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In a major boost to tourism, Tashkent hosted its first global tourism forum

Over 300 tourism stakeholders from over 48 nations thronged Tashkent, the national capital of Uzbekistan, as the historic city hosted its maiden International Tourism Investment Forum. The two-day Forum was dedicated to the development of the tourism industry and attract foreign direct investment.

Karan Bhardwaj from also attended a special exhibition held at the expo which highlighted art and cultural heritage of the country. Take a look below:

The Forum was held at the Uzexpocenter NEC by the state committees of the country in cooperation with the ministries of foreign affairs, foreign trade and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Participating countries included the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Russia, Turkey, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, the states of Central Asia, Afghanistan, and also representatives of international organizations and large foreign companies.

At the opening of the international forum, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan A. Abdukhakimov, head of the regional representative office of the International Finance Corporation for Central Asia, K. Colbert, and others noted the large-scale reforms to develop the tourist potential of Uzbekistan and its promotion in the world market.

It was noted that the forum contributed to familiarizing the representatives of international business circles with the opportunities of our country in the tourism sector, the level of economic development, attractive conditions for business representatives and investors.

A video message from the Deputy Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization, Jaime Alberto Cabala, was shown at the event to the forum participants.

Uzbekistan has a visa-free regime for 18 states. Moreover, a simplified procedure for obtaining visas for 50 states has been introduced. Thanks to the use of the electronic visa system over the past three months, more than 20 thousand people have used this type of service. In general, over 10 months of this year, more than 4.4 million foreign tourists visited Uzbekistan. This is twice the tourist inflow compared to the previous year. It is expected that by the end of the year, the number of tourists will be hitting 5 million.

Uzbekistan, located on the ancient Great Silk Road, is famous for its ancient cities, unique historical monuments, diversity and richness of customs and traditions. The convenient geographical location in the region makes it possible to popularize tourism in terms of familiarization with the centuries-old achievements of civilization.

At the Forum, participants were provided with information on the growing activity of entrepreneurs in the investment sphere, in particular, on tax and customs benefits for entrepreneurs in the field of tourism, licensing and certification procedures. Thus, it is possible to allocate land for investors for the construction of tourist infrastructure facilities without electronic auctions.

“The private sector’s participation in the tourism industry is expanding in Uzbekistan,” said Sodik Badak, adviser to the chairman of the State Tourism Development Committee from Turkey. “Individuals come up with a number of tourism development initiatives. In Uzbekistan, we are developing a project to organize the activities of associations that will be engaged in supporting these initiatives. The close friendship of Uzbekistan with neighbouring countries allows to actively develop tourism in the region and comprehensively improve the infrastructure necessary for this.

At the event, well-known investment companies from the USA, China, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Singapore and Turkey showed interest in developing joint projects to create a tourist infrastructure in our country.

The forum presented more than 500 investment projects from all regions of Uzbek, in particular, projects of the free tourist zone Charvak, Samarkand city, Ancient Bukhara, small tourist zones in the Surkhandarya region as well as Olmazor city and Fergana road in Tashkent.

“Large-scale reforms are under way in Uzbekistan to actively develop the tourism industry,” said Santana Bhattacharya, a representative of the Indian company Cox & Kings Global Services. The participants also got acquainted with the exhibition of national handicraft products and tourist opportunities of the regions organized at the Uzexpocenter NEC.

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