Not Just Samarkand and Bukhara
The resolution of the UN General Assembly “Strengthening regional and international cooperation to ensure peace, stability and sustainable development in the Central Asian region” outlines issues of preserving the ecological well- being in the region, the need to rationally solve water problems, and preserve biodiversity.
It is noteworthy that a citizen of any country of the world can make a decision in these vital tasks. Having chosen this direction for tourist trip to our country, one can ensure not only an acquaintance with the unique little- known sites, but also help in their preservation. After all, the development of tourism contributes to the employment of local people, to the increase of their well- being, replenishment of local budgets, where the money is directed, in particular, for the protection of nature. Uzbekistan is not only Samarkand, Bukhara or Khiva. It is about a million interesting and amazing places! Come! We have a lot of interesting things to show... Materials of prominent foreign media are suggestive of this.
LOOKING TO STATISTICS FOR A START
Uzbekistan attracts thousands and thousands of travelers annually, but these figures do not fully disclose the tourist potential of our country. Therefore, profound reforms are being carried out in the republic for the accelerated development of this sphere. Summing up the results of the first half of this year, we can confidently say that the actions taken have a positive effect. Thus, the overall figure for the number of foreigners entering the country has almost doubled compared to the same period in 2017 and amounted to 2,688,962 people ( an increase of 91.6%).
It is important to note that the number of tourists from countries for which a visa- free regime was introduced has significantly increased. They are:
Turkey – 31,966 (+ 95.6%) Japan – 6,200 ( 68.1%) Israel – 3,615 (+ 86.2%) Indonesia – 750 ( more than threefold) Singapore – 424 ( more than 2.5 times)
Separately, it can be noted that in June, there was an increase in the number of citizens from the Republic of Korea ( 57.5%) and Malaysia ( 2.6 times), although there was a slight decrease until May 2018.
THREE POINTS OF VIEW
The June issue of the magazine Acqua & Sapone, published in Italy with a circulation of 120 thousand copies, published an article by the well- known Italian photo reporter and president of the Group of Tourist Photographers ( Fotografico Viaggi) Roberto Gabriele, entitled “Kupkari: equestrian match peerless in the world”. The piece was prepared following the visit by 12 members of this group to Uzbekistan this March with the assistance of the embassy of our country in Rome.
The Italian photographer informs that “having learned about the local tradition, the equestrian competition of kupkari during my second trip to Uzbekistan, I decided to go beyond the typical tourist route lying between the beautiful cities: Samarkand ( sung in the song), Bukhara ( famous for carpets) and Khiva ( UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous fortress walls), and find the kupkari to experience this event first- hand and take a few photos.
“I was sure that I could come across it, because these competitions are held on the occasion of national and religious holidays or wedding ceremony and circumcision.”
Roberto Gabriele visited national competitions on the day of the celebration of Navruz – March 21 – near Samarkand and, with the help of a guide, went to the village where the kupkari was to be held. The author in colorful form described in the magazine the situation and rules of folk game also known as uloq, concurrently noting that the contest did not begin until the Italian guest was treated by hospitable hosts with several lunch dishes and tea.
The journalist from Italy stressed that participation in such an event is an experience that encompasses all feelings, does not leave the viewer indifferent: people screaming, the smell of horses that mixes with the smoke of shish kebab, the hot sun and the taste of dust in the throat and eyes that see through the camera lens.
“Watching the kupkari competition, you feel yourself an integral part of it, you feel the thrill of a gallop of 30 horses, rushing forward and risking crushing everyone and everything in its path. And even for an outsider Westerner, this day has left much more than the photographs taken: these are the smiles and hospitality of the Uzbeks, the taste of a great culture,” concludes Gabriele.
It should be noted that in 2018, more than 100 traditional events, cultural and sports festivals take place in various regions and remote areas of our country, which increasingly attract foreign tourists from all over the world with their genuine and colorful substance.
Islamic historical and cultural facilities of Uzbekistan are increasingly the object of attraction to Malaysia nationals. The Malaysian online edition MStars published an article titled “Beautiful, fascinating and worthy visit to Uzbekistan”.
The piece provides detailed information on the tourism potential and the cultural and historical heritage of Uzbekistan. The author shares his impressions of visiting architectural facilities and monuments of Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara.
The article emphasizes that Uzbekistan is attractive in all seasons. It is noted that winter is becoming more popular among Malaysian tourists to visit Uzbekistan, as many of them have never seen snow.
There are more conveniences and conditions for travel of Malaysian nationals in Uzbekistan. Introduced from February 10, visa- free regime for Malaysia, the availability of two direct flights a week from Kuala Lumpur, the introduction of a green corridor at the international airport in Tashkent, and the high quality of hotel service standards in Uzbekistan are positive changes made within a short period of time.
The author shares his impressions of visiting the Hazrati Imam complex in Tashkent and Shahi Zinda in Samarkand, as well as the mausoleum of Imam Al- Bukhari.
The article says that Uzbekistan is one of the oldest centers of Islamic civilization with unique historical and cultural monuments in Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and other cities.
In Shanghai, the 16th annual award ceremony of the popular magazine Travel & Leisure has taken place for the best achievements in 2017 in the tourism industry ( Travel & Leisure Industry Awards).
During the event with the participation of representatives of recognized hotel brands and diplomats, nominations were announced in categories: hotels, airlines, service, restaurants, spa, leisure and entertainment for tourists.
According to the results of selection in the ranking of the most attractive tourist destinations for the organization of trips in 2017, the best were Switzerland, Canada, France, the United States, Great Britain, Finland, Uzbekistan and the Maldives.
After analyzing the assessments and different opinions, the editorin- chief of Travel & Leisure, Jan Zeping, declared Uzbekistan and the United States winners in the nomination “The best tourist destinations”.
The Chinese Travel & Leisure is analogous to the American version of the magazine, and it was created in 2001. Its circulation in China is 630 thousand copies a year. For more than 15 years, the magazine has sponsored the Travel & Leisure Industry Awards. In addition, it is the first and official travel media partner of the International Fair of Exclusive Tourism and the World Travel Awards in Asia. Every day, up to 100 thousand people read the online version of the magazine, and the number of its subscribers exceeds 1 million.