On February 21, the biggest event of this year – the First International Forum on Pilgrimage Tourism will kick off in Uzbekistan.
The forum is held on the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in order to promote tourism potential of the country, as well as international recognition of Uzbekistan as one of the largest centers of ziyorat (pilgrimage) tourism in the Islamic world.
Ziyorat, which means visiting holy places, consists of two main types: pilgrimage and religious tourism of excursion and educational orientation.
Uzbekistan has a large number of religious centers, such as the Khazrati Imam Complex, which preserves one of the most valuable relics of Islam – the Quran of Caliph Uthman, the Shrine of the great Islamic theologian Muhammad al-Bukhari, the burials of the Sufis of the Naqshbandi brotherhood and many others. Thousands of tourists from all over the world visit Uzbekistan every year to see the historic shrines.
The government of the country is taking significant measures for improving the attractiveness of Uzbekistan in ziyorat tourism. By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. DP-5611 of January 5 this year, Pilgrim visa was introduced for up to 2 months to foreign citizens who visit Uzbekistan for pilgrimage and study cultural, historical, religious, spiritual heritage and traditions of Uzbekistan.
Recognition of Uzbekistan as one of the centers of ziyorat tourism by the world community will give a powerful impetus to development of tourism infrastructure in the country and an increase in tourist flow in general.