Varanasi to be 1st cultural and tourism capital of SCO

The holy city of Varanasi showcasing India’s culture and traditions over the ages will be declared the first Cultural and Tourism Capital of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

The Beijing-headquartered Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an eight-member economic and security alliance comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

Varanasi will become the Cultural and Tourism Capital of the SCO for 2022-23 under a new rotating initiative by the eight-member organisation to promote people-to-people contacts and tourism among the member states.

India hosted the Head of the Government of the SCO meet in 2020. Kazakhstan has announced a visa-free policy for tourists from India and other countries, he said, adding that the SCO members have rich resources with respect to tourism which should be explored.