As the world opens for tourism after the long break of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uzbekistan is entering the travel market with its upgraded new tourism image and opportunities, welcoming tourists from all over the globe to visit Uzbekistan for tourism and business.
Uzbek government has been implementing significant reforms in developing the tourism industry of the country during the past decade by simplifying visa procedures for foreigners willing to travel to Uzbekistan for tourism and business purposes, developing new tourist destinations in Uzbekistan, improving the infrastructure of the historical and tourist cities of Uzbekistan, creating more comfort and better conditions for visitors.
So far, a total of 93 countries can travel to Uzbekistan visa-free today, while over 50 countries can visit Uzbekistan with an electronic visa / e-visa. The countries that are able to visit Uzbekistan without obtaining a visa cover all EU member states and UK citizens. The current relaxation of travel to Uzbekistan has brought significant results to the tourist flow to Uzbekistan in recent years, with visitor numbers peaking at 6.7 million in 2019, right before the outbreak of the pandemic. In 2023 our country expects to outgrow the pre-pandemic numbers of international tourists visiting Uzbekistan, reaching approximately 7 million visitors.
Other measures on boosting the interest of foreign travelers to visit Uzbekistan cover promoting the tourism sector of the country on an international level, by using famous international mass media channels, including BBC, National Geographic, The Times, The Telegraph, Lonely Planet and others.
Joining international tourism events, such as participating in international tourism fairs, exhibitions, and conferences, as well as organizing cultural events abroad, including photo and art exhibitions, and expositions of the historical and cultural heritage of Uzbekistan worldwide is another example of measures of promoting the tourism of Uzbekistan today.
While developing the tourism sector as one of the strategic sectors of the national economy, new tourist destinations which were unknown or less popular among the tourists traveling to Uzbekistan are being designed and promoted by the government today.
Since most visitors who decide to travel to Uzbekistan are mainly interested in visiting the cultural and historical attractions, such as Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, in order to encourage repetitive travel to Uzbekistan, the government is also promoting religious tourism as a new tourist destination of Uzbekistan. Pilgrimage tourism to the holy sites of various religious and spiritual beliefs that have been developed in the territory of modern Uzbekistan for centuries is another attraction that could charm a religious category of tourists to visit Uzbekistan for ziarat tourism of Islamic and Sufi monuments, Buddhist and Zoroastrian monasteries that have remained in the territory of Uzbekistan until our days.
Articles about Uzbekistan and its tourism potential are being published in well-known international magazines and platforms, familiarizing foreign audiences with Uzbekistan’s historical tourist sites, newly designed tourist destinations, and modern conveniences and conditions being created for travelers visiting Uzbekistan today.
All of the above is indeed a great tool to promote the tourism of our country among the international audience, attracting interest to visit Uzbekistan not only for its classic tourist destinations but also for new types of tourism being designed in the country during the past decade.