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Статья опубликована в рамках: Научного журнала «Студенческий» № 1(129)

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Библиографическое описание:
Tolibjonov S.O. CURRENT AND FUTURE TOURISM TRENDS IN UZBEKISTAN // Студенческий: электрон. научн. журн. 2021. № 1(129). URL: https://sibac.info/journal/student/129/200058 (дата обращения: 05.03.2021).

CURRENT AND FUTURE TOURISM TRENDS IN UZBEKISTAN

Tolibjonov Sardor Olimjon O’g’li

student, Department of Tourism, Yeoju Technical Institute in Tashkent,

Uzbekistan, Tashkent

ABSTRACT

This article considers the Tourism trends of Uzbekistan, current and future trends. To compete successfully in the global tourism market, a country needs to create all possible types of tourism to be in touch with world’s travel and hospitality. As a result, a role of new tourism trends in Uzbekistan, will increase a profitability of national Tourism Industry.

 

Keywords: current tourism trends, future tourism trends, tourism industry of Uzbekistan.

 

Current Tourism Trends

Heritage Tourism

More than 7000 monuments of diverse civilizations and cultural heritage, Uzbekistan has huge potential in the field of Tourism [1]. Its history dates go back to the root of Millennia and this place was inhabited by humans 1 million years ago [2]. As a result, the country attracts tourist flow around the world. In addition, Uzbekistan is wealthy country with wonderful architectural monuments which are more than 4000. The legendary cities as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Shakhrisabz are famous pearls of the Ancient Great Silk Road that included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. There are more than 160 historically important Muslim sites located in the country, and dozens of historical sites related to Sufism. Among these are the Mausoleum of Sheikh Zaynudin Bobo, Sheihantaur, the Mausoleum of Zangiata in Tashkent, the Bakhauddin Ensemble in Bukhara, the Bayan-Quli Khan Mausoleum, the Saif ed-Din Bokharzi Mausoleum, and many others [3]. It makes country as a religious destination too.

Foreign film production companies are exempted from payment for filming on sites of tangible cultural heritage in Uzbekistan for improving the image of the country abroad. This was reported by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Tourism Development. Earlier, a film production company from foreign countries had to pay a fee at the amount of 800 thousand sums for each filming day according to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan of June 12, 2012, No.169. Now foreign companies are exempted from paying this fee and rent for filming on the sites of tangible cultural heritage with condition of promoting the brand of Uzbekistan [4].

According to the analysis of the inbound tourism by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Tourism Development, Age group from 31 to 55 years old makes up the greatest amount of visitors in Age category of visitors of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2018. The next coming are the age categories before 30 years old and beginning from 56 years old (6). They are Baby boomers and generation X people. Moreover, these two groups exceed 0-18 and 19-30 age groups together for 2,5 time. Number of foreign tourists shows 6.2 % except Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Central Asian countries [5].

Although, Nikita Makarenko, Journalist said that “The buildings related to Soviet Modernism Architecture in Tashkent should be included in the cultural heritage and protected by government. Nowadays, there is a big interest in the soviet modernism in the world.” Soviet residential buildings tend to have two distinct characteristics: first, although varied in style, they are standardized and mass-produced; second, they are decorated with motifs intended to reflect local culture and the national folklore of the various republics [6]. These buildings are deliberately didactic, not only through the ways of living they impose but through the cultural and political references they contain [7]. USSR period buildings can be tourism objects because of soviet modernism architecture in long term time.  For example, most popular ones, Hotel Uzbekistan, Tashkent’s State Museum of History of Uzbekistan, Tashkent Circus, Exhibition Hall of the Academy of Arts, Drilling Tool Plant in Samarkand, Chorsu Bazar, and et cetera.

Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) Tourism

Visiting friends and relatives is the main form of tourism in Uzbekistan. The chunk part of tourists for 81% arrived to visit friends and relatives in 2019 [8]. The Central Asian region stays the leading platform which tourists are attracted into Uzbekistan [9].

Table 1.

