TASHKENT, Uzbekistan – The Tashkent Tourism Festival concluded with the participation of international tour operators, travel writers, and accommodation providers from 147 countries.
The 18th festival year of the Tashkent Tourism Festival started on October 31 with major buying and selling, and contracts with local companies observed by France, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Poland, Russia, India, Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Cyprus. According to official data, this festival has ensured around 90% of the expected tourism revenue for the next 2 seasons, and results were encouraging for incoming as well as outbound tourism. Uzbek companies worked more on planning to sell their low season, because hotel occupancies are always low during November to February, and package swapping was on the agenda of local companies during this festival with countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Talking to The Kooza Communication International, proposed Director of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Silk Road Office Samarkand, Mr. Ravshan Turakulov, was of the view that the Uzbek government was very proactive for the development of tourism not only in Uzbekistan but for providing opportunities to neighboring countries to also to sell their products in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Poland, Russia, India, Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey. He maintained that Uzbekistan is the only country in Central Asia that is holding an annual regular tourism festival, and continuity in planning is bearing fruit for Uzbekistan. He informed the Kooza Communication International that more and more new aircrafts are being included in the fleet of Uzbek Air, and the best aircrafts including the Dreamliner, will soon be a part of the biggest air fleet of Central Asia – Uzbek Air.
When asked about the sustainability of tourism in the country and tourism revenue traveling to down at the level of a normal Uzbek population, he stated that the Uzbekistan government was promoting ecotourism, so even smaller villagers are benefitting, and he mentioned a number of ecotourism projects including one model project in a small village of Samarkand, namely Mittan Kulchara, where the local community was offering accommodation to foreigners with direct financial benefit going to the community.
Anastecia Lee, co-publisher of Silk Road Media, the oldest and biggest travel media house of Central Asia, informed the Kooza Communication International that the Tashkent Festival is not only important for Uzbekistan, but every year it works for new business to the whole of Central Asia from Europe, the Far East, South Asia, and Eastern Europe. She also informed that Discovery Central Asia and Horizons magazines are holding international book fairs in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and last year, her organization had an international conference in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The Kooza Communication International attended the event for the promotion of tourism in the region and informing stakeholders that an Urdu and English e.newspaper is there to promote tourism as a tool for peace, because the Kooza Communication International believes that tourism is an effective tool for interfaith harmony, tolerance, and peace.
This year, Uzbekistan was also promoted as a health and spa tourism destination and got a good response from participants for booking in the health tourism sector.