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DEVELOPMENT OF PILGRIMAGE TOURISM IN UZBEKISTAN

From 2016 tourism was declared as one of the important spheres of the country’s economy in Uzbekistan. During these years, large scale measures were carried out on the developing of the tourism of pilgrimage together with all directions of tourism too. As a result, it was achieved that, the numbers of tourists which visited to our country increased. This article is devoted to the developing of the pilgrimage tourism and its results. 

It’s known that, Uzbekistan is one of the rich countries to holy shrines in the world scale. This holy soil is regarded that, it is a land where many great persons which were the best famous in Islamic world had been buried. During the independence years, the studying and landscaping works of addresses where such humans which were famous with their great works in the strengthening the creed of Muslim community were carried out. And they were transformed to the places where pilgrimage of the people. These places are regarded not only for our people, but for the people whole Islamic world. Current days, only in Samarkand province there are 1105 archeological, 670 architectural, 37 attraction places, 18 monumental objects as well as, 1851 material and cultural heritage objects which entered to the 21 memorial categories.  There are many places where were possible for pilgrimage among them[1]. During the latest three years these reasons served as basis for the developing the tourism of pilgrimage in our country and introducing it to the world. As a result, many achievements were achieved in these. For this reason, it is important that, the scientific analyzing of the works which carried out and their results.

  From 2017 the continuously works were begun on the developing the pilgrimage tourism which is special direction of tourism and introducing it to the world. Including, the Decision of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan was declared named “About measures are implemented in the first and foremost on developing of tourism system in 2018-2019” in August 16, 2017. The program of the measures are implemented in the first and foremost on developing of tourism system in 2018-2019 was approved on the based this Decision for simplifying of traveling to Uzbekistan, developing the tourism infrastructure and to organize new tourism objects[2].

Besides, the tasks were noted such as the forming the list of counties which are offered the special program of pilgrimage tourism for these countries’ citizens, as well as, activating the works on the attracting the tourists to the holy shrines in Uzbekistan from Malaysia, Indonesia and others, carrying out ad measures which needed, logistics, including, organizing charter flights[3].

As well as, for the purpose to create the convenience to the pilgrims which are visiting to our country, new state standard was made by the state unitary enterprise named “Certificating center of the touristic services” of the State committee of the developing the tourism of the Republic of Uzbekistan. From January 1 2018, the standard came into force based on this document on the touristic services, means of placing, common requires. According to the new rules which installed, it was noted that, it must be Quran in the least one tenth of the total number of rooms in each hotel as well as, prayer seat and indicator of Qibla in the least 30 percent of the rooms[4].

During these times many works were implemented on the simplifying the visa procedure for the tourists where are come to Uzbekistan. For the purpose, the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan named “About additional organizational measures on the creating the favorable conditions for the developing of the tourism potential of the Republic of Uzbekistan” was declared in February 3 2018. According to this, the procedure without visa for the citizens of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, South Korea, Japan Israel as well as, the simplified visa procedure for the tourists where will be come from 39 countries were established. From March in that year the citizens of Tajikistan and from October the citizens of France were added to the ranks of the foreigners who are visitors without visa[5].

Besides, a number of measures were implemented on the developing “Halal tourism” in our country. Including, it was paid attention to the improving of the directions which underdeveloped and rated low in the rating which was compiled in 2017 by the “Crescent Rating” organization on the “Halal tourism” (Uzbekistan 28th position in the rating which was complied in 2017. From these, the “safe travel” is 84 ball from 100, “freedom of entrance to the temple” 80, “facilities and guaranties of eating” 70, “visa” 50, “facilities of airport” 48,3, “family vacation” 44,4, “living conditions” 33,2, “facilities for Muslims” 25, “coming of tourists” 21,2, “facilities of communication” 19). In particular, the suggestions and recommendations were produced on the developing of the pilgrimage tourism in our country by the State committee of the developing the tourism of the Republic of Uzbekistan in collaboration with “Crescent Rating” organization. The conditions which needed were created for the doing of prayer acts of tourists in international airports on the based these recommendations[6].

At the same time, the department of the developing the pilgrimage tourism in the part of the Committee on religious works of the Republic of Uzbekistan began its activity. Preparing analytical documents on the issues connecting with the developing of the tourism of pilgrimage in Uzbekistan, presenting relevant suggestions on the more complete and effective using from the great tourism potential of regions and others were noted as the main tasks of this department[7]. Besides, developing of the tourism of pilgrimage in Tashkent city, the maps of visits to the listed 15 religious institution were made by the Committee of the developing the tourism of pilgrimage. The map of halal eating places, national kitchens, restaurants, family visiting places was prepared intended to the travel agencies and visitors of Indonesia and Malaysia. As well as, for the first time in our country “Halal standard” which was needed for the tourism of pilgrimage was implemented.

