The issues of tourism development and sports popularization were discussed

On December 9, chaired by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a video conference was held to discuss the ongoing work in the field of tourism and sports, as well as tasks for the coming year.

Tourism in Uzbekistan is developing as one of the strategic sectors of the economy. A number of decrees and resolutions have created broad conditions for its development. In particular, the number of countries for whose citizens a visa-free regime has been introduced has been increased from 9 to 86, a system of "electronic visas" has been introduced for citizens of 53 states. In this difficult year for tourism, business entities operating in the field were provided with full support, they were provided with subsidies and loans.

At the meeting, which was held in a critical spirit, measures were considered to restore and develop the country's tourism potential, taking into account the need to revise approaches in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2021, it is planned to attract 1.7 million foreign and 7.5 million local tourists, as well as increase the export of services in the field to $ 370 million. The most promising source in this regard is, first of all, pilgrim tourism. There are many Muslim shrines, monuments of Judaism and Buddhism in our country. Taking advantage of this opportunity, it is possible to attract 700,000 pilgrims and ensure the export of services worth $ 130 million.

In this regard, it was indicated the need for a phased renewal from next year of air traffic with European countries, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand, Japan, and the launch of new directions for pilgrim tourism. The high cost of tickets for the flights of the national air carrier was criticized, and the task was set to reduce prices.

The head of state noted the lack of work to promote pilgrim tourism and a scientific approach. The importance of further promoting the tourism potential of our country together with the embassies abroad was noted. A proposal has been put forward to simplify the visa system for citizens of states in which pilgrimage tours to Uzbekistan are highly popular.