Tourism in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan has rich history that dates back to the depth of Millennia. As archeologists witness, it is one of the most ancient places inhabited by humans whose age exceeded 1 million years. Just during the last half a century the scientists have detected several settlements of people of Stone Age. The most ancient Kulbulak and Obi Rakhmon settlements as well as Teshiktash and Amankutan are particularly famous among them.
Productive lands, goods water sources, abundance of heat contributed to development of farming. Large areas of deserts and steppes being situated next to farming district served as the pastures for cattle. With their evolution the inhabitants of these regions established various relations with neighbors. Based on the trinity of geographical, economic and social factors formation of ancient states of Sogdiana, Bactria, Khorezm and other took place in the Central Asian between of two rivers.
Located in the core of Great Silk Road, at the crossroad of people migration and commercial routes, Uzbekistan was a cradle of original cultures born in result of contacts between the settled and nomadic people. All main world religions and cults developed here like nowhere else: Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Uzbekistan, where there are many ancient and beautiful architectural monuments of history and culture, attracts tourists from all over the world. There are more than 4000 architectural monuments on the territory of Uzbekistan. The whole world knows historical cities of Uzbekistan such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Shakhrisabz, Termez as the pearls of the Great Silk Road.
Once Uzbekistan gained independence in 1991, the urgent need has appeared to establish and further extend the world class tourism in the country, which at the same time incorporates features of national history, way of life, traditions and customs, as well as the all-time feature of Uzbek hospitality.
The main body in charge of tourism issues is “Uzbektourism” National Company which was founded upon the resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on July 27, 1992. It is the biggest tourism company in the country, which administers more than 96 enterprises and organizations. Besides “Uzbektourism” there are more than 450 tourist firms in the country.
On the 10th session of World Tourism Organization General Assembly which took place in Bali, Indonesia in 1993, the National Company “Uzbektourism” joined this organization. The WTO’s office on development of tourism on the Silk Road was opened in Samarkand in 2004. From 1995 the “Great Silk road” program initiated by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is implementing. Within the framework of this program numerous measures have been implemented in the main tourist destinations of Uzbekistan – Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Tashkent. Considerable concessions were granted to foreign investors interested in establishing joint ventures in these cities.
The law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On tourism” was adopted in 1999. The Decrees of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On state program for the development of tourism till 2005” and “On the training of qualified personnel for the sphere of tourism” were signed. Uzbekistan, where monuments of ancient cultures of different ages are concentrated, is rightly called a treasury of history. Ichan-Kala complex in Khiva, historical centers of Bukhara, Shakhrizabs and Samarkand are included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Many unique monuments and architectural constructions in these towns have remained in a good state up to the present day and are of a great significance to the mankind. There are a total of over 7,000 unique historical monuments in our country. What a huge number of natural monuments have been preserved in nature reserves and parks, thousands of rare exhibits in the museums, relished by splendid national dishes and typical hospitality and kindness of Uzbek people!
There are over 600 tourism companies, more than 660 hotels and campsites in Uzbekistan. Tourists are offered 110 international tourism routes on historical sites, natural attractions and recreational facilities. Ecotourism, geotourism, gastronomic, ethnographic, extreme, health and fitness tourism, climbing, fishing, rafting has been developing along with the traditional cultural and historical tourism.
Flights to more than 50 cities in the world are performed from 11 international airports of the republic. Revamped airports of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Urgench, Navoi and Ferghana are ready to take passengers from any country of the world. The high-speed train Afrosiyob quickly and comfortably delivers passengers to the destination.
The measures taken have been expanding the flow of tourists to our country year by year. Last year Uzbekistan was visited by over 2 million tourists.