While being the crossroads of times and roads, Uzbekistan is the most historically fascinating of the Central Asian republics and one of the greatest tourist destinations of the world. Within it are some of the oldest cities in the world, some of the Silk Road's main centers and most of the region's architectural splendors. It worth to visit the ancient cities of Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva, Kokand, where every stone tells a story.
Reading through the history, one can learn that Uzbekistan has pretty fascinating past. It suffered many invasions by several different empires, have had many different rulers, cultures, religions. That makes Uzbekistan really attracting for tourists from all over the world. But what else other than our history can work on the path of attraction tourists here, to promote and develop tourism in Uzbekistan? And what can we - the people who are directly or indirectly are connected with hospitality industry - do in order to add our coins for the tourism sector development?
I will not tell anything now about Havo Yullari’s “exceptional service” and prices, hourly long lines at passport control stands, lack of toilets, credit card and ATM machines, problems with visas – these are things that never been easy to change. However, what we definitely are able to change is – start making tourist’s life here much easier, more enjoyable, so people would want to come back again and bring their friends and families!
One of the greatest problems that we have today in the tourism sector – not all of us know how to spread information about ourselves. Every day on TV or Internet, I hear or read the news about other countries’ tourism attractions, like that there was a new attraction invented or a new hotel built in such and such country that is expected to bring such and such millions of tourists, or anything like that. It is very, very rare, when I find out anything new about Uzbekistan. One day, I tried to organize a camel tour by myself for my friends from Russia, but unfortunately I had hard time finding information about people providing such service (other than a very few number of tour operators, but nothing on anyone, who sells this service to tour operators). The same situation with any type of services provided to attract tourists.
Internet became the first source of information for billions of people; this is where the information should be spread through.
Advertising, getting the information straight to your customer – this is one of the first tools that makes your business successful.
Another great way to success – improve the quality of your service, whether you are in the hotel business, catering or entertainment. The employees should clearly understand that the success of the business leads to their personal success. When serving a customer they should always smile, provide all the attention one could ever possibly get, make sure the customer feels well and comfortable, show that they truly care about her/him and are here to make her/him happy. Because we all know, that anyone who works directly with foreigners, become like a “face” for our country. And we want it to be a nice, smiling and happy face.
United - we win, so, what all the tour operators should do – is to unite and invent / think out and implement more and more attractions for tourists. That might be well organized (I emphasize – well organized, well informed about) festival, that will become a world-known festival in the future, like October First or Carnival in Rio. I believe, they must had had lots of difficulties, when they where organizing those festivals in the beginning!
I propose everyone, who reads this article and wants to contribute any ideas or assistance for tourism development, for organization of any festivals (do not forget, that May is coming with its “Silk and Spice Festival” in ancient Bukhara!), please, feel free to contact me via e-mail, Skype or ICQ to discuss these matters. Only uniting our efforts, we can make the life better!
I wish you good luck, a prosperous year for your businesses, and happiness for you and yours.
ICQ #: 283-166-672
Contributed by Nargiza Ogulchansky (SEAF) with the help of Hotel “SEMURG” in Bukhara.