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As part of the celebrations to mark Navruz and the 20th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s independence, Permanent Delegation of Uzbekistan is conducting work on broader familiarization of the French and European public with Uzbekistan.
In this regard, Tour Hebdo has devoted its special edition to Uzbekistan’s rich tourist potential. The popular magazine Tour Hebdo which has large readership was founded in 1978 and is part of the Wolters Kluwer group, which is one of the leading information agencies providing products and services for professionals in the field of tourism, education, finances, science and healthcare. The main consumers of information published by the magazine are leading European travel agencies who make up 87 per cent of the readership of the magazine, which helps them to more efficiently advise their customers on travel destinations and organizing tours.
The publication’s special edition notes that since ancient times Uzbekistan has served as a bridge between the West and the East. The ancient cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva located along the Great Silk Road – which served as an exchange point not only for commodities, but also cultures, languages, customs and traditions – have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
It also provides useful information about Uzbekistan’s travel agencies, rich cultural and historic heritage, traditions and the country’s developing tourist infrastructure as a whole. Particular attention is paid to the role of the Uzbekistan Airways national airliner, the company’s modern air fleet, availability of direct flights to European capitals, as well as new flying routes under consideration. Those interested in getting more information are advised to visit the websites of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry, the Permanent Delegation and the embassy as well as other organizations and agencies.
In this respect, the publication mentions the launch of a free iPhone application on Uzbekistan UZ UNESCO.
France has a leading position in Europe in terms of the number of tourists visiting Uzbekistan. For example, over 11,000 French tourists visited the country in 2009, while in 2010 the figure reached 12,000. The country is expected to see a gradual increase in the number of European tourists visiting Uzbekistan in the years to come.
In this respect, it is noted that as of today, France is the most important and promising market in Europe in terms of attracting tourist inflow in Uzbekistan.
The current level of Uzbek-French bilateral relations in the field of tourism is rather high and the cultural events held by the Uzbek side contribute to raising the awareness of French and European communities of Uzbekistan’s rich historic, cultural as well as tourist potential. Cooperation between travel agencies and companies of both countries and their joint participation in international fairs, exhibitions as well as other events held in France and Uzbekistan also contribute to increasing French tourists’ interest in visiting the ancient land.
It is noted that the experience of long-term cooperation with France and Europe as a whole in the field of tourism shows commitment to raising the quality of services provided in Uzbekistan in the tourism sector. In this respect, it is worthwhile to consider the issue of opening the Office of Uzbek Tourism in Paris.
The publication also makes a special mention of Uzbekistan’s efforts to improve the infrastructure of popular tourist destinations, as well as the emphasis put on the modern system of training of staff involved in tourism and hotel business.
According to observer assessments, Uzbekistan represents real interest for European tourists. In this respect, it is noteworthy that along with traditional travel routes going through Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, efforts are being made to develop new tourist destinations, in particular to the Ferghan Valley. A special mention is made of agricultural tourism. Uzbekistan has a great diversity of customs and traditions, in particular wedding ceremonies, folklore music and festivals related to the country’s various regions.
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