Uzbekistan’s tourism saw tremendous damage in light of coronavirus outbreak in the world. According to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the frequency of international tourism travels will decrease by 80% by the end of 2020 worldwide. As a result, 74 million workplaces will be cut; the area will see $800 billion loss.
Uzbekistan too is in the list of other countries who had to suspend all international flights in March, 2020. Consequently, 1,500 tour operators and 1,200 hotels temporary put on hold all their activities.
As Uzbekistan is adapting to live in times of coronavirus, the country decided to take early steps towards reviving its tourism sector. From June 1, 2020 Uzbekistan resumed internal tourism in “green” and “yellow” quarantine zones.
In a recent online UNWTO event, Vice Prime-Minister, Chairman of the State Committee for Tourism Development of Uzbekistan Aziz Abdukhakimov stated that the country will implement recovery process in three stages.
Apart from launch of internal tourism, the first stage foresees the return of tourism operators, tourism agencies and cultural heritage sites and more. This will be done in strong compliance to sanitary rules.
Before opening borders for international travelers, the country is introducing “Uzbekistan. Safe Travel GUARANTEED” system. Chairman stated that Uzbekistan aims to introduce safe, yet simple system for travelling.
As a second stage, Uzbekistan plans to resume tourism with neighboring and CIS countries. “With regards to this, we need to think of ensuring travelers’ safety, sanitary and social distancing measures throughout the whole trip,” added Abdukhakimov.
Vice Prime-Minister said that Uzbekistan is suggesting [neighboring and CIS] countries to develop combined, thematically appealing tours. Those include gastronomical tours, paths on exploring nomads’ routes, motorcycle tours, pilaf tours, archaeological sightseeing and more.
The State Committee has developed “Silk Road Project” platform aimed at promoting both tourism potential of Silk Road countries and other appealing tourism routes.
At its third stage, Uzbekistan will resume international tourism per the list of countries to enter. The list will be formed based on a country’s epidemiological situation.
“A lot of European and Asian countries are slowly coming out of COVID-19 crisis and getting ready to open their borders. With are studying world’s best practices,” said Abdukhakimov.
“Stages” introduction is not the only measure Uzbekistan is working on. State Committee for Tourism Development is thinking of new formats for luring tourists. “Stihiya” musical festival, “Akchakul” beach sports events and gastronomical events are among them.