Senate’s committee discuss development of tourism in Uzbekistam

Tashkent, Uzbekistan ( -- On 30 November 2018, a session of the Committee on International Relations, Foreign Economic Relations, Foreign Investments and Tourism was held in the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Members of the Committee heard information from the leadership of the State Committee for Tourism Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of other interested departments on implementation of priority measures for the development of tourism for 2018-2019, approved by the relevant resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

It was attended by members of the Committee, specialists of the State Committee for the Development of Tourism of the Republic of Uzbekistan, responsible ministries and departments, representatives of the public, as well as media workers.

Speakers noted that currently the tourism industry in the Republic of Uzbekistan is regulated by a number of regulatory acts, including the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Tourism”, resolutions of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Cabinet of Ministers.

In accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated 2 December 2016 “On measures to ensure the accelerated development of the tourism industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, this area is defined as a strategic sector of the economy of our country. The adoption of this document was a significant impetus for the further development of the tourism industry in the country.

Over the past year alone, large-scale work has been carried out to radically restructure and liberalize the industry, diversify the national tourism product, and introduce modern mechanisms to attract tourists. There is a systematic, planned activity to simplify the visa regime with a number of countries.

As a result, there is a significant increase in the flow of foreign tourists to the country. Thus, in 2017, the number of tourists arriving in the republic reached 2.7 million people, which means an increase of 33%. Over 10 months of this year, 4.4 million tourists arrived in Uzbekistan. Due to this, the volume of export of tourist services has increased. If in 2017 this figure was about US$550 million, then in 10 months of the current year it reached US$870 million.

However, despite the fact that a whole range of problems related to logistics, infrastructure, shortage of hotel rooms, introduction of information and communication technologies, and an increase in the personnel potential of the tourism industry are reflected in the draft Concept of Tourism Development in Uzbekistan until 2025. The study of materials received from the regions of the country, ministries and departments, senators working in the field, as well as a survey of experts revealed a number of additional problems hampering the sustainable development of the country’s tourism industry.

In particular, there is no unified strategy to promote the tourism brand of Uzbekistan in foreign markets. The positive dynamics of the influx of tourists, following the abolition of entry visas, demonstrates the need to continue to liberalize bureaucratic procedures related to the entry of foreign tourists into the country.

The lack of qualified personnel in the field of tourism is another problem that requires urgent solutions. It was noted that it is due to the lack of a multi-level system of continuous education in the field of tourism, the use of outdated curricula and programs, insufficient level of introduction of innovative technologies in the learning process. In this regard, suggestions were made on the formation of educational clusters based on the development of special economic zones of tourist and recreational type, revision of training systems in conjunction with professional participants in the travel industry.

During the meeting, it was emphasized that one of the major obstacles to development of the industry is the lack of integration with international booking systems, including online procurement of air and railway tickets. In this regard, it was noted the need to introduce modern mechanisms and technological solutions for booking and booking places in hotels, hostels, restaurants, etc.

During the meeting, the participants expressed specific suggestions and opinions on the considered issue.

Following the discussion, the relevant decision was taken by the Committee of the Senate of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan on issues of international relations, foreign economic relations, foreign investments and tourism.

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