The capital of Uzbekistan is proposed to be made a new air hub for flights from Yekaterinburg
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- The Ural Tourism Association (UAT) considers Uzbekistan as a new transit hub for tours to Singapore, Delhi and other Asian cities. They are also offered to replace Turkey. Mikhail Maltsev, head of UAT, said this at a press conference at TASS.
Hub for flights to East Asia
The development of Uzbekistan as a hub may begin as early as September this year. Tour operators want to sell tickets to Tashkent with transfers to Kuala Lumpur, Tehran, Singapore and Delhi. At the same time, tourists should be comfortable in the capital of Uzbekistan for at least one or two days.
Now Dubai serves as such a hub, but some destinations are more geographically convenient in Tashkent, says Maltsev. In his opinion, the new hub will also help create competition in the market.
“We consider Tashkent as a transit hub. From September it will be as an alternative to Turkish Airlines. Among other things, we want to work out one-two-day programs for our transit tourists. There are plans for new flights. There is a need for alternative aviation hubs operating for the Asian and Pacific regions,” Maltsev explained.
Now Uzbekistan flies 10 flights from Koltsovo a week, the bulk of them are operated by the Red Wings carrier. Tourists can go from Yekaterinburg to five different cities of Uzbekistan at once. The increase in the number of flights will depend on the capabilities of air carriers and demand from Yekaterinburg residents, says the head of the association.
Tourism and festivals
Simultaneously with the transit hub, tourism is being developed in the country so that Russians arriving from Yekaterinburg would like to stay in the country longer and return. First of all, it will be cultural tourism to sights. The authorities are also intensively developing a festival culture that tourists might like, said Abdusalom Khatamov, Consul General of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Yekaterinburg.
“It was instructed to organize at least 180 festivals throughout the country. These are the festival of flowers, the festival of dance art "Lezgin", the gastronomic festival "Gastrobazar" and the international film festival in Tashkent. Uzbekistan has collected natural monuments, ancient fortresses and castles. The UNESCO heritage list includes the historical center of Samarkand and Bukhara,” says Khatamov.
Gastronomic tourism will inevitably join cultural tourism. The author of the book “My Uzbekistan”, writer Daria Sirotina, told the conference that in different regions of the country the same dishes are often prepared in completely different ways. According to her, samsa, shish kebab and plov will differ from region to region, and every corner of Uzbekistan has its own wine production, so this is also an opportunity to try a variety of local wines.
“When we say what to eat in Uzbekistan, we are talking about the dishes of the peoples who live on the territory of Uzbekistan. This is Korean cuisine, and the cuisine of the Jewish diaspora, and an oasis of old Baku. You will see that cuisine that you did not know about, and you did not even think that it was. Almost every region has its own winemaking,” says Sirotina.
The writer also calls the mentality and hospitality of its inhabitants, as well as the absence of strict Islamic laws, as, for example, in Iran, a plus of Uzbekistan. Earlier, the Ural Tourism Association announced that it was negotiating the launch of direct flights to Tehran from Yekaterinburg for sightseeing and beach tourism. After that, many recalled that the country has harsh punishments in the form of whips, for example, for drinking alcohol.
A tour to Uzbekistan will cost about 55,000 rubles for two people, including flights and accommodation, Mikhail Maltsev concluded. According to him, even now the country is one of the most attractive tourist destinations for Russians among the countries of the former USSR. Thus, more than 16,000 Russian travelers visited Uzbekistan in March.