UNWTO Executive Council holds its session in Samarkand
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
The 99th session of the Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) opened its work in Samarkand on 2 October 2014.
Delegation of the member-states of the UNWTO, USA, France, Spain, Germany, China, South Korea, Japan, India, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, and heads of international tourism agencies, as well as experts are participating at the event.
President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov participated in the opening ceremony of the session. Uzbek leader said that over 2 million foreign tourists from over 70 countries visited Uzbekistan in 2013. In last two years, number of tourists, visiting Uzbekistan, rose by 43% and number of foreign tourists, who visited the country, reached over 1 million people, he said.
Uzbek leader said that export of tourism services made up over US$615 million in 2013. He said that over 200,000 people work in tourism industry and its share in Uzbekistan’s GDP exceeded 2%.
Islam Karimov said that currently there are 550 tourism agencies and 110 international tourism routes, which cover majority of historic objects and architectural monuments.
He said that over 500 hotels, motels and camping sites with 50,000 rooms provide services in line with international standards.
Uzbek President said that Uzbekistan modernizes Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Urgench, Ferghana and Navoi airports. Currently, there are 11 international airports in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan Havo Yollari has Airbus and Boeing airplanes and flies to over 50 cities of Europe, Asia, Middle East and North America, he added.
President Islam Karimov said that high speed railway train has been launched between Tashkent and Samarkand. He said that Talgo train is used to provide service on this route.
The UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai expressed gratitude to the Uzbek President for attention to the 99th session of the UNWTO Executive Council in Samarkand.
Uzbekistan has great potential in tourism sector and it is one of ten leaders on number of historic monuments. There are 7,000 historic and cultural monuments in Uzbekistan. Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Shakhrisanz were included to UNESCO World Heritage List. Ecotourism, geotourism, extreme tourism, medical and cultural tourism, fishing, rafting and other spheres of tourism are developing in Uzbekistan.
The 99th session of the Executive Council of the UNWTO provides opportunity to discuss development of tourism sector in Uzbekistan and the world, strengthen international cooperation. The session will discuss current state, perspectives and trends in development of tourism market, actual problems of the sector, determine new directions of cooperation, the press service of the President of Uzbekistan said.
The participants of the forum visited Registan complex, Amir Temur mausoleum, Mirzo Ulugbek observatory, Afrosiyob museum and other sights of Samarkand city, as well as educational institutions of the city.
They highly rated creative and construction works in Uzbekistan, as well as huge tourism potential and training specialists for tourism sector.
At the plenary session, the participants considered development of tourism along Great Silk Road, training specialists, role of tourism in stimulating development of regions, current state and perspectives of the tourism, etc.
Within the session, the sides also exchanged opinion and experience on attracting tourists to the countries, further development of international cooperation in this direction.