First International Forum on Pilgrimage Tourism starts in Uzbekistan

TASHKENT (TCA) — The First International Forum on Pilgrimage Tourism kicks off in Bukhara, Uzbekistan on February 21.

The three-day forum is held at the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in order to promote tourism potential of the country, as well as international recognition of Uzbekistan as one of the largest centers of ziyorat (pilgrimage) tourism in the Islamic world, the Jahon information agency reports.

Ziyorat, which means visiting holy places, consists of two main types: pilgrimage and religious tourism of excursion and educational orientation.

Uzbekistan has a large number of religious centers, such as the Khazrati Imam Complex, which preserves one of the most valuable relics of Islam – the Quran of Caliph Uthman, the Shrine of the great Islamic theologian Muhammad al-Bukhari, the burials of the Sufis of the Naqshbandi brotherhood and many others. Thousands of tourists from all over the world visit Uzbekistan every year to see the historic shrines.

The Uzbek government is taking significant measures for improving the attractiveness of Uzbekistan in ziyorat tourism. By the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan of January 5 this year, Pilgrim visa was introduced for up to 2 months to foreign citizens who visit Uzbekistan for pilgrimage and study of cultural, historical, religious, and spiritual heritage and traditions of Uzbekistan.

The government believes that recognition of Uzbekistan as one of the centers of ziyorat tourism by the world community will give a powerful impetus to the development of tourism infrastructure in the country and increase the tourist flow into the country.

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Times of Central Asia