Samarkand to host 99th UNWTO Session.
A special article written by Silk Road Destinations Samarkand Uzbekistan to promote Uzbekistan Tourism
Samarkand Uzbekistan: City of Samarkand will host the 99th Executive Council Session of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in October 2014. The announcement was made at International Tourism Fair ITB Berlin 2014 by Zoltan Somogyi, UNWTO Executive Director.
The decision was made during the 98th session of the UNWTO, which was held in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), June 4-6, this year. Selection was held through an open vote among the Executive Board members. The meeting participants voted unanimously for the candidacy of Samarkand.
“Uzbekistan is one of the active UNWTO members and important actor in Silk Road program. This is quite natural, since the ancient cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva were on the Great Silk Road, which contributed not only to the exchange of goods and technologies, but also to mutual enrichment of cultures and traditions of different people. I recommend to all exhibitors to visit your beautiful country that has fascinating magnificent monuments of ancient architecture and unforgettable hospitable people,”- said Zoltan Somogyi.
Historical and architectural heritage, unique monuments and holy places of pilgrimage and a richness of culture and traditions of the region provide Samarkand with great potential in the tourism industry.
UNESCO World Heritage city of Samarkand is the second largest city in Uzbekistan and was the capital of three empires and the crossroads of East and West in the times of the Great Silk Road. In 2013 Samarkand was visited by 160,000 tourists from more than 70 countries.
Today, Samarkand accommodates visitors in international standard 8, hotels which are located throughout the region. There are 82 tourism related companies which successfully meet the needs and expectations of all visitors.
Nowadays the Samarkand tourism industry provides a transportation sector, accommodation, food and drink excursions and includes M.I.C.E. tourism.
Street signs with directions to monuments and visitor attractions are installed on the streets of the city, airport and train stations are equipped with detailed city maps and are available in English and Russian languages. Special exhibitions such as ‘’National handicraft’’, ‘’Samarkand bread’’, ‘’Watermelon day’’ and others are organized for tourists along with various musical performances. One of the most spectacular and largest events is ‘’Sharq Taronalari’’, an international music festival held on the main city square of ‘’Registan’’.
Constant improvements are being achieved in the quality of services provided, for an ever increasing number of international visitors. Our next goal is creating an informational database on visitor attractions in English, Turkish, Russian, French and Japanese languages. Development of monumental lighting systems, installation of air-conditioning systems in public buildings, improvement of ATM machine services and construction of a hotel to cater for 50 guests at the place of Pilgrimage, Hazrat Dovut (Saint David) in the district of Nurobod as well as the part reconstruction of Chor Chinor and finally the building of 10 hotels.
To achieve set goals and deliver best possible service to visitors, there are improvements which need to be made in the transportation system ie. electro-mobile shuttle cars to transport visitors in the central part of Samarkand. Uzbekistan airways state carrier to launch new domestic and international routes to and from the cities like Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Tokyo. The local tourism authority must cultivate agricultural and ecotourism. In connection with that, ‘Zarafshan’ and ‘Mingarcha’ national parks must appeal to tourists with visitor centers in the mountain areas of Ohalik, Mironkul, and Amankutan districts.
Samarkand was “Tourism on the Great Silk Road 2013” award winning region at the International Tashkent Travel Fair and moreover, received the award of “Best tourism possibilities” diploma.
Samarkand tourism related companies to represent Uzbekistan tourism at international travel fairs in London, Berlin, Tokyo, Madrid, Beijing, Seoul, Moscow and others.