UNWTO Samarkand Meeting and the speech of Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov
By Agha Iqrar Haroon
Samarkand: The President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has said that there are 7 factors those define success of tourism in the world as a whole and top of these factors are peace, security, political and economic security.
He was addressing inaugural session of ninety-nine UNWTO Executive Council meeting here on Thursday. UNWTO Talib Rafai.
The President Islam Karimov said that tourism is decreasing in many parts of the world due to international terrorism, growing radicalism and local wars and these are major obstacles on the way of achieving a tourism friendly world.
He said that second important factor for success of tourism is life standards and growing income and the more life standards of people will be higher the more tourism will flourish.
Karimov shared his in-depth knowledge and wonderful understanding with tourism related issues and expressed a strong thesis that has helped to develop exceptional successful tourism in Central Asian country of Uzbekistan.
He said that Middle Class is driving force in the world right now for tourism development and Middle Class is leading travel and tourism as buyer and expansion of Middle Class will help more growth of tourism in the world.
He said tourism success and development based on better tourism infrastructure, accessibility to tourism destinations, dependable transportation network and comfortable accommodations (hotels/motels/Sarai).
He said that that foreign and local investment in the sector of tourism can be achieved if a country is providing good infrastructure like road networks, rail and air flights connectivity, peaceful atmosphere and a tourism friendly government.
He said that simplification of visa process also helped a lot for tourism development and country should minimize bureaucratic formalities in visa process for rapid growth in tourism sector.
He said that Uzbekistan looked after all sectors and factors for tourism development in the country after its independence and today 500 hotels are offering 50,000 beds and 65 historical sites are catering millions of tourism every year. He informed international delegates that 11 international airports are operational in Uzbekistan while 2,600 Km new road network was laid down during the last 5 years. He said that an investment of 580 million $ was recorded only in year 2014. His speech was followed by address of Secretary General.
Secretary General of UNWTO Talib Rafai while addressing after Uzbek President said that Samarkand is “The Paradise on Earth for Tourists”.
He appreciated Uzbekistan for achieving exceptional growth in tourism sector and said this is credit of Uzbek President whose vision has placed Uzbekistan at the high pedestal of tourism sector and is leading in the region. He stated that foreign delegates were happy to see the beautify of Samarkand and consider this city as the Paradise on earth for tourists.
He said that 99th UNWTO session will discuss International tourism in 2014 and prospects for 2015, mainstreaming tourism in the global agenda, implementation of the general programme of work for 2014-2015, preparation of the general programme of work for 2016-2017 and UNWTO activities in the United Nations system.
Delegates of meeting were offered city tour of Samarkand after the inaugural session and city tour was followed by luncheon hosted by the Uzbek government in the honour of delegates in Kuk Sairai Hotel (former Ofrosiab Hotel).