Uzbekistan Invests $580 Million in Tourism to Gain Global Recognition

Sun Jul 16 2023
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TASHKENT: Uzbekistan’s ambitious goal to boost tourism is reflected in the construction of the Silk Road Samarkand Tourist Complex, a $580 million investment aimed at transforming the historic city of Samarkand into a global tourist hub.

The complex, located along the ancient Silk Road, features eight luxury hotels, 35 restaurants, a conference center, and other amenities catering to both leisure and business travelers. It represents Uzbekistan’s determination to attract a significant increase in tourism and gain global recognition.

Despite its attractions, Samarkand faces challenges such as limited direct flights and short visitor stays. Many tourists are unaware of the city’s offerings, as acknowledged by Dinara Akhmetova, the marketing and PR director of the complex. Since gaining independence in 1991, Uzbekistan was not a popular destination for foreign tourists.

Uzbekistan Aims to Welcome 10 Million Tourists

However, under the current leadership, the country has undergone reforms impacting various sectors, including politics, economics, and tourism. The government aims to welcome 10 million tourists in the coming years through diversification and sustainable practices, including the promotion of ecotourism and rural travel.

In the past, Uzbekistan’s neighboring countries, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, have been the main sources of inbound tourism. However, efforts are now being made to attract higher-spending tourists from China, Russia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Although tourism in Uzbekistan has experienced a nearly fivefold increase in recent years, several challenges need to be addressed to ensure continued growth in the sector. These challenges include transportation, accommodation, medical services, language support, and tourist information.

By investing in tourism infrastructure and implementing strategic initiatives, Uzbekistan seeks to position itself as a top destination on the global tourism map, offering visitors a rich historical and cultural experience along the ancient Silk Road.


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