Oliy Majlis discuss development of tourism in Uzbekistan

Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan held parliamentary hearing on implementation of measures directed at development of tourism in Uzbekistan. Chairperson of Uzbektourism national company Farrukh Rizaev delivered a report on the topic.

The parliamentary hearings were organized on initiative of Democratic Party of Uzbekistan “Milliy Tiklanish” to assess implementation of legislation, state programs, directed at development of tourism in Uzbekistan.

It was noted that both local and foreign experts acknowledge that Uzbekistan has great tourism potential. Uzbekistan has over 4,000 architecture and art monuments, many of which were included to UNESCO World Heritage List.

The analysis of development of the sector shows that Uzbekistan creates necessary legislative acts, regulating tourism sector. Uzbekistan contacts systematic works on restoration and rehabilitation of cultural heritage objects, tourism infrastructure, and improvement of tourism services in the regions of the country.

Tourism sector is becoming important source of employment of population and development of economy. Currently, there are 865 tourism organizations in Uzbekistan. The growth of number of tourists made up 17.5% in 2012 and income from tourism services grew by 15%.

It was said that control-analytical works of MPs revealed untapped opportunities for further development of tourism. It was said that main tourism flow fell to share of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.

It was noted that there is no enough attention for development of infrastructure in several perspective regions of Uzbekistan. It was said that the country should pay attention to development of education, scientific, ecological, sport and rehabilitation tourism. Quality of services, work on use of modern forms and methods of attractive services, introduction of ICT into national tourism industry should be improved.

In their comments, the deputies also raised questions on organizing and developing internal, including youth, tourism with tourist routes for schoolchildren and students to be filled with more content, and making available the materials on the history and significance of cultural heritage sites.

In this regard, MPs highlighted the need for further improving national legislation in tourism, in particular, the Law on tourism, adopted in 1999, which needs quality amendments, taking into account the changes in international and national tourist industries, in international legal regulations. At present tourist activity is regulated by over 30 legal acts, except the above-mentioned Law and needs systematization and codification.

According to MPs, development of single governmental policy in tourism, attraction of external credits and investments into the sphere as well as development and adoption of the long-term state program on tourism development could increase competitiveness of the sphere. The program should focus on carrying out a set of measures on further development of tourist infrastructure, enhancing travel services, improving the system of economic stimulus for entrepreneurs, operating in the sphere, using tourist potential in promoting enlightenment and education of the citizens, encouraging pride for the home country and respect for national history, culture and traditions among the youth.

The meeting also recommended developing and implementing regional programs on tourism development and creating the necessary infrastructure, to adopt additional measures on introducing ICT in tourism, to create national online booking systems.

MPs also underlined the need to improve national system of training tourist personnel, who have mastered modern management, business administration methods as well as communication skills to convey reliable information about the history and the present of Uzbekistan, socio-economic and political reforms in the country to local and international travelers.