A scientific and practical conference on the topic "Actual problems and the importance of pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan" was hosted by the International Islamic Academy hosted on 12 April 2022 in Tashkent.
The conference was organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage of Uzbekistan. Representatives of the Committee for Religious Affairs under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Committee for Interethnic Relations and Friendly Relations with Foreign Countries, the Center for Islamic Civilization of Uzbekistan, the Institute for Tourism Development under the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage attended the event. Other attendees included representatives of the Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva regions under the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage, as well as students of the International Islamic Academy.
The idea of creating a single brand of the pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan was brought up during the meeting. The participants also discussed current opportunities, advantages, and problems of developing pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan, as well as experience of Uzbekistan regions in the growth of pilgrimage tourism.
“In order to train highly qualified specialists in the field of domestic and pilgrimage tourism, there are currently 2 research institutes (in the areas of tourism and cultural heritage), 4 colleges, 6 technical schools, and the Silk International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage in the system of the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage. way, located in Samarkand. International events are being held in Uzbekistan to form scientifically-based information about shrines, scientists, and their scientific heritage and to comprehensively study the potential of pilgrimage tourism and systematize data,” said Temur Mirzaev, Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Heritage.
Today, there are 784 Islamic shrines, 19 Christian shrines, and 8 objects of Buddhist cultural heritage in Uzbekistan. The Uzbek government is organizing various cultural events to promote Jewish and Buddhist shrines, and to create movies about Uzbek scientists in foreign languages. The International Hadith Competition of Imam al-Bukhari and the Islamic calligraphy competition are on the list of newly developed events organized by the government of Uzbekistan.
A number of reports and proposals on resolving the issues of the pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan and developing the sector were delivered during the conference by relevant experts in the tourism sector. Applying an innovative approach to the development of pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan was also offered as a way to expand the sector. Thus, works on creating an online platform covering pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan have been launched.
Particularly, the head of the pilgrimage tourism department of the Center for Islamic Civilization of Uzbekistan Saidkomil Kholkhodzhaev made a report on topical issues of creating a single brand of the pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan, the significance of the brand and its importance in the field of tourism.
The diversity of religions and the deep historical roots of Islam in the region create a wonderful perspective for developing the pilgrimage tourism sector in Uzbekistan, attracting foreign travelers to visit Uzbekistan for pilgrimage and cultural purposes.