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Welcome to Uzbekistan

posted 2 Mar 2012, 02:31 by Webmaster Ambasciata
There are plenty of examples in the world when the tourism industry is considered the main source of the state revenue. In Uzbekistan, having huge tourism potential, this sphere increases its contribution in providing economic prosperity of the country. Due to tourism Uzbekistan gets acquiring new friends and partners abroad. Last year the country was visited by more than a million foreign guests. In the nearest future it is planned to increase their number to at least 300 thousand people. The tourist infrastructure of the country carries on extending its capacities.
International partner
Unique architectural monuments of Bukhoro, Samarqand, Quqon, Shahrisabz, Termiz and Khiva. Trekking and riding tours on Qizilqum and Qoraqum deserts. Heliskiing in snowy mountains of Western Tian-Shan. Rock climbing. Bewitching nature preserves and health resorts. And another advantage is the excellent geographic location in the center of the continent on the world-known Great Silk Road. All this is quite attractive for foreign visitors.
Significant position of the country in development of tourism on the historical transcontinental route is attested by that this year Uzbekistan has been chosen as member of the Executive Council of UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organization). It allows to promote intensively the tourist brand Great Silk Road across the globe.  
One of the major actions in this work is the annual Tashkent International Fair Tourism on Silk Road that turned a key factor in promoting national tourist product in the international market. It attracted not only professionals interested in the promotion of the tourist brand Great Silk Road, but connoisseurs of cultural-educating and active types of tourism in countries the Road laid across. The Fair was participated by tour operators and agents, major network hotel complexes and private hotels, health resorts and sanatoriums, transport companies and air carriers, global booking systems, providers of travel business software and other travel services, museums, as well as entertainment industry.
This year the fair was combined with mega-info-tour, the new marketing initiative of the National Company Uzbekturizm directed to the popularization of the tourist products of Uzbekistan abroad. It is involved about 500 foreign travel agencies and about hundred journalists from over thirty countries. Guests were able to get acquainted on one platform with tourist opportunities of each region of the republic, traditional cuisine and crafts of peoples living in the territory of Uzbekistan.
National and foreign companies have concluded approximately thousand contracts and deals on cooperation. Partners of the NC Uzbekturizm, the key player in the travel industry of Uzbekistan, have been growing in number as well. At the days of Tashkent International Tourism Fair there was signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the State Secretariat on Issues of Trade, Crafts, Small and Medium Enterprises, Tourism and Services, Professions and Consumption Issues of France. It serves the strengthening of cooperation between countries in tourism sphere and increasing the tourist streams in both directions.   
These days the Uzbekturizm participates in the London International Tourism Fair where the company represents the opportunities of Uzbekistan and new projects that would assist in attracting new tourist streams to the country. New initiatives include the installation of guideboards in places the Great Silk Road passed. These guideboards will help those who are willing to travel along the Silk Road route for to get familiarized with all places of interest and peculiarities of living mode of locals.
New Uzbekistan
Today foreign tourists basically choose cultural-informative tours on cities of Bukhoro, Samarqand, Khiva, Tashkent. At the recent time it is noted the growth of interest of tourists in historical monuments of Termiz and Surkhondaryo region, as well as Quqon. The further use of the tourist potential of the republic envisages the development in these cities of the network of modern hotels, catering centers and service points. Meanwhile, local travel agencies bend much effort on popularization of other directions of traveling and entertainment.
One of the less known directions is the dynamically developing Navoi region. The territory has historical monuments as well. One of them is the monument of ancient writing – Behistun inscriptions. The region has good chances for developing ecological tourism, at Aydarko’l and To’dako’l lakes. Riding on camelback along boundless steppes and deserts is also interesting type of traveling.    
Health-improving tourism is getting developed also. The country has tens of health resorts and sanatoriums. The most popular are health resorts in Jizzakh, Tashkent, Qashqadaryo and Surkhondaryo regions. It is noteworthy that local mineral waters and therapeutic natural-climate factors as better as those foreign ones. In addition, all domestic health resorts have been reconstructed and beautified. Now they have all conditions for health recreation and rest that meet high international requirements. Task-oriented work on involving young foreign tourists to the country. This category of tourists could be interested with high mountain resort zones of Chorvoq, Chimyon and Beldersoy. These areas with bewitching nature have all conditions for active rest, including extreme travel such as trekking and kiting. 
Upgrading tendency
Popularization of tourist routes of the country abroad to a large extent depends on the development of tourist infrastructure. In this turn a set of measures are undertaking in Uzbekistan. The national network of tour operators gets developed. The tourist service market has about 800 organizations providing comfortable stay of tourists within the country.
The hotel service grows in level as well. Today, 260 hotels function in the country offering modern European level of service, private hotels for those who are willing to get closer acquainted with living mode of locals. In recent years the tendency of intensive growth is outlined in hotel industry in Namangan, Navoi, Nukus and other cities seeking to become tourist centers of the country. 
