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Llotja de la seda de València

1st April 2015 Spain was incorporated as the 32º participant country in the Silk Road Programme by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO). A proposal that, through the Ministry of Industry, raised the Valencian Government with the support of Universitat de València.

Universitat de València is the only Spanish academic institution that becomes part of Centre Board member in the World Tourism Organisation. The WTO is formally connected with United Nations since 1976, being an specialised agency since 2003. Encouraged by the interest of the cultural exchange, commerce and tourism, the WTO working together with UNESCO decided to reinforce the ancient roads as a touristic concept, uniting 3 continents and offering a travel content based in cultural and natural heritage and in trips diversity (land and maritime roads).

As a result of its commitment, Universitat de València, as Centre Board member in the WTO, through the Office of the Vice-Principal for International  Relations and Cooperation, is responsible for coordinating a number of actions related to strategy development for the promotion of the established objects in Silk Road Programme.

We work on this through various perspectives: the touristic one as a OMT member, the cultural through UNESCO chair of Development Studies (consolidated since 1994 by signing an agreement with UNESCO and Universitat de València), the international expansion to strengthen contact with Asian countries via Confucius Institute-UV, and the academic one as a member of the Silk Road University Network. It seeks the restoration and the appreciation of the Silk Road immense historical value, prmoting education, research and cultural dimension by means of exchange activities and institutional collaboration. It works in 4 defined areas: dena network (UPSUN) for the institutional area, research and training dimension, social and student dimension through network student union (USSUN) and music through Silk Road programme.

In this respect, it is striking the firm actions towards internationalisation of the Universitat de València through signing agreements with Silk Road universities, as well as emphasizing possibilities that offer mobility fo students, professors and administrative staff the Erasmus programme + international KA 107.

The Silk Road objective is to promote the development of a sustainable tourism and to preserve the cultural and natural heritage of this historic road, apart from keeping alive the ethnographic memory and fostering the ideas and knowledge exchange with other regions. Thus, Valencia is a referent among Western Silk Roads because of its linkages kept between the city and the commercial silk roads. The entry of Spain in the Silk Road Programme of WTO means the development of a new touristic product by keeping the ethnographic memory of the cities and places in Spain related to sericulture and its commercialisation, enhancing its heritage value and its recovery and development of this tourist reference. Similarly, it will help to promote the enrichning ideas and knowledge woth other regions, boosting links with other countries and civilisations.

To this end and within the commitment that Universitat de València has with the valencian society and its cultural heritage, an action protocol has been signed  with the Valencia Tourist Agency. Last 24 November 2015, Universitat de València, during its governing council, signed an action protocol between the Valencia Tourist Agency, Valencia City Council, Valencian Department of Education and Culture, Valencia/Mediterranean UNESCO Centre, Hortensia Herrero Foundation, Colegio del Arte Mayor de la Seda (Silk School of Fine Arts), Consejo Superior de Cámaras de la Comunitat Valenciana (Valencian Community Higher ChambersCommittee), for counselling and organising joint actions in the Silk Road development. This agreement, via Valencia Tourist Agency, poses as strategic axis the boost of cultural tourism in order to achieve value and promotion of the culture, traditions, history, art and cultural, natural and intangible heritage. The study and the recognition of the historical value of Silk Road is an essential part of this strategy. Silk Road is a living heritage of the Valencian Community that able to link past and present. Commercial contacts and cultural and economic exchange has encouraged the inclusion of valencian lands in the Silk Road, between East and West. It has left an important heritage, such as Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange) and Colegio del Arte Mayor de la Seda (Silk School of Fine Arts) and an heritage that survives today through crafts related to the silk production.

These activities coordinated by  Vice-Principal for International  Relations and Cooperation of Universitat de València, scientific meetings, investigations, touristic studies, exhibitions, inventory of the silk cultural heritage, etc. They work in conjunction with academic centres responsible for promoting these activities (Faculty of Economics, through Tourism, Faculty of Geography and History, Universitat de València Confuncius Institute), and other centres, departments, institutes and research groups that are joining.

Road Countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, San Marino, Armenia, Azerbaiyan, Bangladesh, China, North Korea, South Korea, Egypt, Spain, Georgia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.