Uzbekistan to direct $216 million on development of tourism industry
Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Nov. 30 /Trend D.Azizov/
The Uzbek government adopted a program of targeted projects aimed at developing tourism and increasing export potential of tourism services for the period up to 2013 in the amount of 385.5 billion soms ($216.6 million at the current rate of the Central Bank of the Republic), national company Uzbektourism told Trend with reference to the relevant decision of the Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday.
The program is a comprehensive list of related events, uniting development of sectors in all regions of the country.
The program covers constructing 77 hotels and other accommodation facilities, creating about 90 objects of tourist show and 70 objects of servicing tourists, as well as to acquire more than 50 buses and vans to serve the tourists.
The program provided restoration of historical and architectural monuments, reconstruction and modernization of existing hotels and other activities in the region aimed to increase the flow of foreign tourists in the country and to create necessary conditions for them.
In some regions, streets of artisans will be reconstructed to familiarize the tourists with handicrafts and works of art masters, modern workshops in traditional style will be built, historic buildings of Amir Temur times will be restored.
Establishment of ecotourism infrastructure for ecotourism lovers is planned in Karakalpakstan and Syrdarya region and the development of new routes, including visits to popular tourist sites, the former Aral Sea port city of Muynak.
The largest investment projects will be implemented in the most ancient historical centers of the country, in Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, as well as in the capital of Uzbekistan in Tashkent.
The program with a total budget of $385.5 million soms, will be funded by initiators of the project (314.8 million soms), by credit funds of banks (63 billion soms) and the budget funds (7.68 billion soms).
Currently there are 748 enterprises in the private sector of tourist services in Uzbekistan, including 241 hotels and 507 tour operators.
As previously reported the share of tourism in the country's GDP for the six months of 2011 increased more than twice and was 1.8 percent for the first time. Uzbekistan plans to attract over two million foreign tourists annually by 2015.