The crystal waters of Issyk-Kul lake in Kyrgyzstan, majestic mosques and madrasahs of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand in Uzbekistan, healing wells in the mausoleum of Ukash-Ata in Kazakhstan’s Turkestan, scenic mountain trails in the Tajik Pamir, refreshing boat trips in Caspian Avaza resort and mysterious ruins of the Merv, Nisa, Kunya-Urgench in Turkmenistan…The list of natural, historical and architectural sights of Central Asia can be quite long and impressive. It is better to enjoy a touring these sights and to plunge into the world where traces of ancient civilizations, nomadic traditions border on modern luxury hotels and business centers, mixed with tasty cuisine and local hospitality.
The tourism potential of the Central Asian region is very high and requires full-scale unlocking in order to unveil for everyone this amazing part of the Eurasian continent and turn tourism into one of the drivers of economic growth. The five regional countries understand this and it is recognized by the UN.
Recently, the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly dealing with economic development issues adopted a draft resolution titled “Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central Asia”. The resolution was initiated by Uzbekistan and co-sponsored by Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritius, Palau, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The document has been submitted to the General Assembly for final approval.
“The General Assembly notes the intentions of Central Asia to attract more national and international financing and investment in their tourism sectors, as well as emphasizes the passage of the Great Silk Road through Central Asia and the efforts of Central Asian countries to promote tourism on world markets are increasing the interest of foreign tourists to the region,” the draft resolution says.
The UN invites member-states, other stakeholders and the World Tourism Organization to continue to support the Central Asian countries in their efforts to develop responsible and sustainable tourism in the region. This includes, for example, supporting efforts to draw attention to environmental issues, to preserve and protect the environment, to respect wildlife, biodiversity, ecosystems and cultural diversity, as well as to preserve natural, historical and cultural heritage.
The draft resolution calls on the UN States to assist Central Asia strategies that attract foreign tourists to Central Asia and improve the welfare and livelihoods of local communities by supporting their local economies, to join efforts to introduce the practice of creating and implementing innovation technologies to modernize the tourism industry.
The Central Asian countries are encouraged to promote various types of tourism – mountain, ecotourism, sport fishing, car and bicycle travel, pilgrimage, as well as to share experience in sustainable tourism, to create appropriate infrastructure.
According to the document, the UN GA welcomes the contribution made by the countries of Central Asia to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the national and regional levels.
In total, Central Asia is a home for 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites. The unique cultural heritage, distinctive traditions, diversity of ecosystems – all this makes the development of the tourism industry in the region a very attractive business for investments. /// nCa, 18 November 2019