It is widely known that in recent years the accelerated development of tourism in our country has become one of the priorities. The President has already signed more than twenty resolutions and decrees to achieve this task. As a result of implementation of these resolutions, Uzbekistan is being seen by the world community as a country with great potential for promotion of international tourism.
A significant success in this area is evident in the example of the results achieved in Bukhara region. The number of tourists coming to this region last year has increased by 2.1 times reaching 2 million 500 thousand people compared to the same period of the previous year. 301,500 of them are foreigners, and their number has grown approximately 2 times (169,000 people). 57% of the guests were European, 24% Asians, 11% from CIS countries, 8% from other countries.
Due to the sharp increase in the flow of tourists in the region 6 hostels, 36 guest houses were commissioned, and 12 hotels were rebuilt. There are currently 126 hotels with 1972 rooms and 4143 beds. There are total of 168 accommodation units (2192 rooms, 4729 beds) providing quality customer service.
As it is known, pursuant to the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan of February 6, 2018 «On Measures for Development of Inboud Tourism», the procedure of visa-free entry into the country for 30 days is established for citizens of 45 countries, visas procedures have been simplified for 76 countries, citizens of 101 country have the opportunity to travel visa-free to Uzbekistan for a period of up to five days while transiting to third countries. This brought positive results in Bukhara too. The hotel reservation rate reached 100 % in the region, and the number of tourists interested to travel has increased several times.
At the beginning of 2018, the Khokimiyat of the region organized discussions with ambassadors of about twenty countries in Uzbekistan, and made a presentation on tourism (pilgrimage tourism) and investment potential of the region. Thus, over the past couple of years, 10400 guests or 82 percent of more than 13600 tourists from France only, have stayed in Bukhara for more than two days. Now that visa liberalization is introduced for French citizens, it is expected that the number of people traveling from that country to our country will further increase.
Currently, electronic information, video and presentation materials about tourist potential of Bukhara have been distributed among embassies, and the regional delegation visited China, Korea, France, Indonesia, Israel, Turkey, Belgium, Holland, Russia, Kazakhstan and other countries. The regional khokimiyat officials met with management of major travel agencies and associations, such as Belgian «Thomas Cook» with representative offices in 17 countries and 20 million customers, French «Ile de France Paris», Indonesian «ASITA», Gastronomic Tourism Association of Turkey «Tursab», Malasian «MATTA», «RBC-Kypopt» of the Republic of Belarus, and established partnership relations.
In 2018, 148 foreign delegations of different level and direction paid official visits to the region to further promote tourism in the region. In turn, members of the local delegation and heads of a number of touristic companies visited Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Ufa and Kazan cities of Russia. Negotiations on the investment potential of Bukhara region were held in cooperation with representatives of Ufa Committee for Foreign Economic Relations. Region representatives and craftsmen also participated in international exhibitions and conferences, as well as promo events in Tokyo, Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Izmir, Istanbul, Madrid, St. Petersburg and Astana. During the event, direct agreements were signed with foreign firms to attract more than 36.3 thousand tourists from France, Turkey, Malaysia, Spain, Russia and Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan. Also, several tourism companies prepared about 450 publications for distribution. More than 40 bilateral cooperation agreements and memoranda were signed between the tourist agencies during B2B meetings.
During the visit of the President of Uzbekistan to India on September 30 — October 1, 2018 the «Uzbekistan-India» Business Forum was organized. In the framewok of the event the negotiations with representatives of firms and companies of this country were held and an agreement was reached for building a four-star hotel complex by «Orion Group» in Bukhara with 10 million USD investment.
In addition, negotiations have been held to arrange direct flights to Bukhara by «Turkish Airlines»and «Pegasus» airlines through Indonesian, Malaysian, Israeli, Chinese (Loyan), and French airlines. A memorandum was signed between «Onur Air» and Bukhara regional administration on opening a joint venture for direct flights to Bukhara International Airport, and recommendations are submitted to the leadership of the Republic. Duty-free shops at the airport were launched to create more conveniences for tourists. As a result, services provided to international and domestic passengers increased by 1.1 times compared to 2017 and by 1.2 times to passengers from CIS countries.