Uzbekistan - Country Commercial Guide
Travel and Tourism

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-10-14

Overview

Located in the heart of Central Asia, Uzbekistan is ready to expand its travel and tourism industry with its rich cultural and historical heritage, friendly people, and natural beauty.  The government of Uzbekistan views its tourism sector as having high growth potential. Uzbekistan was closed to foreigners for many years, and the government has initiated reforms to open access to its rich cultural and historical heritage to facilitate tourism development. As of the start of 2020, Uzbekistan has established a visa-free regime for citizens of 86 countries and e-visas for citizens of 77 countries, including the United States. The government’s goal is to grow tourism services from $1 billion in 2018 to $2.2 billion in 2025. This will require massive investments in infrastructure and hospitality education, and attraction of global hotel brands. The development plan calls for government-subsidized construction of three- and four-star hotels with at least 50 rooms, increasing the total number of rooms from 20,200 (2018) to 64,000 (2025).

To bring in more foreign travelers, the Ministry of Transport is modernizing and expanding the airports, and will select foreign companies for airport reconstruction and management on a tender basis. Uzbekistan Airports was separated from the Uzbekistan Airways in 2019 and controls Uzbekistan’s 11 international airports. The government has promised to liberalize the national aviation market by breaking up Uzbekistan Airways’ monopoly and creating more domestic companies (such as Humo Air, scheduled to launch in 2020), while authorizing foreign companies to operate in Uzbekistan. The government intends to purchase short- and medium-haul aircraft to develop the regional passenger air transportation market. Uzbekistan’s current air fleet consists of 29 aircrafts.

 

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 estimated

Total Local Production

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total Exports*

547

1,041

1,413

N/A

Total Imports

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Imports from the US

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total Market Size

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Exchange Rates**

5,121

8,068

8,839

10,200

*Earnings of Uzbekistan from incoming tourists.
** Exchange Rates = Uzbek soums per $1. On September 5, 2017 national currency soum was devalued from 4,210.35 soums per $1 to 8,100 soums per $1.
Units: $ millions
Source: The State Statistics committee of Uzbekistan.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Hospitality
  • Airports
  • Aircraft

Opportunities
Foreign investors will find the most opportunities in the hospitality sector.  International hotel brands are currently found only in the capital city of Tashkent, but there is a great demand for hotels and global franchises in Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva - the central cities of the ancient Silk Road and major tourism destinations. The government wants to attract foreign investment and management services to the airports as well. Uzbekistan’s expansion plans for its fleet of short- and medium-haul aircraft should create business opportunities for manufacturers.

For specific opportunities, businesses should contact organizations involved in Uzbekistan’s tourism industry, including the State Tourism Development Committee, Uzbekistan Airways and Ministry of Transport.

Web Resources

U.S.  companies and individuals interested in learning more about upcoming procurements and export opportunities are encouraged to visit the following websites: