Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization: In a short period Uzbekistan has become a leading country

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September 15, 2014

Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization: In a short period Uzbekistan has become a leading country

On the eve of the greatest and dearest holiday – Independence Day – Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Taleb Rifai, gave an interview to the Information Agency “Jahon” in which he shared his views on the progress of our country’s success over the years of sovereignty and assessed the current state and prospects of cooperation of the international structure with Uzbekistan.

– Mr. Secretary-General, how do you evaluate attention paid to the development of the tourism sector in Uzbekistan?

– During my travels in Uzbekistan, I witnessed huge attention paid by the Government of the country and personally by President Islam Karimov to preservation and revitalization of cultural, historical and spiritual wealth of the Uzbek people.

I would like to underline the successful implementation of government programs in Uzbekistan to preserve and promote sights included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

In Uzbekistan, there is great potential for further development of the tourism sector, especially taking into account that the country is located along the Great Silk Road. I am convinced that the rich culture and unique historical monuments such beautiful cities as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Tashkent, which are included in World Heritage List, will always attract tourists from all over the world.

In turn UNWTO is ready to continue to support the programs and measures aimed at further development of tourism in Uzbekistan.

– Your opinion on the state and prospects of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the UNWTO?

– Uzbekistan is a member of UNWTO since 1993. I am truly grateful and satisfied with very active participation of your country in our organization.

I want to express our gratitude to our Uzbek colleagues for their support of the joint program of the UNWTO and UNESCO’s “Strategy for the development of tourism corridors heritage of the Silk Road”, which, in our opinion, is designed to make a positive contribution to the development of the tourism sector in Uzbekistan. The program, which includes countries such as China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is aimed at addressing issues of sustainable development, the promotion of local communities, conservation and management of cultural and historical heritage.

– During the 98th session of the UNWTO in Santyago de Compostela it was decided to hold the next session of the Executive Committee of the organization in the ancient Uzbek city of Samarkand. Please tell us about the expectations of the UNWTO from this event?

– We are very pleased that the city of Samarkand was unanimously approved as the venue for the 99th session of the Executive Committee of the UNWTO. It is symbolic that this event coincides with the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Samarkand Declaration “On the revival of the Silk Road”, which calls for the revival of the legendary route of the rich cultural and tourist exchanges.

I am convinced that conducting of the 99th session of the UNWTO in this city and the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Samarkand Declaration “On the revival of the Great Silk Road” will serve to further increase awareness of the international community about Uzbekistan, its international role as the most important country in the center of the Great Silk Road with the growing tourism sector.

I and my colleagues from all member countries of the UNWTO look forward to conduct two events in Samarkand, which will allow all of us to get in touch again with the unique and wonderful historical, cultural and spiritual heritage of Uzbekistan and to witness its success in the period of independent development.

– Soon the people of Uzbekistan celebrates 23 years of independence. Your wishes to the people of Uzbekistan?

– During the years of independence Uzbekistan has made great strides. Your beautiful country and hospitable Uzbek people left me with a great impression.

Today, we see that the high rate of economic development, maintaining social and political stability make Uzbekistan attractive country for tourists from around the world.

On behalf of the World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency of the UN, and on my own behalf, I wish leadership of Uzbekistan and the Uzbek people best wishes on the occasion of 23 anniversary of national independence.

Over a relatively short period of Uzbekistan has become a leading country, offering the world a unique cultural heritage, which has a place in human history.