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November 21, 2016



From 7th to 9th of November London has hosted the 37th world tourism fair World Travel Market-2016 (WTM-2016). This is one of the largest and most popular international tourism exhibitions which practically represents the entire spectrum of services in this area. Being the second largest tourist exhibition in Europe (after Berlin) WTM has been conducting annually since 1980.

Tourist agencies and operators, land, air and sea carriers, representatives of the hotel industry, tourism and trade associations, organizers of active and extreme recreation, regional and local tourist boards and others offer the services at the fair.

Participants can have the opportunity to receive the expanded information on the trends and prospects of tourism development, to get acquainted with new trends, methods of effective management and ensuring high level of business competitiveness. WTM creates conditions for representatives of the travel industry from around the world to establish contacts, negotiate and conclude deals. This year the exhibition has attracted over 50,000 professionals from 182 countries. The number of its users has exceeded 100 thousand people. More than 2,800 members of the media have covered the fair.

Since 2009 Uzbekistan has been regularly take part in this large-scale forum. This year, at the WTM our country has been represented by a delegation consisted of representatives of national company “Uzbektourism”, national airways company “Uzbekistan Airways” and a number of travel agencies. The national stand of Uzbekistan organized at the WTM-2016 has presented a copy of the majestic madrassah “Sherdor” – one of the three jewels of the Registan Square in Samarkand. The reel made by Uzbek specialists has become a bright magnet for visitors and beautifully reveals the history and present of Uzbekistan for three days.

In the framework of the fair the Uzbek delegation has participated in the Ministerial Summit of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Certainly, numerous negotiations that representatives of “Uzbektourism” and Uzbek tour operators have carried with foreign colleagues, has become the most productive result at the event. Thus, our delegation has conducted productive exchange of views with the Executive Director of Association of British Tour Operators (AITO) Kate Kenward, Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East of the TV corporation Discovery Networks Jamie Cook, as well as with the representatives of such major television companies as BBC, Euronews and Eurosport. During the consultations the sides have discussed issues of development of the tourist potential and tourist infrastructure of Uzbekistan, promotion of attractive tourist image of the country in the international arena, as well as the prospects of the organization of thematic programs of our country on these channels.

During the visit of the Uzbek delegation a presentation of Uzbekistan has been also carried out at the Embassy of our country in London. The lucky draw with grand prize in the form of free tours in Uzbekistan was an extra bonus for UK visitors which has been organized with the assistance of the representative of NAC “Uzbekistan Airways” in London and the company “Great Silk Road”. The popular journalist in the field of tourism and travel of London newspaper «Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster Today» Cynthia Pickard has won the prize.

Very rich and colorful program has given guests the opportunity to feel a harmonious blend of tradition and culture of Uzbekistan, making among them a vivid impression about our sunny country that will serve as a good occasion to visit it in the future.

A reporter of Jahon Information Agency has talked with some of the participants of the exhibition and presentation.

Zoltan Somogyi, Executive Director of UNWTO:

– I’m always happy to visit the stand of Uzbekistan at one of the largest travel exhibitions in the world – World Travel Market. Participation in this forum once again proves the strong commitment of your country to develop the tourism. This exhibition is an excellent opportunity for the UK and the international community to closer look at the unique tourist potential of Uzbekistan.

I have been in your region often and I consider myself as true friend of Uzbekistan and its envoy to the international arena. With whom I had talked about your country, I always with great admiration share my bright feelings and impressions. Taking into account the growing interest to the history and heritage of the Great Silk Road in the world, I am confident that Uzbekistan can become one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially because you have done a lot to attract foreign tourists.

Alan Daniels, an agent of the NAC “Uzbekistan Airways” Representation in London:

– I have the honor to work with the office of “Uzbekistan Airways” in London for the past five years. I want to emphasize that Uzbekistan – this is the most beautiful and picturesque country in the world wh ere I was able to visit. Here, friendly people and amazing culture. Every guest who comes to you, feels very nice and comfortable thanks to the kindness and hospitality of the Uzbek people. Looking at the historical architecture, it seems that you find yourself in a fairy tale. I firmly believe that everyone at least once in their life should have to visit this unique land – Uzbekistan.

Kate Kenward, chief executive of the Association of Independent Tour Operators UK (AITO):

– Our association brings together some 120 British tour operators which specialize in the organization of tourist trips in the country with a unique culture, rich history and exceptional natural conditions. In this regard, Uzbekistan having the deep history, is an extraordinary and popular destination for British tourists.

I very much hope that we, together with our members, will continue to promote Uzbekistan in the UK market and send more tourists to your country. In turn, the AITO is ready to fruitful cooperation for the benefit of further promotion of the brand “Uzbekistan” in the UK.

George Smith, director of the company «KiST Travel»:

– Personally for me today’s event was another demonstration of the high reputation and prestige of Uzbekistan, a country with a unique culture and hospitable people. Having worked with the Association of British tour operators and travel agencies in the market of Uzbekistan, I can say with confidence that today your country can really provide great opportunities in the tourism sector. For British companies – this is quite an interesting market with great potential. I hope that the current bilateral consultations of Uzbek and British travel agents will provide an additional incentive to attract tourists from the UK.

Cynthia Pickard, a journalist of the London newspaper Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster Today:

– Due to my job, I have visited a lot of cities and countries, but sunny Uzbekistan has impressed me with its special charm. Last year I had the opportunity to visit Uzbekistan and was fascinated by the color of his fabulous cities – Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Tashkent and Ferghana Valley, amazing architecture of mosques and madrassas, minarets and palaces. We had spent a marvelous evening in a cozy atmosphere with traditional music and dancing before generously covered dastarkhan. The atmosphere was incredibly enjoyable. Especially I would like to note the delicious Uzbek cuisine, particularly pilau which has become one of my favorite dishes.

I am very glad that today I have the chance to go back to Uzbekistan because the tourist is always happy when he returns to the country which has given a lot of positive and pleasant feelings.

Jahon Information Agency, London