Uzbekistan is one of the main tourist pearls of Central Asia. The rich architecture and ancient original culture has always attracted many tourists from all over the world. According to the UN World Tourism Organization, our country is today in the top five countries with the most dynamically developing tourism industry.
According to the Statistics Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in January-September 2022, 3.6 million foreign citizens visited Uzbekistan for tourism purposes.
This figure increased by 2.5 million people, or 3.2 times, compared to the corresponding period last year.
Most of all, citizens of Kazakhstan visited Uzbekistan for tourism purposes – 1076.2 thousand people, Kyrgyzstan – 952.1 thousand people. From far abroad, Turkish citizens are in the first place – 53.3 thousand people. Citizens of Italy complete the rating – 5.9 thousand people. and Spain – 4.3 thousand people.
In addition, the number of domestic travelers also increased by 3.5 times compared to 2021 to 7.5 million.
The modernization of the tourism sector during the post-pandemic period is taking place as part of the implementation of the project “Concepts for the development of tourism in Uzbekistan for 2019-2025”. The program provides for an increase in the share of the tourism industry of Uzbekistan’s GDP to 5% of the volume of tourism exports – up to $ 2.1 billion, an increase in the number of tourists – up to 10 million, of which 3 million are citizens of far abroad.
In this vein, a program was developed to subsidize the construction of hotels, which started back in 2019 and was designed to be implemented until 2022. In accordance with the project, the state covers the cost of construction of accommodation facilities in the amount of 40 million soums ($4.6 thousand) for one room for three-star hotels and 65 million soums ($7.6 thousand) for a four-star room.
Also, within the framework of the “Concept for the development of tourism in Uzbekistan for 2019-2025”, the procedure for issuing licenses for the operation of accommodation facilities in the country was simplified. As a result, Uzbekistan has seen an increase in the number of guest houses and hostels located in rural areas of the republic, ready to receive a record number of tourists during the pandemic. Until 2022, it is planned to increase the number of hotels in the country to 2.4 thousand, and the number of rooms to 50 thousand.
During the implementation of the project, large hotel complexes were opened in large cities of Uzbekistan: Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand, including the Marriott and Hempton by Hilton hotels in Tashkent, Hyatt Regency in Bukhara, and many others.
Uzbekistan is considered a rising tourist star even before the pandemic.
In 2021, the country celebrated the 30th anniversary of independence, as well as the opening of a new airport in Samarkand. Also in 2022, a grand opening of the Silk Road Samarkand tourist complex took place in the city of Samarkand.
In 2022, the government of Uzbekistan approved a number of measures focused on the development of tourism infrastructure and cultural heritage sites in 2022.
During this year, it is planned to establish engineering and communication networks for tourism facilities, restore, conserve and improve cultural heritage sites, as well as create a cultural and entertainment infrastructure.
The state has allocated several subsidies for the development of these projects. Thus, 29.4 billion soums were allocated for the development of tourism services, 117.3 billion soums for the improvement of cultural heritage sites, 43 billion soums for supporting museums, and 73.1 billion soums for tourism educational institutions.
In accordance with the “Development Strategy of the New Uzbekistan for 2022-2026”, the number of local tourists should increase to 12 million, and foreign tourists – up to 9 million as part of the “Travel Uzbekistan” program.
In the tourist cities of the country, it is planned to introduce barrier-free tourism infrastructure.
Additional tourist zones will be built in the Zaamin, Farish, Bakhmal regions and the Aidar-Arnasay system of lakes.
The increase in the volume of tourist services by at least ten times in the next five years will be carried out by transforming Samarkand into a “Tourism Gate”.