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For sustainable tourism to remain an important driver behind Uzbekistan’s economy, it is important that a supportive legislative environment can continue to be strengthened.
The Ulugbek madrassah in Samarkand’s historical Registan complex has hosted a joint session of the Committee on External Policy Issues of the Oliy Majlis, and the Samarkand Regional Council of People’s Deputies, in order to determine how the region’s tourism potential may be expanded.
To ensure that tourism remains a means for development in Samarkand and throughout Uzbekistan, it is important that related infrastructure is strengthened and appropriate legislation is reinforced. The importance of regional tourism programs, industry modernisation and alternative tourism were all highlighted during the recent session.
The meeting speakers included the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee D. Allakuliev, the Samarkand Khokim Z. Mirzaev, and the ‘Uzbektourism’ Deputy Chairman A. Temirhodzhaev. The speakers summarised the results of regional tourism development initiatives, and the importance of restoring historical monuments and building tourism infrastructure.
The benefits of youth tourism, the attraction of international investors and the promotion of regional tourism potential were also discussed during the meeting. The head of UNDP’s ‘Local Governance Support: Participation and Partnership’ project D. Isroilov also presented the work undertaken to promote sustainable tourism in the Djizak region’s Zaamin district.
A number of concrete proposals were developed as a result of the meeting. These included making changes to the law ‘On Tourism’ to regulate guest houses, and scaling-up the UNDP project’s benefits to all regions of Uzbekistan.
It was also proposed that UNDP should provide advisory assistance in developing rural tourism in Samarkand and in other areas, and that it should work with the ‘Uzbektourism’ national company in developing a promotion video regarding Uzbekistan’s tourism potential.
The joint session of the Committee of the Senate was conducted with assistance from UNDP through Uzbekistan’s ‘Parliamentary Development Assistance’ project. The session was attended by senators and deputies of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the heads of the regular commissions of the Councils of People`s Deputies, and deputies of the Samarkand Regional Council of People`s Deputies.
Also in attendance were representatives of relevant ministries and agencies, tourism experts, tour operators, and representatives of both the Association of Private Tourism Organizations and the mass media.