By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The richest cultural and historical heritage of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan create a favorable basis for enhancing the cooperation of the parties in the field of tourism.
Uzbekistan will establish cooperation ties with partners from Azerbaijan in the field of tourism, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Azerbaijan Sherzod Feyziyev said at a joint event organized by the Uzbek embassy in Baku and the Azerbaijani travel agency "My Travel", Trend reports on March 13.
To a considerable extent, the development of tourism in Uzbekistan will be facilitated by the establishment of cooperation ties with partners from Azerbaijan. The first step in this direction should be the establishment of the Embassy’s cooperation with "My Travel," with which a work plan for 2019 was signed.
The purpose of the event was to demonstrate the ongoing large-scale reforms in the tourism sector in Uzbekistan, providing information about the rich history and unique culture of the country, as well as opportunities for tourists.
The last two years large reforms have been carried out in Uzbekistan, which affect almost all spheres of society. The area of tourism and all areas related to this area are recognized by the state as the most important priority, which has been given the status of a strategic sector of the economy.
In the framework of the existing potential implementation, only in the past two years, 55 regulatory documents regulating the sphere of tourism were signed.
These documents identify priorities for solving the problems accumulated in the industry, increasing tourism potential, including the promotion of pilgrim tourism, as well as the provision of many benefits and preferences for market participants.
The revolutionary step was the decision related to the establishment of a visa-free regime for citizens of most countries of the world, simplification of the procedure for issuing, as well as the introduction of electronic visas.
Thus, citizens of 64 states can visit Uzbekistan without visas, citizens of 101 states arriving in transit are allowed visa-free entry and temporary residence, citizens of 127 states have the opportunity to receive e-visas, the consideration period of which is two working days from 2018.
Uzbekistan is located in the "heart" of Central Asia and has tremendous opportunities in the field of tourism. The country has 7,300 cultural heritage sites, which is more than 90 percent of all historical monuments in the region (more than 4,000 archaeological sites and 2,000 architectural sites). More than 500 of them are included in tourist routes. Monuments in Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva and Shahrisabz should be mentioned among the main pearls.
The implementation of a large number of activities contributed to a sharp increase in the attractiveness of Uzbekistan for tourists.
If in 2017, as many as 2.6 million tourists entered Uzbekistan, in 2018 their total number increased to 5.3 million (a 99 percent increase). By 2025, it is expected that the number of tourists will increase to 9 million.
A huge number of world-class travel agencies and magazines highly appreciate the development of tourism in Uzbekistan. Among them are such giants as Travel + Leisure, National Geographic, Gallup, Solo Travel Safety Report and Lonely Planet.
Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan were established on October 2, 1995.
At present, over 30 companies with Uzbek capital operate in transit, trade, industry and service sectors in Azerbaijan.
Today, Uzbekistan supplies vehicles to Azerbaijan, non-ferrous metals, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, electrical and mechanical appliances, agricultural products. It also provides transportation, tourism and other services.
Azerbaijan exports mechanical equipment, confectionery, various organic and chemical compounds, tanning and coloring extracts to Uzbekistan.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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