Tourism is one of the significant sectors in the global economy, as it contributes not only to sustainable economic growth, but also to poverty alleviation and income generation in both developing and developed countries. It also fosters cross-cultural understanding and well-being among countries.

To enhance cooperation among the Member Countries in the area of tourism, the COMCEC Economic Summit, held on 9 November 2009 in İstanbul, decided to prioritize cooperation in this important field.

Tourism is also defined by the COMCEC Strategy as one of its cooperation areas. The Strategic Objective defined by the COMCEC Strategy is “Developing a sustainable and competitive tourism sector in the OIC Member Countries.” With a view to achieving this objective, the Strategy envisages five output areas, namely regulatory framework; training and capacity building programs; private sector involvement; community based tourism programs and marketing strategies.

Within the framework of the operationalization of the COMCEC Strategy, the Tourism Working Group was established. The WG provides a regular platform for producing and disseminating knowledge, sharing experiences and good practices, creating a common understanding and approximating policies in this field.

In order to enrich the discussions during the Working Group Meetings, analytical studies on the specific themes of the Meetings and “COMCEC Tourism Outlook” are prepared and submitted to WG Meetings. In addition, Proceedings of these Working Group Meetings, which reflect the outcomes of the Meetings, are submitted after all WG Meetings. All the documents submitted to Working Group Meetings are available on the COMCEC Website under the WG Section.

Furthermore, Islamic Conferences of Tourism Ministers (ICTM) have held nine meetings till now. Click for the more information the Ministerial Meetings and Tourism Coordination Committee Meetings.

The OIC/COMCEC Private Sector Tourism Forum is also established in order to bring private sector representatives together to discuss potential cooperation areas in the domain of tourism and identify common issues in the tourism sector. The Forum also serves as a regular communication channel for the private sector representatives to share their experience and knowledge. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism was designated as the Secretariat of the Forum. Please click for more information on the Forum.