turkic Council-Modern Silk Road” as a pilot project. They urged preparation of joint vocational trainings and seminars in tourism sector. Furthermore, they called for coordinated participation in tourism fairs and exhibitions to be hosted by the Member States and held in the third countries.
In line with these decisions, the Joint Photo Exhibition promoting tourism destinations of the Member States took place between the 3rd and 5th of April, 2014 in Baku on the margins of 13thAzerbaijan International Tourism Fair (AITF-2014). During the event, photographs of the tourism destinations of the Turkic Council Member States located along the historic Silk Road were exhibited. The Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan Abulfaz Mr. Garayev and Secretary General of UNWTO Mr. Taleb Rifai were the first visitors to this exhibition. On the second day of the exhibition, President İlham Aliyev, also visited the Exhibition appreciating the immediate materialization of his own instruction.
Along with this Exhibition in the framework of First Joint Tourism Information Tour, a delegation comprised of public and private sectors, as well as media representatives of the Turkic Council Member States visited Baku, Sheki and Gabala between the 2nd and 6th of April, 2014. Following the Photo Exhibition, a delegation of Turkic Council Secretariat attended Seminar on “Developing Effective Tourism Clusters” held in Baku on the 3rd of April, 2014 organized on the margins of the 57th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe, as guest of the host country. On the 4th of April, 2014, the delegation participated in the 57th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe during which the projects of the Turkic Council in the field of tourism was announced to the audience.
The second Meeting of the Working Group and the First Meeting of the Ministers in Charge of Tourism of the Turkic Council Member States were hosted on the 10th and 11th of April, 2014 in Istanbul by Turkey . The representatives of private sectors from the respective Members States also attended the meeting. Along with the finalization of negotiation on the draft Joint Cooperation Protocol in Tourism, the participants discussed the modalities of preparation of the Joint Tour Package “Turkic Council-Modern Silk Road” on the basis of the draft Concept Paper distributed before by the Secretariat to the Member States through the diplomatic channels. During the First Ministerial Meeting, the Ministers instructed the relevant authorities to prepare the joint tour package with a tourist guide. Accordingly, they authorized the establishment of a Task Force to conduct field visits throughout 2015 to the Member States in order to determine the destinations of the said package. They agreed that Kazakhstan, having a pivotal location in Central Asia, would lead the Task Force where representatives of public and privates sectors would be assigned.
Furthermore, during the meeting, urging the continuation of similar activities such as the organization of joint photo exhibitions and tourism information visits to the Member States, the Ministers underlined the importance of capacity building particularly through experience sharing in tourism sector. In this vein, they decided that Turkey will conduct tourism vocational trainings on the service sector for the Member States in the upcoming period. Moreover, the Ministers agreed on cooperating with the UNTWO, that works on the revitalization of the Silk Road as a tourism destination, for the issues of common interests. Moreover, the idea of creating a Tourism Business Association under the aegis of the Turkic Council providing a framework for public private sector collaboration has also entered the agenda of tourism cooperation during the Ministerial meeting. Upon the suggestion of Mr. Garayev, it is decided that the Second Ministerial Meeting would take place in Azerbaijan in Spring 2015. Furthermore, it is agreed that Turkey would host the following photo exhibitions in December 2014 in Izmir and January 2015 in Istanbul. At the end of the meeting, the Ministers signed the Cooperation Protocol in Tourism which involves the principles of cooperation and structures the road map ahead within the Turkic Council . The outcome of this meeting as well as the Joint Cooperation Protocol will be submitted to the Council of Heads of State at the 4th Summit of the Turkic Council.
3)Turning the Silk Road region into a well-established tourism brand
Protocol of Cooperation in Tourism that was signed at the First Turkic Council Ministers in charge of Tourism Affairs clearly puts forward the challenges and the opportunities that the Silk Road has on the way of becoming a well-established tourism destination. It draws attention to the need of further dissemination of the historical, spiritual and cultural values of this traditional road in conjunction with all stakeholders in the field of tourism since the individual efforts of the Member States remains limited in this context.
The Member States of the Turkic Council have significant tourism potentials the other Silk Road possess. In 2012, around 35 million tourists visited Turkey, while this number was almost 2 million for Azerbaijan, 5 million for Kazakhstan and 2.5 million for Kyrgyzstan. These are quite encouraging numbers, however, not sufficient when we compare them with the global trends. Even if tourism sector in our Member States is getting developed each year, there is still room for further improvement. Thus, according to the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum for 2013, Turkey ranks 46th among 140 countries, although it is the 6th most visited country in the world. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan are respectively in 78th , 88th and 111th in this ranking of competitiveness. Accordingly, the intention of the Turkic Council is to generate competitiveness of the Member States through increased cooperation.
