Uzbekistan is considered to be one of the most attractive countries for tourism with beautiful landscapes and majestic mountains, abundant and delicious food that will appeal to every tourist with any exquisite taste, rich in cities with ancient history and culture, such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Tashkent and others. Thanks to the high attention paid to the sphere by the President of Uzbekistan, not only foreign, but also domestic tourism is becoming increasingly developed. There are many growth factors, but it is worth paying attention to one of them – these are innovative developments, technical ideas and convenient mobile applications that are rapidly penetrating the sphere.
In the modern period of development of the tourism sector, information technologies and software occupy an important place. Evolution and technological progress have not spared tourism, in particular, the sector of organizing sightseeing events. In this direction, unique multimedia manuals have been developed, which are offered to tourists for mobile phones using GPS navigation. It should be noted that active work is currently underway among IT developers and the most active participants in the tourism market on the introduction and adaptation of mobile technologies to optimize the tourism business and improve the quality of tourist services. A cell phone with a modern operating system and a set of useful applications for tourists will help save time and money, find attractions and become an indispensable assistant during the trip.
It is gratifying that the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recognized Uzbekistan as worthy of the fourth place among the 20 countries with the fastest growing tourism industry.
In the ranking «World Index of Muslim Tourists» Uzbekistan rose from 32nd to 22nd place and entered the top ten «Most attractive» and «With a high level of security and tolerance» countries.
Concurrently, Uzbekistan was recognized in the Halal Travel Frontier 2020 report as a country that marked the beginning of a new trend in the Muslim tourism market, restoring the «Islamic heritage». In the rating of National Geographic Traveler (USA) the country was named the winner in the nomination «Novelty of the Year».
The intense development of innovations in world tourism began in 1972 with the acquisition of a patent for the invention of suitcases on wheels by Bernard David Sadow, an employee of the United States Luggage company, and continues its progress, having already reached the level of complete electronization of the sphere and the participation of artificial intelligence in it. This innovative solution to the problem of heavy loads of half a century ago and today’s innovations essentially have a single basis in which any innovation is connected with the problem and the look for for its solution. And the engine of progress is the desire of people for a comfortable life and overcoming the factors that interfere with this.
For instance, the increase in the population across the globe and the associated complex development problems in various fields of human activity have given rise to the issue of assimilation of huge amounts of information – «Big Data», especially in the tourism industry with a large crowd of people in hotels, airports and other objects of the tourism business, when it is necessary to analyze information about several hundred, and sometimes thousands of customers in order to effectively serve them. Furthermore, the tourism business also needs to manage the flow of information about its employees and partners. Automation processes implemented in many industries have helped to solve this problem in the tourism sector as well. Performing computer and robotics, artificial intelligence work with large amounts of information, with which it was already difficult for people to cope, in our time is becoming commonplace. An example of this is the development of Opera, Amadeos, Fidelio, Epitome PMS and other similar programs that allow you to manage hotels automatically.
It is also necessary to emphasize that the subjects of the tourism business must necessarily use modern methods of communication if they want to effectively convey their product to customers. The fact that business offices have their own internet sites, pages in major online platforms that are popular on the social media network or among travelers, in particular on sites such as Booking.com, Trip Advisor, Expedia, Cheapair, and they are conducted strategically effectively, is a prime example of an innovative approach to marketing. After all, ratings that are formed based on the opinions of users left on the Internet spaces, the ratings they give to the services provided to them serve as a real advertisement, a mechanism for establishing public relations (PR) for companies offering quality products and an impetus for the further business promotion.
Of course, tourism in Uzbekistan is developing in accordance with the requirements of the world market. Today, a tourist who wants to visit our country can plan his trip via the Internet, use the online services of hotels and airlines, has the opportunity to call a taxi through special mobile applications on smartphones, order food, book a place in a restaurant or get information from the Internet about the places of the intended visit to tourist sites. Thereby, information technologies continue to develop in the tourism industry in step with the times. As an example, the following facts can be cited:
Oriental Express CA – a large and dynamically developing online agency in the countries of Central Asia and Transcaucasia – is actively engaged in the promotion of tourism services in Uzbekistan, all year-round users of Orex CA.com receive information about our country, its colorful traditions, and tourist places from this source. Moreover, Hotelios, a service for exchanging information between tour operators and hotels via the Internet, was introduced in Uzbekistan. This system is an innovative project that has no alternative among the CIS countries. Among the innovations, it can be also noted the introduction in our country of the possibility of obtaining insurance policies online.
Nevertheless, there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve a higher number of visits to Uzbekistan by tourists, and for this it is necessary to popularize the cultural, historical and other monuments of Uzbekistan available to us, natural attractions of the country with comfortable places for living and recreation more widely and accessible. Tourist services in Uzbekistan will become more attractive and efficient and will bring more income if the guests of our country, when they visit our cities and villages, cultural and natural sites, will create the maximum possible comfort, including an innovative solution to the issues of saving tourists’ expenses.
The number of foreign tourists in 2019 amounted to 6.7 million, and for 8 months of 2022, the attendance of our country by foreign tourists in quantitative terms amounted to 3.1 million people. Also, the average amount that each foreign tourist spends on the territory of the republic in addition to direct travel expenses in 2018-2019 was 195 US dollars, while in 2022 this figure reached 304 US dollars. The volume of tourist exports since the beginning of the year amounted to 926 million dollars (during 2019 it was 951 million US dollars).
The number of domestic travelers also increased by 3.5 times in comparison to the corresponding period of 2021 and amounted to 7.5 million people. The equity contribution attracted to the industry also shows steady growth. So, in 2021, within the framework of investment projects in the field of tourism, funds with a total value of 11.4 trillion Uzbek soums were disbursed and 495 projects were implemented. Within the framework of the state investment program, together with local Khokimiyats, investments in the amount of 562.7 million US dollars in the implementation of 62 projects with a total value of 1.2 billion US dollars were mastered and 31 projects were launched.