Remarkably, the existing hotels give much attention to modernization and introduction of advanced technologies of servicing and they supported by the NC Uzbekturizm. Thus, currently the company carries on negotiations with specialists of the World Tourism Organization on conducting workshops and training seminars for domestic companies on the issues of introduction of energy-efficient technologies into hotel industry.
The young generation of specialists graduating from professional colleges takes an active part in increasing the quality of tourist service. For the last ten years the country has put into operation eleven professional colleges specialized on preparing professionals for travel industry. All colleges have modern training shops in the form of hotel rooms, kitchens with all necessary facilities for cooking dishes of various nations and modern photo studios and other equipments necessary for training specialists for service industry.  
Significant role in improving skills of specialists working in travel industry plays workshops organized by the NC Uzbekturizm under the aegis of World Tourism Organization. Thus, within the recently held International Tourism Fair, the executive director of affiliate members of UNWTO Javier Blanco and UNWTO program coordinator Dmitry Ilyin conducted the seminar on theme Innovative Solutions Applied for Development of Travel Industry at which they briefed the attendees on tendencies of development on the direction.
Traveling on roads is getting more comfortable not only because of the procurement and use of modern special tourist buses but of the development of road infrastructure. The complex of measures, approved by the Decree of the President Islam Karimov, envisages the construction in recent future of modern motels and camping for full-fledged rest of drivers and travelers, as well as motor transport technical service stations. By the end of the year it is planned to put into commission seven objects.
Rail transport service is also upgrading. This year by opening of the first in Central Asia of high-speed railway communication there has been made another step in this direction: high-class electric train Afrosiyob shuttles between Tashkent and Samarqand that was produced to the order of the Uzbekistan Railways Company by the Spain’s Patentes Talgo S.L. Plant.
Modernization works are being carried out inthe National Uzbekistan Air Ways Company as well. The replacement of old planes to modern airliners from world-known companies Airbus and Boeing is going to be completed soon. Airports are also getting reconstructed and updated. Recently a new landing strip has been put into operation in Nukus. Passenger terminals in Bukhoro and Tashkent have been reconstructed, as well as airport in Navoi. All this contributes the increase of safety and service quality both in domestic and international flights. 
Economic realities
Specialists tell about the second flow of world economic crisis. Economic recession bring to reduction of tourist activity of people. In this situation it is necessary to preserve the existing infrastructure and provide it further development. One of the effective ways of gaining the goal is the development of domestic tourism, incentive and increase of the tourist activity of the country citizens. By the way, for the last several years the volume of domestic tourism has been increased to 19 percent.
The travel service market is having new offers on the formation of which not only travel companies but their partners participate actively. For instance, Kapitalbank has presented a new product oriented on tourists. The service is called Recreation to the Credit. This is the first offer of a bank to tourists in the country. Extension of similar services will favor the increase of people streams going on traveling both within the country and abroad, consider experts.
Contracts and intensions for developing cooperation signed with foreign partners at the Tashkent International Tourism Fair will contribute to the stability of national travel companies. New partners of national tour operators include more than 60 companies from Egypt, Israel, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Spain, Italy, Kazakhstan, China, Malaysia, UAE, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Turkey, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland and other countries. It reveals new opportunities to both people of Uzbekistan willing to travel abroad and those willing to visit our country.  
Uzbekistan is famous for its twenty eight million multinational people that carefully preserve the centuries-old values of forefathers. The important and peculiar traditions include the hospitality. Foreign visitors will be charmed with openhearted locals who always are ready to show all places of interest and monuments of architecture of the country.

Silk Road as national brand
Rustam Mirzaev, chairman of Uzbekturizm National Company:

This year turns special as Uzbekistan has been chosen to the member of Executive Council of UNWTO that is considered the recognition of the role of the country in developing tourism in the Great Silk Road region and incentive for implementation of new actions on promoting this legendary brand. In the world tourism market our country is positioned as the center and crossroad of Great Silk Road, as main routes of the Silk Road passed through the territory of the current Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan occupies active position and plays important role in the development of tourism on the Silk Road. Namely in our country there were approved significant for the tourism community declaration – the Samarqand Declaration on Great Silk Road, Khiva Declaration of Tourism and Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Bukhoro Declaration on Tourism Development on Silk Road. The Action Plan on Development of Tourism on Great Silk Road approved at the meeting of UNWTO took place October, 2010, in Samarqand, turned considerable incentive in promoting the Silk Road brand in the world tourism market.
The annual Tashkent Fair Tourism on Silk Road organized under the aegis of WTO plays considerable role in implementation of our tourism potential. Another fair has been held recently. It is for another time confirmed the status of the major tourism forum in Central Asia that is considered the key factor of development of the country’s economy and serving to consolidate the cooperation and closer relations of peoples.”