Samarkand, The Gulf Observer: At the Global Investment Forum, organized as part of the 25th session of the UNWTO General Assembly, a presentation on the tourism and infrastructure potential of Samarkand region took place.
According to Rustam Kabilov, Deputy Hokim of Samarkand region for Tourism, Culture, Cultural Heritage and Mass Communications, more than 700 cultural heritage sites in the region are now becoming popular among tourists. At the same time, such types of tourism as gastronomic and cultural tourism, pilgrimage, and ethnotourism are developing. There are enormous opportunities for developing other types of tourism, including extreme tourism, medical, educational, and ecotourism.
Today, Samarkand region has 162 hotels with 10,612 beds, 81 hostels with 2,131 beds, 350 family guest houses with 3,206 beds, and 257 tour operators and travel agencies. Over the past 3 years, their number has doubled, – says R. Kobilov. – In the “Silk Road Samarkand” Tourist Center, created to develop the tourism infrastructure of the city of Samarkand, all opportunities have been created to provide services in all areas of tourism.
Fifth Freedom of the Air has been introduced at the renovated Samarkand International Airport, and restrictions for foreign airlines have been lifted. This airport can receive 20 flights daily and serve 1.5 million tourists annually. As a result, in 2022, the number of tourists from 152 countries visiting Samarkand increased 11 times compared to the previous five years. The volume of tourism exports exceeded $200 million.
It was noted that there are currently 750 joint and foreign enterprises with the participation of foreign countries operating in the region. By the end of this year, agreements have been reached to attract foreign investment for $1 billion 200 million. It was emphasized that it is possible to increase these indicators several times in all sectors of the economy, especially in tourism services.
As part of the Global Investment Forum, agreements worth more than $700 million were signed on further development of tourism and industrial infrastructure in Samarkand region.
In particular, an agreement was reached with a travel company in China’s Shaanxi province to expand tourism on the ancient Silk Road.