October 24, 2008
Press-Release On International forum “The ways to develop and promote cultural tourism in the countries of Silk Road”
On October 23 this year the International forum “The ways to develop and promote cultural tourism in the countries of Silk Road” took place in the city of Tashkent.

The International forum was organized by the Permanent mission of the Republic of Uzbekistan to UNESCO along with the support of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

A main goal of International forum was to search for the new ways to develop cultural tourism and actively promote it, as well as exchange of experience between delegates in this sphere. About 100 delegates from 50 countries and international organizations, as well as the representatives of national and foreign mass media took part at the Forum. Deputy Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, ambassadors, permanent delegates to UNESCO, experts from Azerbaijan, Algeria, Bulgaria, Italy, Iraq, China, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia and Japan, as well as diplomatic corps accredited in Uzbekistan were among the delegates to the forum.

The participants of the Forum have said that a special attention is being paid in Uzbekistan towards developing tourism. As a result of large-scale reforms accomplished under the leadership of President Islam Karimov a tourism infrastructure of Uzbekistan has fundamentally changed. The new directions of tourism have been established; modern hotels have been built; ancient historical monuments and sacred places of worship have been restored and bettered; and the new roads have been laid. Resolution of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan of April 17, 2006 “On measures to enhance development of sphere of services in the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2006-2010” became an important factor for developing of the sphere of tourism, as well, including cultural tourism.

A Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Uzbekistan to UNESCO Ms. Lola Karimova, who took a floor at the forum, has noted that the Great Silk Road was not only a trade route but also a tool of cultural and enlightenment cooperation. Uzbekistan’s participation in its restoring is especially significant.

Uzbekistan is famous all around the world with its historical monuments, places of pilgrimage and leisure. Uzbekistan is capable to host about one million tourists a year. From this point of view this conference serves as a fine opportunity to exchange views on fuller realization of tourism potential of not only Uzbekistan but also all countries along the Great Silk Road.

The delegates to the Forum have also underscored that comfortable geographical location, as well as modern transport and communication infrastructure promote development of tourism industry in Uzbekistan. At the moment, there are over 4 thousand historical monuments and places of rest in the country. More than 50 enterprises on manufacturing souvenirs are now operating. In 1993 Uzbekistan had 20 hotels, but at the moment their number exceeds 300.

The participants of the Forum have particularly noted that the Great Silk Road promoted development of not only trade but also cultural and enlightenment cooperation. For example, specialists have revealed that in the ancient times there were Buddhist temples on the territory of Uzbekistan, and mosques – in China. This testifies to long-time scientific and cultural relations between the two people.

The delegates from Japan, Russia, China, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Iraq and other countries exchanged views on the prospects of cultural tourism and the role of the Great Silk Road in extending cultural ties between peoples. The delegates discussed stable development of cultural tourism, cooperation and exchange of experience, improving tourism infrastructure, active and broad propaganda of cultural tourism, supporting programs on researching peculiarities of the Great Silk Road, assisting in elaboration of general tourist routes along Great Silk Road, and other.

A resolution was adopted at the Forum. It is aimed at supporting development of cultural tourism in the countries of Great Silk Road. From October 24 to October 28 the delegates of International forum will have an opportunity to get familiarized with the richest cultural and historical heritage of Uzbekistan, and in particular, they will travel along the cities of Uzbekistan enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage List – Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.

City of Tashkent October 24, 2008

Press Service of MFA Republic of Uzbekistan


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