Baku, Azerbaijan, March 13
By Fakhri Vakilov-Trend:
Uzbekistan will establish cooperation ties with partners from Azerbaijan in the field of tourism, the ambassador of Uzbekistan to Azerbaijan Sherzod Feyziev said at an event jointly organized by the Uzbek embassy in Baku and Azerbaijani travel agency My Travel, Trend reports on March 13.
The purpose of the event was to demonstrate the ongoing large-scale reforms in the tourism sector in Uzbekistan, to inform about the rich history and unique culture of the country and talk about opportunities for tourists.
The diplomat said that there were large reforms carried out in Uzbekistan in the last two years, which affect almost all spheres of society. "The field of tourism and everything related to this sector are recognized by the state as a priority, which has been given the status of a strategic sector of the economy. As part of the realization of existing potential, 55 regulatory documents regulating tourism were signed in just the past two years."
These documents identify priorities for solving the problems accumulated in the industry, increasing tourism potential, including the promotion of pilgrim tourism, as well as the provision of many benefits and preferences for market participants, according to Feyziev.
"The revolutionary step was the decision related to the establishment of a visa-free regime for citizens of most countries of the world, simplification of the procedure for issuing, as well as the introduction of electronic visas. Thus, from 2018, citizens of 64 states can visit Uzbekistan without visas, citizens of 101 states arriving in transit are allowed visa-free entry and temporary stay and citizens of 127 states have the opportunity to receive e-visas, the term of which is 2 working days," said the envoy.
He went on to add that Uzbekistan is located in the heart of Central Asia and has tremendous opportunities in the tourism field. "Uzbekistan has 7,300 objects of cultural heritage, which is over 90 percent of all historical monuments in the region (more than 4,000 archaeological sites and 2,000 architectural objects). Over 500 of them are included in tourist routes. Monuments in Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva and Shakhrisabz should be mentioned among the main gems."
The implementation of a large number of events increased the attractiveness of Uzbekistan for tourists, according to Feyziev. "If in 2017, 2.6 million tourists entered Uzbekistan, in 2018 their total number increased to 5.3 million people (an increase of 99 percent). By 2025, the number of tourists is expected to increase to 9 million."
A huge number of world-class travel agencies and magazines highly appreciate the development of tourism in Uzbekistan, he said. Among them are such giants as Travel + Leisure, National Geographic, Gallup, Solo Travel Safety Report, Lonely Planet, added the diplomat.
He pointed out that a great role in the development of tourism in Uzbekistan will play the establishment of cooperation ties with partners from Azerbaijan. The first step in this direction should be the establishment of cooperation of the Embassy with the company “My Travel”, he said.
As a result of the meeting, the parties signed the Work Plan for 2019.
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