Uzbekistan and EBRD to cooperate in promoting tourism and cultural heritage

Tashkent, Uzbekistan ( -- Uzbekistan and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of tourism and cultural heritage.

The memorandum among the Ministry of Culture, the State Committee of Uzbekistan for Tourism Development and the EBRD was signed in London.

On behalf of the EBRD, the document was signed by First Vice President Philip Bennett. On behalf of Uzbekistan, the memorandum was signed by the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United Kingdom, Alisher Shaykhov.

Bennett noted that he was sincerely glad that Uzbekistan was chosen as the first pilot country for implementation of this project, Jahon reported.

In his opinion, Uzbekistan has a unique cultural and historical heritage that can be effectively used to enhance competitive advantages in the global tourism market. Using a business model involving active participation of the private sector and the population with the support of the government of the republic, the development of tourism through the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage can become an important driver of economic growth in the country, he stressed.

The Memorandum envisages financing of projects related to cultural heritage sites, including those that contribute to the development of infrastructure, the preservation, sustainable management and exploitation of historical heritage, promotion of cultural tourism, and assistance in strengthening various instruments for the creation of an effective chain of sustainable development.

It is planned to develop a strategic integrated master plan for tourism development for Khiva and the Khorezm region, as well as objects of cultural heritage will be developed based on recommendations of the Smithsonian Institute (USA) and the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), as well as involvement of private sector.

The signing of the memorandum was held within the framework of the round table on "Inclusive sustainable tourism and commercialization of cultural heritage: challenges and opportunities" dedicated to launch the new initiative "Cultural Heritage" of the EBRD. The bank plans to allocate 150 million euros to this initiative.

The event was attended by about 50 industry experts, including adviser to UNWTO General Secretary Marcio Favilla, strategic adviser to CNN in the field of tourism and economic development Anita Mendiratta, head of the Department of Tourism and Real Estate of the EBRD Vlacho Kajakovich, as well as representatives of private business in tourism. Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United Kingdom, Alisher Shaykhov, stressed that, having all the necessary conditions and resources, through the implementation of the "Cultural Heritage" program together with the EBRD and international partners, Uzbekistan is called upon to become one of the world tourism centers.

According to him, the development of sustainable tourism in the country will allow not only to raise the industry, create new jobs, strengthen private enterprise, attract advanced experience and innovations, modernize the infrastructure, but also expand the opportunities for residents of different parts of the world to come into contact with the history and cultural heritage of the Great Silk ways.

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