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Tourism in Uzbekistan: opportunities and new challenges

Located in the heart of the Central Asia, the Republic of Uzbekistan is famous for its numerous architectural monuments, incredible natural landscapes, magnificent palaces, and ruins of fortresses of past civilizations, outstanding cultural events, gastronomic delights and famous craft workshops. From the first visit, our country evokes extraordinary feelings that prompt us to come here repeatedly.

The Republic of Uzbekistan includes 12 regions and the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan.

Each corner of Uzbekistan attracts with its features. In Tashkent, you can take a walk in the most beautiful metro in the world or see the most ancient manuscript – the Koran of Usman. In the historical cities included in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List – Samarkand, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz and Khiva, you can visit the most ancient architectural monuments that have preserved echoes of past eras. In the southernmost part of the country – Surkhandarya, you can travel through mountain gorges or see the ruins of the ancient cities near Termez.

Depending on the time of year, you can go skiing in the foothills of the Tien Shan or climb the highest point of Big Chimgan.

Tourist centers to be permitted to open duty-free shops

Amendments to the Customs Code were approved by the Senate. This issue has been discussed since 2018.

The draft amendments to the Customs Code, adopted by the Senate of Uzbekistan, provide for the expansion of duty-free trade. Spot reports referring to the Senate press service.

In particular, for the development of the tourism industry, the number and availability of Duty Free shops is increasing.

“Now, not only at airports, but also in the centers of historical cities of our country - Samarkand, Bukhara, Khorezm, Kokand, duty-free shops “duty free” will be created,” Tolibjon Madumarov, a senator from the Andijan region, said.

The law also simplifies the procedure for exporting goods and creates additional convenience for entrepreneurs. For example, customs documents will now be processed in one day instead of three, and the placement of goods and vehicles under the customs regime will also be canceled.

The opening of duty-free shops in tourist cities was discussed back in 2018. In January 2019, the President signed a decree on the development of tourism, requiring the preparation of a regulatory framework for this.

A month later, the State Customs Committee prepared a draft law with an amendment to open duty-free trade in cities, but later on that initiative was not reported.

In December 2019, the State Committee for Tourism (later transformed into the Ministry of Tourism and Sports) submitted for discussion a bill that provided for the opening of duty-free shops at all international airports of Uzbekistan.

By Sher Karimov

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