Tourism – prospective economic sector for Djizak and Namangan regions
UNDP “Local Governance Support Project: Participation and Partnership” (LGSP) project gathered potential investors, representatives of tourism companies, international development organizations and governmental organizations to present tourism and investment opportunities of Zaamin district in Djizak region and Chartak district in Namangan region. The event sought to attract investment opportunities for tourism development in Zaamin and Chartak districts, build up tourism infrastructure and encourage tour companies to extend their services to these regions by working in cooperation with local communities.
Tourism contributing to economic growth expands opportunities for entrepreneurship, provides millions of jobs worldwide and countless number of new job openings in many other related sectors of the economy. According to the statistics provided by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 2009, more than 880 million tourists have crossed international borders and the total worldwide turnover of international tourism exceeded 852 billion US Dollars. The study shows that tourism comprises of 5% of total world GDP, 30% of world services’ exports (about 1 trillion US Dollars) and 45% of economic activities of developing countries.
The tourism sector has become one of the most significant sectors of Uzbekistan economy as well. In the first half of 2011, 1.3 million tourists to Uzbekistan generated more than 226 million US Dollars (1.8% of total GDP). It is no secret that Uzbekistan attracts the largest proportion of tourists because of its architectural and historical sites, ancient culture, traditions and customs of local people. Experts believe that Uzbekistan has a great potential to double the above given figures by diversifying the tourism services and destinations it offers. The climate and the natural environment in some of regions of Uzbekistan are found to be ideal places for the development of health and eco-tourism.
Zaamin and Chartak districts prove to be two such underestimated tourism destinations. Behind the magnificent mountains, the enchanting nature and clean air, Zaamin has great potential for development of adventure, eco, health and cultural tourism. Chartak because of its thermal mineral water, rich in iodium-bromine and other micro-mineral elements, can develop into one of the famous spa resorts of the region.
Aiming to boost the hidden tourism potential of Uzbekistan regions, the LGSP has initiated development of an exemplary brand and marketing strategy to strengthen the tourism capacities of Zaamin district of Djizak region. Within the framework of this initiative based on the marketing research, UNDP experts have developed marketing and brand strategies along with concrete Terms of References for separate investment projects.
The results, when presented, encouraged active discussions among the participants of the round-table. In particular, the participants were most interested in the proposed business projects which envisage creating the necessary tourism infrastructure in Zaamin district and the construction of a spa resort in the territory of Chartak sanatoriums. The participants were invited to visit Zaamin’s exhibition stand during the International Tourism Fair to be held in Tashkent from the second to the fourth of November, 2011.
The LGSP team and its partners believe that development of tourism is one of the most promising directions for development of Uzbekistan’s regions. Hence, it will assist in the effective use of its rich natural resources as well as its cultural and historical heritage. This will result in increased awareness about the unique culture of each region, increase the health of local populations, encourage high economic growth, and create additional jobs and income sources for the economy of the regions.