UZBEKISTAN, March 23 – TIIF-2022 discussed horizons to attract investment in the tourism sector
A plenary session on the development of tourism in Uzbekistan was held within the framework of the Tashkent International Investment Forum, which began its work on March 24.
One of the priorities of the forum is to reveal to the global business community the impressive prospects and opportunities of the domestic tourism sector as a priority for foreign investors.
The speakers noted that Uzbekistan – the owner of enormous tourist and recreational potential, which has 7.4 thousand objects of cultural heritage, of which 209 – in the four museums are included in the list of World Heritage Sites of the UNESCO. The state policy in the field of tourism is aimed at turning this industry into one of the locomotives of the accelerated integrated development of regions and their infrastructure – this will solve the most important socio-economic tasks, increase employment, improve the image of the country and the attractiveness of investments.
– Our strengths are the historic cities, included in the UNESCO list. Uzbekistan is a safe country for tourists, – said the First Deputy Minister of Tourism and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Uzbekistan Ulugbek Azamov. – We are developing seaside resorts and tourist sites, open to investors. Uzbekistan is becoming a hub, we provide many services, so infrastructure is needed. If a tourist wants to walk around Khiva in the evening and drink cocktails, you need to give him the opportunity.
– We have regulators, we have airports, we have hotels. It seems to me that without investment, without money, they can’t do anything. Tourism is an industry that unites people. This area is also attractive for investment, – said Ulugbek Kasimkhojaev, director of the Agency for attracting direct investment. – Residents of 90 countries can visit Uzbekistan without a visa, another 60 – can get it through the Internet, so it is worth paying attention to their needs. There is a saying that a guest is more important than a relative. What could be more attractive for foreign investors? Uzbekistan is open for business and tourism is developing very rapidly.
From 2014 to 2019, the number of tourists to Uzbekistan increased from 1.9 to 6.9 million. In 2019, the country adopted one of the key documents that initiated global changes – Concept of tourism development in the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2019-2025, which identified the main vectors of work: improvement of the regulatory and legal framework in the field of tourism activities, the implementation of international norms and standards, the development of infrastructure and the creation of an accessible and comfortable environment for visitors to Uzbekistan, the diversification of tourist products and services, the strengthening of image of the country as safe for travel and leisure.
– Tourism not only brings benefits, but also provides jobs. It is important to concentrate women in tourism. The main objective is to remove bureaucratic restrictions, said Boeing regional manager Mario Ebsim. – Uzbekistan is the first country in Asia to have dreamliners – pioneer air routes. Since 2017, New York passengers have flown without transfers.
Experts estimate that every dollar of direct spending on tourism services generates about three additional dollars in related industries. For many foreign tourists, it could be more attractive tours involving visits to several countries in Asia.
– If people do not travel, hotels will lose their relevance, and people – jobs. I personally observed the transformation of tourism in Uzbekistan and positively assessed all the changes. There is everything necessary for the development of tourism, so in 2022-2023 we plan to open a hotel in Bukhara, – said Hyatt Regional Vice President Punit Tandon. – Tourism has grown rapidly since the easing of currency restrictions. Improving relations with neighbors is a very important and useful thing. In addition, you also have many airlines that connect Uzbekistan with other countries, which is also of interest to investors.
Since May 1, grants for youth initiatives in the field of tourism have been introduced to support workers in the sector – young entrepreneurs will be able to receive up to 50 million sums for the development of activities. For each tourist arriving here for a period of at least 5 days, the state budget will pay $10, in the winter season – $25.
– The current forum is a huge event, very important for the development of the country. Airports are present in all regions and ensuring their good performance is very important for the development of the tourism sector, – said chairman of the board of directors of airports of Uzbekistan Rano Juraeva. – To support the demand for air transport currently in the country, we launched the creation of a regional airline last year. The number of regional transport is small and needs to be developed, so we plan to open about 40 lines. Now people take the car, train and experience inconvenience such as ticket shortages. Almost a million people used the services of a national airline last year, but in fact the demand is much higher and must be met. We recently opened an airport in Samarkand, and the state has implemented this project, including thanks to the investment of private partners.
The Tashkent International Investment Forum is the first event of its kind and scale in our country, bringing together on its site more than 1.5 thousand major investors and high-level guests from 56 countries.
Source: Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Uzbekistan