Central Asia selected as a region for tourist trips in 2020. The well-known American-Australian travel guide "Lonely Planet" has chosen Central Asia as a region of the year for tourist trips and actively recommends that every traveler visit Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
Lonely Planet notes in its annual Best in Travel ranking in 2020.
According to the Uzbek Embassy in the United States, Lonely Planet is one of the world's largest publications specializing in identifying the world's most popular travel destinations. Founded in 1972 by American and Australian travelers. 200 authors of publication regularly publish ratings of the most popular tourist routes around the world, thereby influencing the decision of potential tourists.
The annual Lonely Planet rating is divided into four categories - 10 regions, 10 countries, 10 cities and 10 most budget-friendly proposals.
In the category of regions, Central Asia occupies the first place. “This region, once enriched by world trade and travelers, was again in the center of world attention. The ancient cities, bustling bazaars and wild landscapes of Central Asia are attracting more and more visitors looking for adventure on one of the most legendary travel routes in history, ”says Lonely Planet.
According to experts of the publication, the definition of Central Asia as the main region of 2020 was largely the result of “speedy reforms” of Uzbekistan aimed at fundamental transformations of the entire tourism industry of the republic and the definition of this sector as strategic in national economy. The introduction of a visa-free regime with respect to citizens of about 90 countries, an unprecedented rapprochement with neighbors, a more than double increase in the number of foreign tourists are significant assets not only in Uzbekistan, but also in the entire region, representatives of the publication emphasize.
The publication draws attention to the fact that countries of the region now have either a visa-free regime or electronic visas are available for most citizens of the world: "Huge investments in transport and infrastructure make traveling along the modern Silk Road more accessible than ever before."
“Rediscover the lost beauty of the Silk Road in Uzbekistan,” the description says. “The Registan, covered with mosaics, was once a medieval center and a trade square - a crossroads in the center of the ancient Silk Road.”
“From Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan and Timur, the history of Central Asia turns pages at every turn,” emphasizes the publication. - At a right angle and with one eye closed, the legendary caravan parking lots of the oasis in Samarkand and Bukhara with their exotic lines of minarets and madrassas really seem to be filmed from the Marco Polo era. Divide the circle of barbecue with an Uzbek merchant or wander around the ancient caravanserai, and historical romantics will find that the past and present begin to merge together in Central Asia. ”
The guidebook says: “If you want to explore the architectural pearls of Bukhara or make a horseback trip to the high Pamirs, everywhere in Central Asia you will be welcomed with hospitality and offered exquisite cuisine, a helping hand or a place to relax. In addition to the Uzbek cities of the Silk Road, mass tourism has not yet managed to penetrate into Central Asia, which gives each trip a genuine sense of discovery. Add to this the inner charm of a forgotten region, slowly turning into a geopolitical reference point, and you will get one of the most exciting hidden corners of Asia. ”
In the top ten regions of the world that Lonely Planet recommends for visiting tourists in 2020, following Central Asia are also Marche (Italy), Tohoku (Japan), Maine (USA), Lord Howe Island (Australia), Guizhou (China), Bahia de Cadiz (Spain), Northeast Argentina, Kvarner Bay (Croatia), Brazilian Amazon.
Uzbekistan was first included in the Lonely Planet rating in 2018 and immediately took second place in Asia after the Korean city of Busan as a destination for a tourist trip. In the April 2019 issue, Lonely Planet noted that “Uzbekistan is a mandatory country to visit in 2019 in Asia.” Then the publication called Uzbekistan “the cradle of culture for more than two millennia,” “the largest country in Central Asia and the most impressive exhibition in terms of attractions.” “Uzbekistan is a country with deserted citadels, decorated with mosaics of madrassas and lively bazaars, located in the heart of the Silk Road, the world's superhighway,” the publication said.