The need for amelioration of competitiveness in tourism sector is not specific to the Member States of the Turkic Council. There are serious impediments to the healthy growth of tourism along the Silk Road. The lack of tourism related infrastructure and sufficient tourism investments as well as consistent tourism strategies can be counted among these impediments. The implementation of restrictive visa regimes by some Silk Road countries remains also a serious hurdle for the development of tourism in the region. According to the joint research conducted by the UNWTO and WTTC, “improving visa processes could generate an additional US$ 206 billion in tourism receipts and create as many as 5.1 million jobs by 2015 in the G20 economies”. During the last years although some steps were taken for travel facilitation along the Silk Road through improved visa measures, visa regimes still constitute a significant challenge to attract further tourists to the region. The accessibility with appropriate modes of transport, preferably in a direct way, is a central element of any sustainable tourism policy. Unfortunately, the Silk Road countries are not very promising on this issue yet. Developing transit routes including air, sea, rail and highways to all Silk Road cities could play a significant role in boosting the Silk Road tourism and contributing to enrich cultural, economic and trade exchanges and people to people contacts. The service sector constitutes another problematic subject for the region. This sector that is a key area enabling the continuality of tourist flow does not present high quality standards in all countries along the Silk Road. Moreover, the marketing strategy for promotion of the region stands also moderate in full-utilization of its comparative advantages in comparison with the well-established and sophisticated marketing strategies of other regions. Therefore, harmonization of tourism policies and implementation of joint projects together with creative collaboration are essential in tackling these problems and providing a sustainable tourism development along the Silk Road.
While realizing all its meetings and planning of its future projects, the same question has been constantly asked by the Turkic Council:“How it is possible to make the Member States and the region in tourism sector more distinctive and competitive?” Because by definition, potential Silk Road travelers who are well-educated and curious, are not mainstream travelers and they look for something out of the box.
Ecological, bird-watching, adventure and hunting tourism prevail as alternative tourism branches that should be further ameliorated in the region and heard worldwide. Imagine a tourist from New York spending the night in a “Kyrgyz yurt”, which does not have any modern amenities but is cool in summer and warm in winter thanks to the fabric used, waking up in the morning to the sound of rare birds, enjoying horse riding during the day and listening to the oldest Turkic epic of Kyrgyz hero Manas, sung and told by an “akın” (troubadour) with the help of its musical instrument “dombra”. Can she or he forget this unique experience? Thus, the entire natural landscape in this part of the world offers a vast opportunity that facilitates diversification of tourism and reveals its creativity. On the other hand, space tourism that President Nazarbayev intends to launch in Kazakhstan brings a new dimension to the discussion on diversification of tourism. This idea should be supported by all states located along the Silk Road taking into account its potential benefits for the whole region. It could also be combined with Silk Road destinations taking the curious tourist from caravans to spaceships.
Of course, cultural heritage tourism constitutes a significant tourism branch in the region. The Silk Road states share a real treasure of cultural heritage dating back to 200 BC to be better protected and promoted in the world. In addition to this, tourism can play a significant role in the preservation, conservation and promotion of this treasure. Unfortunately there are many historical cities, beauties of history, that disappeared from the world map due to lack of physical protection. In order to avoid similar occurrences, joint action of the Silk Road states is needed for the inclusion of more elements in the UNESCO tangible and intangible heritage lists from the region.
On the other hand, the Turkic Council considers that traditional sports tourism can also be taken as one of the prospective trends of tourism market. Hence, the Turkic Council works with great zeal with the relevant authorities of Kyrgyzstan on revitalization of Nomad Games that is specific to Central Asia, Parts of Russia, Mongolia and the Caucasus. In this vein, the first festival of Nomad Games is planned to be held in September 2014 in Issyk-Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan. Regularizing of the “Nomad Games” would not only regenerate it, but also can extend it into a tourist attraction.
Furthermore, MICE tourism constitutes another important asset for stimulating the tourist flow to the region. Therefore, hosting major international events, conferences, meetings, exhibitions etc. by the Silk Road States will contribute to this end. For instance, hosting EXPO-2017 will not only provide Kazakhstan with the opportunity of marketing its tourism sector, but also raise further awareness on the touristic values of the region.
