Independence has opened wide opportunities to develop tourism in the Bukhara province. The province has not only considerable economic capacities, but also is famous for antiquity monuments, architectural constructions, centuries-long history. Indeed, 777 historical monuments and 217 sites of cultural heritage located in Bukhara were inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993 and are of great interest for tourists.
Tourism plays a special role in social, political and cultural life of the republic, positively influences on development of mutual cooperation, improving peace and stability.
Presently measures are taken to introduce high technologies in tourism sphere, develop transport and telecommunications and improve competitiveness of products and services. The combination of these factors and also natural landscape, climate conditions, amount of historical and architectural sights, pilgrimage sites, hospitality and friendliness of local people contribute to having more tourists coming to our country from all over the world. This allows investing in preserving and maintaining historical monuments in proper condition and promoting social and economic development of regions, entrepreneurship and service industry.
Bukhara residents highly appreciate potential for tourism development of their city which is one of the cradles of an ancient civilization. Being aware that tourism is one of the most reliable ways to provide employment and improve life of the population, they are looking to further develop this industry. National customs and traditions, craftsmanship, high level of hotel management – all these factors, along with historical heritage, provide for regular growth of tourist flows. As a result of changes occurring in this sphere, implementation of effective projects and creation of free competitive environment, 106 hotels and 40 travel companies are successfully operate in the province.
Work undertaken in the Bukhara province to develop small business and private entrepreneurship in tourism sector, is becoming the main driver for development providing success.
Particular attention is paid to further enrichment of available tourist capacities of the province, development of tourist infrastructure, use of available potential for social and economic development of the region. Following carried-out activities, hotels of the province may daily serve 4,500 tourists. By the end of 2017 this indicator will reach 5,500.
One more factor – systematic introduction of modern information technology in the tourism industry – also promotes growth of tourist flows to the province. If in 2015 the volume of services rendered to more than 120 thousand of foreign tourists made over 53.6 million USD, than in 2016 volumes of services rendered to almost 130 thousand of foreign tourists reached 90.3 million USD.
In 2016 ten hotels and three travel companies were established in the province. Purposing to develop agrarian tourism in the countryside, new hotels have been built in different regions of the province – a hotel with 80 rooms in the Alat region, 20-room hotel in the Shafirkan region and a camping in the Gizhduvan region. Besides, Khurzhun Madrassa has been reconstructed in Bukhara; family enterprise “Azima Baht” has commissioned two hotels with 20 and 10 rooms in the same site; “Manuchehr Musinovich Gulamov” family business has established a hotel with 10 rooms; a hotel with 36 rooms has been opened by “Ra’no Grand Tour Servis” LLC and “Vardonze” Hotel with 50 rooms has been commissioned in Khamza Street.
The work on construction of modern buildings to improve hotel business is being carried out. Particularly, “Siyavush” Hotel raised the number of additional seats by 20, “Rangrez” Hotel – by 40, “Bukhoro Baraka” Hotel – by 15, “Zargaron Plaza” – by 80, “Sharq” Hotel – by 40, “Jayron” eco-center – by 20 and “Sulton” Hotel – by 30.
Various events are being conducted to inform on tourism potential and extent tourist season. For example, it has become a good tradition to hold annual festivals for local and foreign guests, such as “Ipak va ziravolar”, “Palov sayli”, “Kovun sayli”, “Milliy anahalar” and scientific-practical conference devoted to the birthday of Abu Ali ibn Sino. On May 26-28, 2016 under the XV International festival “Silk and spices” scientific-practical conference was held. The conference was organized under the theme of “Attracting foreign investments, modern technologies and innovative projects to Bukhara – is the main criterion of tourism industry development, upgrading of service system and preservation of cultural heritage”.
Development of transport infrastructure of the Bukhara province is of great importance for expanding of tourism sphere. The airport of Bukhara has been assigned international status; the traffic of “Afrosiab” high-speed trains has been launched; new modern tourist buses and minibuses have been purchased. The implementation of mentioned measures has provided for improving the services rendered to tourists and increasing their flows.
Gastronomy tourism is one of the directions developing in the province. The high level of restaurant and catering services ensures the successful development of this type of tourism. Today, this type of business is actively expanded. If in 2010 only several restaurants were destined for tourists (“Nodir Devonbegi”, “Bella Italiya”, «Lyabi Hauz”), then by the end of 2017 their number will reach 35.
It is necessary to emphasize that a working group has been established to implement the Protocol dated June 8, 2016 of the Cabinet of Ministers “About concrete measures aimed at further developing tourism industry at the local scale and ensuring improvement of export of tourist services” and the Instruction No. 02/87-2 dated June 13, 2016. The group has been assigned to address such important issues as: arranging several charter flights to foreign countries, restarting operation of inactive large hotels, developing Wi-Fi zones to connect to Internet network, working out proposals on the insertion of amendments in the program of the state statistics on tourism development.
Furthermore, authorities and administration evaluate proposals of local and foreign investors on recovery of “Bukhoro” Hotel located in the provincial centre, address organizational issues to specify property relations for reconstruction and commission of “Zarafshon” Hotel. Optical-fiber communication lines have been put into operation to create Wi-Fi zones in the following historical, cultural and shopping centres: “Poyi Kalon”, “Lyabi Hauz”, “Toki Zargaron”, “Toki Telpakfurushon”, “Sarrafon”, “Somoniylar” park, “Ibn Sino” square of fountains, “Kuhna va bokiy Bukhoro” cultural centre, “Ark” fortress, “Sitorai-Mochi Hosa” palace and in the international airport and bus station of Bukhara, in Bukhara railway station in Kagan city, in “Bahauddin Naqshbandi” memorial complex located in the Kagan region.
In order to develop tourism in the province and increase tourist flows in Bukhara, a new modern centre decorated in national style will be constructed in the near future (before 2021). The centre will host international meetings and conferences. Bukhara Territorial Administration of the State committee on tourism development will be deployed in the centre as well. A newly established Bukhara branch of the Republican educational centre of training and advanced training of qualified personnel will be also located there. Aiming at improving services rendered to tourists, “Information centres” will be established in the airport and railway station. The centres will provide for information on all tourist routes, historical monuments of the province, transport services, hotels and vacation retreats.
Moreover, the following activities have been scheduled: capital reconstruction of “Varakhsha”, “Zarafshon” and “Bukhoro” hotels, construction of roads, creation of communications and catering infrastructure in places of pilgrimage: “Khuja-Abdukholik Gijduvony”, “Khuja Mukhammad Orif ar-Revgariy”, “Khuja Makhmud Anjir-Fagnaviy”, “Khuja Azizon”, “Khuja Mukhammad Bobo Samosiy”, “Khuja Said Amir Kulol”, “Khuja Bahouddin Nakshband”. A number of events has been also well conceived with the purpose to promote awareness of local sights, expand tourist potential of the province and extent tourist season; objectives have been set out to hold regular festivals for local and foreign tourists.
In short, social and economic development of the province, enhancement of its economic potential, introduction of innovative technologies in all spheres will yield the positive results in the coming years. Most importantly, proper and wise use of our cultural and intellectual heritage, our national customs and traditions will provide for successful development of tourism industry in our country.