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India tops inbound tourism in Uzbekistan

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Uzbekistan, a central Asian country, is directing its efforts to lure in more Indian tourists. Currently, India ranks first in Uzbekistan’s inbound tourism market, with the highest number of more than 25,000 tourists every year.

Uzbekistan Airways, along with Aeeroworld Aviation, has been actively involved in promoting the destination through roadshows across India. During their promotional event recently Uzbekistan Airways, which currently operates flights only from Delhi and Amritsar, has revealed its plan to connect Mumbai with Uzbekistan with flights from Taskent to Mumbai. This move is said to increase the number of Indians visiting Uzbekistan. The airline flies five and four flights from Delhi and Amritsar respectively.

While speaking to Express TravelWorld, Rustam Kurganbaev, chief, tourism division, Uzbekistan Airways, said, “With more than 25,000 Indian tourists visiting Uzbekistan each year, India ranks first in Uzbekistan tourism market. Before that, France was on the top, with 17,000 tourists. More and more Indians are visiting Uzbekistan every year, so we are very happy.”

“We conduct two to three roadshows every year; this has made Uzbekistan popular among Indian travellers and it will continue to do so,” he added.

P. Somnath, director, Indian operations, Aeeroworld Aviation, said, “Our main focus in this event is to create awareness about Uzbekistan among Indian travellers. Indian tour operators can directly interact with tour operators from Uzbekistan; this makes the market more smooth. Currently we fly five flights every week from Delhi and four from Amritsar, but we also plan to have flights to Mumbai. This year has not been as good as previous year. Arrivals have reduced had reduced this year, because of Rupee devaluation. MICE activities also has not been good as previous year, but I hope that things will turn better by next year.”

Uzbekistan’s location has been one of the most stressed factors, which facilitates combined tours to Central Asia and Russia, bringing more tourists to the country. During the event, Kurganbaev also highlighted Uzbekistan’s cultural, historical and heritage attractions, along with nature and adventure activities.

Tolik Odilov, chairman, tourist.uz, said, “We had around 30,000 Indian tourists this year. It will be more in the next year. India is very close to Uzbekistan; it takes around two and a half hours from Delhi to Uzbekistan. When Mumbai will be connected, it will become easier for everybody.”

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