In this variety of existing instruments that will pave the way to raise attractiveness of the Silk Road States, enhanced regional cooperation seems to be the missing element to ensure the region’s future competitiveness. Therefore, taking joint collaborative action is essential to fully reap the benefits of tourism potential along this traditional route. Making further efforts for the preparation of innovative and enjoyable joint tour packages can be considered as a solid step to this end. Discovering Samarkand, Merv, Almaty, Osh, Shaki or Istanbul, or other Silk Road cities all together will be more interesting for tourists to enjoy the spiritual aspect of this traditional route.
After the disembarkation of the curious tourist at Istanbul airport, give him a day to enjoy architecture wonders of Istanbul, then take him to Konya, the ancient capital of Anatolian Seljuk State, show him the caravanserais in and around the city, fly him to Baku to visit Ateshgah “the ancient pilgrimage location” where the fire has always been eternal, let him spend the night in Sheki, a traditional silk producing city. Following these visits, introduce him to Central Asia. Start with Turkistan (Yesi), let him digest the universal teachings of Ahmet Yesevi and the spiritual atmosphere where tens of toms of saints are situated, later take him to ancient cities along the Silk Road until Osh, there show the view of the ancient city from the mountain of the Prophet Salomon and let him appreciate the modesty of the founder of Baburid Empire in India by taking him to one of his dwellings. This will be definitely an unforgettable experience for our curious traveler and for those who will listen to his stories.
There are already some projects in the joint destination marketing across the Silk Road, however, obtaining effective results could not be achieved yet. Thus, considering the distance from one side to the other of the traditional Silk Road passing through more than 24 cities and taking into account geographic as well as changing political and economic conditions of the region, success is not possible overnight. Therefore, the sustainability in the political will of the Silk Road states to make the Silk Road a well-established tourism brand is required. In addition to this, engagement of tour operators and tour guides in planning of these packages is also important for their formulation in a more concrete way taking into account the existing and possible touristic demands of the sector. Last but not least, the support of relevant international and regional organizations to be provided in a complementary way will facilitate the transformation of the region into a raising tourism destination.
In today’s globalized world, tourism has turned into a significantly competitive sector where tourists strive to experience something unusual and original. Therefore, tourism does not mean “ a departure with the intention of turning back” anymore, it is rather a journey of discovery. The traditional Silk Road is very generous in discoveries. However, inherent potential of the Silk Road states has not yet manifested itself in desirable levels. Rich tourism resources along this tradition route remain to be tapped. Furthering efforts on designing joint clustering strategies is essential to this end. Engaging all stakeholders for the tourism cooperation including private sector, regional and international organizations specialized in tourism industry has a key role to play in increasing touristic attractiveness of the region. Preparation of joint tour packages is of vital importance to enhance such attractiveness. Existence of some alternative tour packages with appropriate transportation and accommodation facilities will stimulate the interests of tourists to visit cities along the Silk Road in a combined manner.
In this respect, the Turkic Council considers regional cooperation and regional ownership as the only instrument for transformation of the “traditional Silk Road” into a raising tourism star. Therefore, similar to other cooperation fields on its agenda, it attributes importance to secure collaboration in the area of tourism with other regional states as well as relevant regional and international organizations. Having this in mind, it is determined to generate further cooperation and coordination among its Member States and in the region on this subject matter over the years ahead.
Among the projects of the Turkic Council pertaining to tourism area, materialization of the joint tour package called “the Turkic Council – Modern Silk Road” takes precedence. Because visiting one city across the Silk Road can never be sufficient. Once tourists start to discover some cities of the Silk Road with their natural and historical heritage, they will keep on choosing this destination for touristic purposes. Through this way, the traditional Silk Road will be revitalized as a channel of contact for dialogue, culture and ideas serving “common great gains” for the future.
BECKWITH Christopher I., Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Asia from the Bronze Age to the Present, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2009.
HØYE Karl G., AALL Carlo, “Sustainable Mobility and Sustainable Tourism”, HALL Micheal, HIGHAM James, (eds.) in Tourism, Recreation and Climate Change, Channelview Press, London, 2005.
RAHUL Ram, Central Asia: An Outline History, Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi, 1997.
Official Documents, Reports and News
Address of H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakistan, to the 3rd Summit of the Turkic Council, 16 August 2013, Gabala, Azerbaijan.
Address of H.E. İlham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the 3rd Summit of the Turkic Council, 16 August 2013, Gabala, Azerbaijan.
Agreed Minutes of the First Meeting of the Turkic Council Ministers in Charge of Tourism Affairs, 11 April 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.
Agreed Minutes of the Second Meeting of the Working Group in Tourism Cooperation, 10 April 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.
Agreed Minutes of the First Meeting of the Working Group on Tourism Cooperation, 10 December 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.
BLANKE Jennifer and CHIESA Thea (eds.), The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013: Reducing Barriers to Economic Growth and Job Creation Insight Report, World Economic Forum Publication, Geneva, 2013.