The Number of touristic flows among countries

The regions, from which the main international touristic flows are sent to Uzbekistan (%)

Central Asia

86.10

Other CIS countries

7.70

Far-abroad countries

6.20

 

Central Asian countries are major countries as travelers generating regions for visiting friends and relatives tourism as well as domestic tourism. However, The VFR market is notoriously difficult to measure, for two main reasons: the first one is the fact that much of it is domestic and no national boundaries are crossed; the second one is VFR tourists do not usually make use of commercial accommodation establishments, where visitor data could be collected [10]. Moreover, this type of tourism creates demand for other areas of tourism such as leisure, recreational, and et cetera. As a result, VFR trips will be cause for touristic activities in both domestic and international directions.

Pilgrimage Tourism

According to Abdulaziz Akkulov, the deputy head of State Committee of Tourism Development, the foreign visitors came to Uzbekistan in religious purpose was about 2 million and domestic tourists index was approximately 9 million in 2017. Above mentioned Uzbekistan has Islamic roots which make not only historical and cultural but religious destination too. That being said, Bukhara city has a significant role in Islam world due to its history and huge contribution to developing Islam religion. Similarly, Samarkand, Khiva, Shakhrisabz and many sacred places had impact to the culture of Islam as well as other religions. Based on the information of Tourism Committee, the number of tourists visiting from Muslim countries to Uzbekistan has dramatically increased in 2018 compared to 2017. For instance, the number of Malaysian visitors grew by 66%, while this indicator is 88% for Indonesia [11].

Based on Global Muslim Travel Index 2019, Uzbekistan, Indonesia and Iran took place in top ten of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries. These top ten countries incorporate 36% of Muslim inbound market in the world.  According to research by Mastercard and CrescentRating, it is expected over 230 million Muslim tourists will join on travel in global and local directions in 2026 year [12].  By that time, Muslim travelers will make contribution about $300 billion into the global economy [13]. Safdar Khan, Division President Indonesia, Malaysia & Brunel, Mastercard said “Muslims tourists all over the world are exploring new destinations and seeking authentic, unique travel experiences that diverge from the ordinary. This desire for discovery has made Muslim travelers one of the fastest growing segments in the global travel industry. Yet, it remains a relatively untapped market providing immense opportunity for all stakeholders. To seize this opportunity, hotels, and tour operators need to understand and meet cultural and religious needs of Muslim travelers, to create tailor-made products and services for them.“

Simultaneously, the monuments of other religions such as Christianity and Buddhism attracts attention of guests. There are such monuments as Fayoztepa, Karatepa, Ayritom, Dalvarzintera, which are associated with the Buddhist religion, and tourists from China, Japan, Korea, are paying great attention to the monuments and temples of Buddhism [14]. These monuments are located in Surkhandarya region of Uzbekistan.  In Samarkand, along with Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant churches operating in the present time, there are written sources and historical items indicating that the religion of Qam, Shamanism, Fire worship, Christianity, and Islam and various other religions operate side by side on the tolerance [15]. Currently, 2 thousand 276 religious organizations operate in Uzbekistan, including 183 non-Islamic religious organizations, of which 8 are Jewish communities, 6 Bahai communities and one Jehovah’s Witnesses, one Hare Krishna society, a Buddhist temple, as well as an interfaith Bible society and others that represent 16 different faiths [16]. Uzbekistan pays great attention not only to preserving Islamic values and spreading the teachings of the Islamic religion, but also to strengthening inter-confessional dialogue [17].

Eco-Tourism

The country’s diverse ecology, ranging from deserts to glaciers, mountains to steppes, gives the country great eco-tourism potential. The eco-tourism opportunities in Uzbekistan are plentiful and distinct. These include its eight state reserves (201.7 thousand hectares), three national parks (598.7 thousand hectares), biosphere reserve (68.7 thousand hectares), natural wildlife breeding center (158.9 thousand hectares), and ten natural monuments (3.7 thousand hectares) [18].

