The 25th session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is being held in Samarkand from October 16 to 20. Representatives from over 140 countries are participating in the session.
During the opening ceremony, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that holding such a large-scale event in the world tourism industry in Samarkand is a significant historical event for the entire Central Asia. Mirziyoyev supported UNWTO’s efforts aimed at accelerating tourism development in all regions of the world and shared what Uzbekistan has achieved in implementing its “open doors” policy.
In particular, the president reminded that his country has introduced a visa-free regime for citizens of about 100 countries, while citizens of another 55 states can obtain an electronic visa in a simplified manner. Tax and customs benefits, credit and financial support are provided to the tourism business. Subsidies are allocated for the construction of new hotels, attracting international brands, and increasing the influx of tourists. As a result, more than 800 infrastructure projects have been implemented over the past two years. Over $1 billion in investments have been directed solely towards improving the tourist infrastructure of Samarkand. The number of foreign tourists arriving in Uzbekistan has doubled, and revenues from the export of tourism services have quadrupled. According to forecasts, the country will be visited by a total of 7 million tourists by the end of the year.
As part of the UNWTO General Assembly in Samarkand, international investment and educational forums will be held with the participation of leading companies, universities, and organizations in the tourism industry. The signing of contracts and agreements on the implementation of joint programs and projects in these areas is expected to take place as a result. There will also be an award ceremony for the best tourist villages, the opening of the International Tourism Academy in Samarkand, a series of plenary sessions, and cultural events.