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President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting dedicated to prospects of further development of tourism in our country, analysis of activities on the effective use of tourism facilities, improving the quality of provided services, increasing the flow of tourists to our country.

It was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, heads of relevant ministries and departments.

The main goal of large-scale reforms carried out in all spheres is further development of the country’s economy, improvement of the standard of living and welfare of our people.

Tourism is one of the important branches of the economy. It is necessary to further improve this sector with the effective use of existing opportunities, this is required by the time itself, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Uzbekistan is an attractive country for traveling and pilgrimage. Outstanding scientists and thinkers, known to the whole world, have found eternal peace on our sacred land. Their rich spiritual and cultural heritage is still of great interest all over the world. First of all, necessary infrastructure should be improved for further development of the sphere. Firstly, it is transport, and secondly – logistics, emphasized the President of our country.

As it was noted at the meeting, about 1 million 800 thousand tourists visited our country in 9 months of 2017, which is 17% more compared to the same period in 2016. The export of tourism services grew by 17 percent and amounted to 1 billion 86 million dollars. According to forecasts, by the end of the year the number of tourists arriving in our country will exceed 2,5 million people.

In our country, the prospects for the development of tourism are constantly expanding, and large-scale projects are being implemented in various areas. In particular, such new tourism destinations as mountaineering, horses, camels and bicycles traveling, off-road tours, fishing, rafting, heli-skiing, geotourism, educational tourism, medical tourism and others are becoming popular in recent years.

The decree of the President of our country Shavkat Mirziyoyev “On measures of ensuring accelerated development of the tourism industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan” of December 2, 2016, serves as an important factor in ensuring further development of the tourism sector, granting tourism the status of strategic sector of economy, effectively using tourism potential in the regions.

The State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Tourism Development was organized in order to identify and coordinate the implementation of targets and priority areas outlined in the decree.

Over the past short period, 16 normative legal acts aimed at comprehensive development of tourism potential of Uzbekistan have been adopted. On the basis of these documents, the entities of the tourism industry are granted significant tax and customs privileges and preferences.

Two new state standards have been developed and registered on terminology of tourism and requirements for the safety of hotel facilities in order to bring the tourism sphere of our country in line with the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

In addition, posts of deputy khokims of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khorezm regions, as well as cities of Khiva and Shakhrisabz dealing with tourism issues are introduced by the corresponding resolution of the President of our country for the purpose of further improvement of the management system in the sphere of tourism in the regions.

Over the past period, in accordance with the instructions of the Head of our state, programs aimed at improving the tourism infrastructure in Khorezm, Bukhara, Samarkand, Surkhandarya, Kashkadarya, Jizzakh and Fergana regions, the organization of new tourist routes and wide promotion of tourism potential of the regions have been adopted. In particular, activities are being held on creation of round-the-clock tourist zones “Ancient Bukhara” and “Samarkand-City” in Bukhara and Samarkand with an area of 10 hectares each, which will be engaged in serving tourists.

Complex measures have been developed and are being implemented on organizing guest houses in Bostanlyk, Parkent and Akhangaran – Angren tourism clusters in Tashkent region.

The resolution of the President of our country “On priority measures of development of the sphere of tourism for 2018-2019” of August 16, 2017 has raised the level of activities in this direction to a new level.

In accordance with this resolution, a special program aimed at addressing important issues facing the sphere for 2018-2019 has been approved, Coordination council for tourism development has been established in order to ensure its full implementation and interdepartmental coordination in the sphere.

Based on this program, organization of similar individual tourism zones in the cities of Tashkent, Urgench and Fergana region is planned.

It is also envisaged to adopt separate programs in such areas of tourism as medical, recreational, agro- and ecotourism, within the framework of the program.

One of the most important factors in the development of modern tourism is the unique nature of our country. Uzbekistan is the leading state in Central Asia, where ecotourism is most developed. Our country attracts tourists with its rich flora and fauna, unique landscapes, national traditions and diverse cuisine. Significant work is carried out within the framework of solving issues of tourism development in Uzbekistan in Ugam-Chatkal state natural national park, Chatkal state biosphere reserve in its constituent, the Aidar-Arnasai lakes system and Chimgan-Charvak resort and recreation zone.

The Head of our state, at the meeting, emphasized the need to develop special programs for tourists in every direction, that is, from Europe, Asia and other continents, increase the number of charter flights and trips by rail, in-depth study of the experience of foreign countries with developed tourism, promote domestic tourism, improve tourism facilities and the quality of service.

There are five higher educational institutions in our country on training specialists in the field of tourism, including the Management Development Institute of Singapore in Tashkent, as well as more than ten specialized secondary educational institutions. The State Committee for Tourism Development promotes the development of qualifications of youth, receiving education in the tourism sector and industry specialists in major tourism centers and educational institutions of Europe and Asia.

Another important aspect in development of the sphere is creation of a unified database of all objects of historical and cultural heritage, natural and local lore, national protected areas, improvement of the normative legal framework of tourism sphere, integration of efforts of local authorities and the public for development of tourism in the regions. A firm legal basis has been established in our country, special programs for the regions have been developed, and this process is consistently continuing with a view to carrying out activities in this direction.

Provision of priority participation of the private sector also plays an important role in the dynamic development of the tourism industry of our country. Currently, hundreds of entrepreneurs and artisans are involved in tourism, they are engaged in production of souvenirs, hotel facilities, provision of services to tourists.

Tourism exhibitions that are held abroad are important. Tourism organizations of our country are organizing relevant events and participating in international exhibitions in such large cities of the world as Berlin, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Riga, Tokyo and others in order to popularize our national cultural heritage, further attract foreign tourists and develop domestic tourism. This, of course, gives its results, contributes to the growth of the flow of foreign tourists to our country.

At the meeting, issues of further expanding the participation of private sector in accelerated development of tourism industry, providing benefits, training and improving qualifications of the personnel in the sphere, expanding the range of new touristic products were also considered.

The Head of our state instructed the heads of relevant committees, ministries and departments on turning tourism into not only a seasonal but also a year-round source of income, strengthening relations with foreign partners, effectively applying new methods and approaches in attracting tourists, drafting relevant decisions on the considered issues.