Uzbekistan does not have its own ecotourism brand. It is known that the service industry is abstract, so their brand is important in the development. Ecotourism provides a great advantage in the industry for certain tools, equipment, hunting rifles and car rental. In some destinations of Uzbekistan (Bukhara, Kashkadarya region of the State Forest Hunt), such rentals have not been created. Uzbekistan has natural resources, beautiful landscapes, a rich world of flora and fauna. In order to increase the reserve (in SURKHON, the house is Hisar district, Badaydarkness, Kyzylkum Zarafshan, Chotkol, Zaamin, Kitab) “Jeyran Eco-Center” and in accordance with international standards, it is necessary to attract foreign investment to open the material and technical base [19].

At present time, there are 17 natural reserves in Uzbekistan, including Baday-Tuqay, Kizilkum, Nurota, Zarafshon, Orol Paygambar, Hisor, Zomin and Chatqal and these reserve areas are mainly used as a place for protection of the endangered species and plants [20]. Ecotourisms of deserted plains, mountainous zonal, and mountain forests are very interesting and attractive for tourists, with diverse landscape and biological diversity. The world of plants is more than 4100 species, of which 9% are endemic. The fauna of the republic consists of 97 species of mammals, 424 species of birds, 58 species of reptiles, 83 species of fish, of which 8.8% are emmigrants. The Republican Red Book includes 184 species of animals and 305 species of plants (2006) [21].

Medical Tourism

The medical tourism has been developing in Uzbekistan and it takes 0.9% of overall tourism industry. The concept of the Republic of Uzbekistan health system development in 2019-2025 years, approved by the Decree of the President "On complex measures on radical improvement of the health care system of the Republic of Uzbekistan" dated December 7, 2018, provides for increased development medturizma in the country [22].

Because of the cheap medical services comparing with the developed countries such as Canada, USA and Japan, people come for medical purposes and because of this they travel to Uzbekistan. AS World Tourism Organization defined health tourism is the visits to hot springs or other health centers to improve the physical well-being of the person. Especially, dental services are more popular among tourists. During the journey, except medical tourism, guests can travel to historical or eco places of different regions. They use accommodation, transportation, and f&b services which develop the whole hospitality in the country.

In 2018/2019, the number of patients coming to Uzbekistan from abroad for health tourism is around 54,000. Patients coming to Uzbekistan mostly requires dental treatment, as well as asthma, Rheumatism, Lung-Heart and general treatments. Although there is no travel agency working to bring patients to Uzbekistan, ten agencies provide services to bring patients abroad. [23].

Future Tourism Trends

Blockchain

Modern technologies are changed our life, people can do anything at any time directly and easy betwixt individuals. However, during money transactions is needed third parties who puts additional value on the service or product [24]. In this case, Blockchain technology can help to get rid of the third parties and without additional payments. It connects a seller with a buyer directly in one platform. Due to the direct connection between customer and supplier, it will be cheaper than usual costs [25].

88% of customers prefer booking online, often using intermediaries such as Airbnb, Booking,com, Traveladvisortip.com, Trivago and others. For local hotels, this means paying a commission fee in order to attract tourists via the 3rd party. And this party gets the vital data and they only gain from it. By Blockchain technology, two or more companies or users connect directly and get access to the variety databases and share it which benefits for everyone. For example, after joining to blockchain, hotel will not make contracts with travel agencies or websites, it can take bookings from customers directly and use databases of other companies such as Airlines, Airports, Hotels and so on [26].

Nowadays, hotels are becoming smart hotels by using Ambient Intelligence. For instance, when at night you walked across the room, a little light would be flash because there a motion detector, in the morning when you wake up and across the room, that light would not be flash, it is ambient intelligence and it collects all information about the customers by sensors, detectors and so on, then Artificial Intelligence makes a database and store on the blockchain where other companies can find new databases easily and cheaper. Also owner company can use it for its management at real time and meet the needs of the customers [27].

In the terms of hospitality, it can be used for Secure Payments, by direct connection between hotel and customers, service price will have reduced and transparent, safe. ID verification and security, at the different stage of travelling ID verification is wasted time but Blockchain technology can save time by one click, for example finger print. The centralized nature of the blockchain can allow different companies to easily share and access related data. Loyalty programs, airlines, hotels and other companies can implement attractive loyalty programs. By making the use of blockchain, customers can use loyalty pointfor other services or exchange the point to cash [28].

