Samarkand, the Mecca of modern tourism, will host the UNWTO General Assembly in 2023.
Samarkand is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded, according to scientists and archaeologists, in the 8th century BC. For more than 2000 years the city was a key point on the Great Silk Road between China and Europe, as well as one of the main centers of science in the Middle East.
In the 14th century the city was the capital of the Empire of Amir Temur (in ancient chronicles Iron Timur) and the Timurid dynasty. The vast majority of the city’s architectural structures were built during this era. Among them: Gur-Emir mausoleum – the tomb of Amir Temur, Shah-i-zinda mausoleum complex, Bibi-Khana mosque built in honor of Amir Temur’s favorite wife. Not far from Samarkand there is the Imam al-Bukhari Memorial Complex, which is one of the most important Islamic shrines not only in Central Asia, but in the whole Muslim world.
Samarkand is also famous for the observatory of Ulugbek, a great mathematician, astronomer, and teacher who founded one of the most important observatories of the Middle Ages.
The monuments in the city have been preserved and are the main tourist attractions of the entire Central Asian region.
In Samarkand tourists can not only relax, enjoy nature and discover monuments, customs and culture, but also experience all the colors and tastes of the diverse national cuisine. For this purpose in Samarkand there are 160 hotels, 170 guesthouses and 194 tour operators. The construction of a new tourist complex has recently started in the city, the total cost of which is estimated at $353 million. The complex, which will include a convention center, hotels, a recreation area with restaurants, shopping malls, an amphitheater, and other facilities, is scheduled to open in mid-2022.
Construction work has begun on the complete modernization of Samarkand International Airport with the construction of a new passenger terminal, runway, and other facilities. The new terminal is expected to have a modern design and be able to handle 800 passengers per hour (or up to 1.5 million passengers per year).
Samarkand has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. And in 2020, thanks to the city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan was awarded Best Emerging India’s Best Awards as the best emerging destination. According to the American online publication “The Huffington Post”, Samarkand is also among the 50 best places in the world you should visit in your life (50 best places you should see in your life).
Today, the tourism sector in Uzbekistan is one of the fastest growing sectors of the national economy.
Taking all the above into consideration, we are thrilled to host the 25th session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 2023.
We believe that the adoption of the largest tourism forum in Samarkand will serve to further develop the national tourism sector, improve the well-being of the population, increase exports of tourist services, as well as strengthen the country’s image as a global tourist destination and a leading player in the tourism sector in the region.