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01/December/2021   Tourism

Tursunali Kuziyev: Uzbekistan has great tourism potential and opportunities for cultural cooperation

TASHKENT, December 1. /“Dunyo” IA/. “Uzbekistan has great tourism potential and opportunities for cultural cooperation”, - noted Tursunali Kuziyev, Director of the Cultural Heritage Agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, in an article “Key Directions of the Era: Tourism and Cultural Cooperation”.

“The promotion of ideas and initiatives of regional and international significance by the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev once again confirms the progressive position of a country like Uzbekistan, which has great tourism potential and opportunities for cultural cooperation.

Consistently defending the interests of his country, he demonstrates the qualities of a strong politician who deeply understands that these interests have a wider potential than international integration and regional cooperation.

If in recent years a number of historical documents have been signed and reforms have been launched in Uzbekistan to raise tourism and cultural heritage to the level of national values, in the last two months a number of ideas and proposals of international and regional significance have been put forward.

By the time The "Khiva Process" adopted by UNESCO in October, the initiatives and proposals put forward at the Istanbul Summit of the Turkic World have not yet been fully "digested" by the interested states and international institutions; our president, already been recognized as a “reformer-president” put forward a new and key proposal in the meeting of Economic cooperation Organization in Baku.

Most importantly, the President of Uzbekistan has made proposals not only in the interests of his country, but also in a clear, realistic, short-term manner that will benefit all parties and participants; puts forward investigative ideas and suggestions that are beneficial for international and regional cooperation, not only participant countries but also all the neighboring countries.

For example, in the vote for the Khiva Process, in the project initiated by Uzbekistan for the countries of the region, the approval of countries such as China is a clear confirmation of our opinion. This, of course, has made the news of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev's initiatives, which is regularly mentioned in the world of international humanitarian and cultural policy, a constant concept in the international media.

In his speech at the regular summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization in Ashgabat yesterday, the President of Uzbekistan paid serious attention to the issue of restoring ties in the field of tourism.

Undoubtedly, the member states of this organization - Uzbekistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - are fraternal peoples with close history, religion, customs and traditions. It is no secret that the civilizations between them are inseparable, and our peoples have long been closely linked by trade and cultural ties.

In this sense, the member states of the structure with a population of more than 500 million have not only economic and investment potential, but also a rich tourism potential, a very common ancient cultural and spiritual heritage that the peoples of the world dream of watching.

The vast territory of the structure connects the south and west of Asia directly with Central Asia, located at the crossroads of the ancient Great Silk Road, and rightly covers the most attractive places in the world. There are more than fifty sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in the whole region, and hundreds of such ancient and unique architectural and historical heritage sites fascinate the people of the world.

Due to the restrictions during the pandemic, the number of tourists visiting Central Asia has sharply decreased, and the share of revenues from the tourism industry has decreased. In 2019, the number of tourists visiting the Central Asian region was 18.4 million, while in lockdown  last year this number decreased by almost 5 times.

At present, the risk of coronavirus is not completely eliminated, and the development of the tourism industry is unlikely. Therefore, the situation can be saved only on the basis of complex approaches, with the introduction of new mechanisms.

In this regard, from the rostrum, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed to implement a number of priorities that need to be implemented during the presidency of Uzbekistan in this prestigious organization.

One of them was the issue of reviving reciprocal tourism exchanges, which was the key issue.

 “At the next meeting of the Ministers of Tourism in Bukhara in 2022, I would like to announce the initiative to adopt a Regional Program for the Development of Safe Tourism in the Post-Pandemic Period. On this basis, serious attention would be paid to the development of "pilgrimage tourism" and other joint tourism products, expanding the geography of flights, the development of tourism infrastructure”, emphasized the head of state.

Tourist safety has never been so high on the agenda. According to the World Tourism Organization, currently 21% of all directions are closed for tourism, another 25% are partially open, and the remaining 52% require PCR testing. Travel companies also need time and resources to create an “epidemic-friendly model”.

At the same time, it is no coincidence that every country is trying to revive the tourism industry in the post-pandemic period in order to alleviate the economic complications. To do this, of course, it is important to create favorable conditions for vaccinated tourists, starting from the process of obtaining visas, from airplanes to airports, hotels, cultural facilities, shrines.

One of the most useful areas is the development and implementation of joint projects in the field of ethno, eco and geotourism, gastronomic and ethnographic, medical tourism, which have great prospects due to the rich past and unique traditions of Uzbekistan.

Indeed, the expansion of tourism directly contributes to the growth of economies, the growth of sources of income.

The intensification of mutual visits, the consolidation of efforts and forces in this area, the new cooperation aimed at strengthening the friendship and cooperation between our countries, new cooperation on ensuring stability - this is an equally beneficial and promising direction for both Uzbekistan and partner countries”.

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