Casino Gambling

In Moynaq, the casino gambling games and businesses may be legalized. Because of the poor developed economic condition of Karakalpakstan, the autonomic republic of Uzbekistan, this business can be beneficial and a boost for local economy. Moynaq city is located in the drying sea which is called Aral Sea. Some investors from United Arabic Emirates are interested to build the casino in this region. Also, the president of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that “It is hard to say, but we need this. All over the world, like in Las Vegas, there are huge gambling complexes. If need be, we will also allow such establishments to be set up in Nukus” [29]. In this case, the gambling business brings new tourist flows and that causes a demand for new restaurants, hotels and many job opportunities.

However, there are win sides and drawbacks of the gambling industry. The significant impact is an economical affect to a local region and well-being residents. In contrast, some researchers have found that the development of casino gambling has no direct relation with an increase in criminal activities [30]. Because of gathering huge amount of monetary source, it is one of the wide spread stereotypes about casino. But other studies have claimed that casinos do not directly cause the issue of problem gambling [31]. Although, it can rice the cost of living in local area, as well as make the local area better place to live. The governments get huge tax revenue and receive new flows of tourist from abroad. At the same time, number of employments will be increase. Moreover, this effect creates a demand for food & beverage, hotel, transportation industries and et cetera.  Because casino gambling belongs to a segment of the tourism industry, the examinations of the economic impacts of casino gambling could be definitely applied in studies related to the economic impacts of tourism [32]. In addition, economical advantages of casinos make them are more obvious business in country side areas.

Several studies have indicated that casino businesses produce positive local environmental outcomes, including the protection of natural environments and ecological resources, the conservation of historical buildings and cultural heritage, the improvement of public transportation, upgrades in electrical facilities, higher medical standards, revitalization of city landscapes, and increases in recreational playgrounds [33]. Known drawbacks of casino gambling to environment and public infrastructure are overtourism, traffic jams due to numerous of tourists and visitors, rebuilding and demolition of public buildings and areas, pollution of air, decreasing green areas of nature and many others.

Virtual Reality Tourism

Due to the pandemic of Covid-19, tourism industry declined extremely in 2020. In this case, to recover previous condition needs some years. As, a result it can be a reason to develop virtual tourism by VR technologies. By using Virtual Reality Technologies, any customer can go any place and experience it online without leaving his or her home. In addition, they will have an image of destination which crucial for decision making phase of customer choice. Nowadays, VR tours are available through websites of the browser. As above said, Uzbekistan includes more than 7000 historic monuments are enormous resource for VR tours. Also, national tourism website www.uzbekistan.travel portal which is an official tourist resource of Uzbekistan, includes necessary information for visitors such as tourist routes, historical & cultural destinations, and et cetera [34]. This portal shows virtual tours along the country. These online tours are available now with 360 format in https://uzbekistan360.uz website. Similarly, VR technology AR or Augmented technology has developed. This technology combines real world elements with virtual elements. For instance, via a simple smartphone’s app tourists can see or listen information about their current destination. With Augmented Reality Glasses tourists can travel from their home, the glasses create whole 3D virtual world for them which is almost same with reality.  Among Commonwealth Independent States’ (CIS) cities, Tashkent is in the top three for virtual trips for attractions and museums (http://3d.museums.uz/). “Tour Stat” travel portal compiled the rating the best CIS cities by the number of offers for the virtual excursions via Internet. Minsk, Almaty and Tashkent are among the top three cities. Bishkek, Baku, Yerevan, Kishinev and Dushanbe follow them [35].

In conclusion, Historical and Cultural tourism type have developed well in Uzbekistan. Although, Pilgrimage has been rising moderately. Simultaneously, Medical tourism has big opportunities because of cheap price and high service quality. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, overall tourism in Uzbekistan is not in previous level as 2018 and 2019 years. However, it was reason to develop VR tours across Uzbekistan. Moreover, creating Casino Gambling can change rural areas which have difficulty with well-being and attract new category tourists as well as young generation. With a blockchain, money transactions within sender and receiver, not only tourism industry but whole economical level of Uzbekistan will be in the next level of developing path.

 

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