A working group of the Uzbek State Committee for Tourism Development representatives visited Fergana region, and together with Fergana Regional Administration examined its readiness for the touristic season, particularly checking the health and safety travel conditions in the area.
The Fergana region is known for its high potential not only in ecotourism, agro and medical tourism, but in arts and crafts as well. It is famous for its unique historical production of silk, atlas & adras ikat and beautiful glazed ceramics artworks.
The working group visited the Artisans Center, founded by the initiative of the master Ibrahimjon Sultanov, based on public-private partnership. The center has more than 200 variations of the national fabric Atlas and Adras, the technologies of which were recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2017.
The history of ikat atlas and adras-making technologies in the territory of modern-day Uzbekistan dates back to the Late Antique Period. Historically, Margilan was the center for making atlas and adras – vivid and fine traditional fabrics. Due to the acute need to revive and safeguard traditions at risk of disappearing, the local community came up with an initiative to launch the Crafts Development Centre (CDC) in 2007.
Another area the working group visited was Rishtan, which is a part of the Fergana valley and one of the oldest towns on the Great Silk Road and in Central Asia. This place is the largest center for the production of unique glazed ceramics in Central Asia.
During the visit to Rishtan, the working group visited the houses of Alisher Nazirov, Said Akhmedov and the Koron Ceramics Center, where they examined national artisan products and souvenirs. Handicraft products have been produced here since ancient times. The secrets of production are passed down from generation to generation.
Here in the center you can not only buy fine national handmade products, but also participate in the production process yourselves. According to the artisans, this aspect also would encourage foreign tourists to visit Rishtan. Creating family guest houses in the houses of craftsmen is another great convenience and fun local experience for tourists visiting Rishtan, since guests can live there, communicate with the owners and enjoy obtaining crafting skills.
During the visit, The Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, Chairman of the State Committee for Tourism Development, Aziz Abdukhakimov, has also commented about the measures on developing tourism in post-pandemic period:
“Tourists used to visit our country for our rich culture and with the aim of travelling to the number of Uzbekistan’s ancient cities, which are in the UNESCO list. However, today, in the post-pandemic period, tourists will pay a great attention to the health and safety conditions as well. That is why we have developed a special program: Safe Travel Guaranteed, which enables us to guarantee COVID-19 free travel for visitors. If we become one of the safest countries that meet the health and sanitary requirements, the travel industry will be developing even faster”.
In 2019 Uzbekistan was developing as a historical travel destination only, but now the country will be focusing on medical, eco and gastronomic tourism types as well.