Doing of the tasks which noted in the Decision of the President of our country in March, 2017 named “About the measures of the organizing the Imam Bukhari scientific research center under Cabinet of Ministry of the Republic of Uzbekistan” was continued in the Imam Bukhari memorial complex in Payarik district of Samarkand province where considered one of the important objects of the tourism of pilgrimage in Uzbekistan. Including, 5,8 ga area of land was opened from adjacent area and given for building scientific center and 3 two-storey houses on the center’s opposite side. The project and proposal of the rebuilding of Imam Bukhari complex and the general plan – project of Hartang village were approved according to the tasks who was given by our President during his visiting to Samarkand province in March 17-18 in this year. At the same time, the building of the 3 two-storey houses which consist of 18 apartment on the center’s opposite side and 62 two-storey cottages which had national views along the Okdaryo-Kulbosti automobile road leading to the complex were finished[8]. As a result this and other measures which were carried out many achievements were achieved in this. Including, if the during 10 month of 2017 2,2 million tourists visited to our country, within that times of 2018 4,4 million tourists visited[9]. Within 2018 5 million 346 thousand 219 people visited[10].

In our country, the measures were continued on the developing of the tourism of pilgrimage in 2019 too. Including, from January 5 2019, pilgrimage visa was put into practice to the term till 2 month to the foreign citizens who are visitors for the studying of the cultural-historical, religious-spiritual and traditions of Uzbekistan[11].  At the same time, scientific conferences which are important for the developing of the tourism of pilgrimage and producing it to the world were held. Including, in February 21-23 of 2019, with the initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh.Mirziyoyev I International forum was held on the tourism of pilgrimage for the purpose of increasing the position of the country in the international area on the tourism of pilgrimage. Within this forum the solemn ceremony which devoted to the signing of the Bukhara Declaration on the recognizing of Uzbekistan as one of the centers of the tourism of pilgrimage became[12]. Besides,  in May 24-25 2019, international conference named “Renaissance of the tourism of pilgrimage in the across of Great Silk Road” was held in Samarkand city in the presence of leader scientists and specialists of tourism sphere of China, Russia, France, Italy, South Korea, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kirgizia[13].

This and other reasons, in turn, served to the significantly increasing of the number tourists which are visited from Muslim countries. Including, we may see this exactly on the comparing of the indicators of November in 2019 with November of 2018. In particular, in November of 2018, if 287 tourists visited only from Pakistan country, in November of 2019 424 tourists visited and the level of increasing became 47,7 percent. On the indicators of Saudi Arabia, we may see more number than that. Including, if in November of 2018, 36 tourists visited from Saudi Arabia, in November of 2019 124 tourists visited and the level of increasing became 244 percent[14].

We say that as conclusion, in Uzbekistan from 2016, tourism was declared as one of the important sectors of the economy of Uzbekistan. For this reason, the works of the development of tourism and pilgrimage tourism which is one of the important sectors of tourism, as well as, to introduce it to the world were carried out. In this, the relevant Decree and Decisions of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan were declared. Relevant works were carried out based on this. As well as, various measures, scientific seminars and conferences were organized for the purpose to develop the pilgrimage tourism and to study foreign experiments. In this sphere, the bilateral cooperation was begun with foreign firms and companies. This, in turn, served to significantly increase of the number of pilgrims who are visiting to Uzbekistan, in particular, holy shrines in our country.

Jonibek Jumaev
Scientific researcher Imam Bukhari international scientific research center
[1] https://religions.uz/news/detail?id=812 Қадим Самарқандга бир келиб кетинг!
[2] https://lex.uz/docs/3311817 Ўзбекистон Республикаси Президентининг қарори “2018-2019 йилларда туризм соҳасини ривожлантириш бўйича биринчи навбатдаги чора-тадбирлар тўғрисида”
[3] https://www.gazeta.uz/uz/2017/08/17/turizm/ Ўзбекистонда зиёрат туризми ривожлантирилади
[5] https://lex.uz/docs/3548467  Ўзбекистон Республикаси Президентининг Фармони “Ўзбекистон Республикаси туризм салоҳиятини ривожлантириш учун қулай шароитлар яратиш бўйича қўшимча ташкилий чора-тадбирлар тўғрисида”
[8] http://xs.uz/uzkr/post/samarqanddagi-imom-bukhorij-mazhmuasi-butunlaj-yangi-qiyofaga-kiradi-fotozhamlanma Самарқанддаги Имом Бухорий мажмуаси бутунлай янги қиёфага киради (фотожамланма)
[12] https://islaminstitut.uz/?p=6867  Зиёрат туризми халқаро форуми якунлари
[13] http://zarnews.uz/post/ozbekistonda-ziyorat-turizmi-uchun-katta-imkoniyat-bor  Ўзбекистонда зиёрат туризми учун катта имконият бор
[14] https://uzbektourism.uz/cyrl/research 2019 йил ноябрь ва 2018 йил ноябрь ойларида Ўзбекистон Республикасига кириб келган ташриф буюрувчилар сонининг давлатлар кесимида тақсимланиши

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