Cooperation Protocol in Tourism signed at the First Meeting of the Turkic Council Ministers in Charge of Tourism Affairs, 11 April 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.
International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008, Approved by United Nations Statistical Commission, Report No:ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/83/Rev.1, Madrid-New York, 2008.
NURZHAN Galiya, “Kazakhstan Wants To Develop Space Tourism”, 29 December 2013, the Astana Times.
Report of the Turkic Council Secretariat for the Visit to Azerbaijan for Tourism Cooperation, 2-5 April 2014, Baku, Azerbaijan.
Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2014 World Report, World Tourism and Travel Council’s Publication, London, 2014, pp.i-ii,. http://www.wttc.org/site_media/uploads/downloads/world2014.pdf, accessed on 15.05.204.
Tourism Visa Openness Report for the Silk Road Countries , Report prepared for the 4th UNWTO Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting ,ITB Berlin, 5 March 2014.
UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2013 Edition, UNWTO Publication, Madrid, 2013.
The Turkic Council,www.turkkon.org.
The World Bank Data, International Tourism-Number of Arrivals, http://data.worldbank.org.
The UNWTO, http://www2.unwto.org/.
 For detailed information see official website of the Turkic Council,www.turkkon.org.
 Karl G. Høye, Carlo Aall, “Sustainable Mobility and Sustainable Tourism”, Micheal Hall and James Higham, (eds.) in Tourism, Recreation and Climate Change, Channelview Press, London, 2005, pp. 260-261.
 International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008, Approved by United Nations Statistical Commission, Report No:ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/83/Rev.1, Madrid-New York, 2008, pp. 2-5, http://unstats.un.org/unsd/trade/ IRTS/IRTS% 202008%20unedited.pdf, accessed on 15.05.2014.
 Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2014 World Report, World Tourism and Travel Council’s Publication, London, 2014, pp.i-ii,. http://www.wttc.org/site_media/uploads/downloads/world2014.pdf, accessed on 15.05.2014.
 UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2013 Edition, UNWTO Publication, Madrid, 2013, pp. 2-3, http://dtxtq4w60xqpw. cloudfront.net /sites/all/files/pdf/unwto_highlights13_en_lr_0.pdf, accessed on 16.05, 2014.
 Ibid., pp. 14.
 Ibid., pp. 3.
 Christopher I. Beckwith, Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Asia from the Bronze Age to the Present, Princeton University Press,Princeton, 2009, pp. 328.
 Ram Rahul, Central Asia: An Outline History, Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi, 1997, pp. 16.
 Address of H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakistan, to the 3rd Summit of the Turkic Council, 16 August 2013, Gabala, Azerbaijan.
Address of H.E. İlham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the 3rd Summit of the Turkic Council, 16 August 2013, Gabala, Azerbaijan.
 Agreed Minutes of the First Meeting of the Working Group on Tourism Cooperation, 10 December 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.
 Report of the Turkic Council Secretariat for the Visit to Azerbaijan for Tourism Cooperation, 2-5 April 2014, Baku, Azerbaijan.
 Agreed Minutes of the Second Meeting of the Working Group in Tourism Cooperation, 10 April 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.
 Agreed Minutes of the First Meeting of the Turkic Council Ministers in Charge of Tourism Affairs, 11 April 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.
 Cooperation Protocol in Tourism signed at the First Meeting of the Turkic Council Ministers in Charge of Tourism Affairs, 11 April 2014, Istanbul, Turkey.
 Jennifer Blanke and Thea Chiesa (eds.), The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013: Reducing Barriers to Economic Growth and Job Creation Insight Report, World Economic Forum Publication, Geneva, 2013, pp. xvi., http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_TT_Competitiveness_Report_2013.pdf, accessed on 16.05.2014.
 Tourism Visa Openness Report for the Silk Road Countries , Report prepared for the 4th UNWTO Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting ,ITB Berlin, 5 March 2014 , pp.8, http://dtxtq4w60xqpw.cloudfront.net/sites/all/files/ pdf/2014_tourism_visa_openness_report_for_silk_road_countries_2nd_prinitng_may2014.pdf, accessed on 12.05.2014.
 Galiya Nurzhan, “Kazakhstan Wants To Develop Space Tourism”, 29 December 2013, the Astana Times, http://www.astanatimes.com/2013/01/kazakhstan-wants-to-develop-space-tourism/, accessed on 14.05.2014.
Источник: Turkic Аcademy, журнал GLOBAL-Turk, Pelin Musabay Baki, Project Director at the Turkic Council