On the issue of forming a modern base for high-quality services for fans of ethno and ecotourism without harming the nature and spiritual culture of the peoples of Uzbekistan.
Today it is not entirely clear when we will again be able to receive tourists and go on trips ourselves, however, following popular wisdom, let's prepare sledges in the summer ... So, let's talk about ethno and ecotourism in one of the most in this regard attractive countries of Central Asia. I have collected my experience and old materials in order to prepare this article taking into account the positive and not only changes that have occurred in Uzbekistan.
Tourism for many countries of the world until the recent events in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic was a promising sector of the economy in which large corporate businesses, representatives of private firms and government departments, local residents providing services directly on the spot are interested. The economies of Thailand and Indonesia are mainly focused on the tourism industry, which makes them attractive to travelers and popular in the international service market. It is clear that in this market Uzbekistan, even having a sufficiently rich natural and historical and cultural potential, cannot compete with the already promoted countries and regions. In order to attract tourists, it is necessary to have not only a modern infrastructure and a stable political situation in the country, but also to adequately present a tourist product that others do not have, and if there is, then in insufficient quantities, or, to put it simply, have "magnets" attracting travelers.
One of the powerful "magnets" in Uzbekistan is the Great Silk Road. The development of this product is not only the desire of Uzbekistan alone. Since 1994, an international program of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) has been operating, which offers all countries a new tourist product - a journey through the territory where the Silk Road passed, and which is of great historical and cultural interest.
This product finds demand in international markets to this day. An excellent confirmation of this is the Insight Guides. The Silk Road, released at the end of 2008 in a series of travel guides of the world famous “Discovery Channel”, UK. The book was published for the first time, in English, and on 430 pages of beautifully illustrated text covers all the countries on the Silk Road. In this context, the ancient cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva are an inexhaustible potential, and for a long time historical and educational tourism will be one of the main in Uzbekistan. Using this well-known product on the market as the main “magnet” for tourists, it is necessary to offer along the way what is still little known to foreign and domestic consumers, linking them together in one tour. Such by-products are ecological and ethnographic tourism, which have already sprung up timidly in the country with the support of international projects, but have not yet established themselves in international markets. These two types of tourism are best viewed as a whole, i.e. they make up one product.
Despite the fact that the UN General Assembly declared 2002 the international year of ecological tourism, there was no common understanding of the term at that time. “Ecological” has been confused with nature tourism or tourism in pristine natural sites. There is no understanding even years after the surge of attention. A more or less clear definition is used by tour operators and non-governmental non-profit organizations (NGOs) engaged in the development of the rural community, “Ecotourism is responsible tourism in protected natural areas that does not harm the environment and contributes to the economic and cultural development of the local population.” At the same time, one more component is called, which is key - an educational and informational component for tourists. Experts also identify two main forms of ecotourism - sports (rafting, trekking, mountaineering) and cognitive (ornithology, botany, landscape tourism).
Uzbekistan has protected natural areas (PAs), which are of not only regional but also global importance, and can be the pillars for the development of ecotourism in all its forms. Western Tien Shan, Chimgan, Boysun mountains, Nurata ridge, Kyzylkum, Aydarkul, delta tugai of the Amu Darya - a short list of places where initiatives for the development of ecotourism have already begun. However, offering this product as a new direction of tourism in Uzbekistan, it is necessary to maintain delicacy, because it is a particularly vulnerable and fragile form of tourism. The development of ecotourism on the basis of OPT cannot be a harmless activity - the pursuit of profit is fraught with the destruction of ecosystems, because, first of all, ecotourism is a type of nature management. And nature management does not exist without the withdrawal or wear and tear of resources. In addition, you need to understand that you cannot just sell nature to a tourist, you need to make a contribution, and ecological tourism requires significant investments, resource-saving technologies, so it remains a narrow sphere in tourism.
When offering foreign tourists an ecological tour to the territory of the OPT, it should be remembered that many foreign tourists also want to plunge into the national atmosphere, directly experience the life and culture of the people through participation in the life of a family or village. Taking these interests into account, ethnographic tourism is developing today. The basis for it in Uzbekistan is not so much the ancient cities, but the guest houses in the villages around the OPT. These are ordinary villagers' houses, more or less comfortable for receiving foreigners, although in some places you can already find cottages built especially for tourists.
The Institute of Guest Houses came to us from the West with the great idea of creating biosphere reserves. He harmoniously blended into the rural eastern reality, where people were always glad to see guests. For example, near the Nurata nature reserve in the villages of Ukhum, Hayat and Majerum of the Farish district of the Jizzakh region and Sentob of the Nurata district of the Navoi region, several guest houses have been equipped. They are located in the Nurata mountainous area, which can be reached by car. Springs flow near the guest houses, the water of which irrigates the surrounding houses and orchards. All houses were built and equipped according to national, rural technology and provided with the necessary living conditions, such as: light, bedrooms, dining room, shower room, spring water and other household items. The hosts of the guest houses can offer guests various types of national dishes. Together with hospitable hosts, tourists can do their homework - bake cakes in a tandoor, cook food, weave carpets, embroider or help in harvesting fruits and vegetables. We offer a walk in the vicinity of the village on foot or on horseback, fishing in a mountain river, an evening of Tajik folklore. In memory of a pleasant trip, you can buy traditional Tajik souvenirs: lint-free carpets (alacha), talismans/amulets (tumors), bags and khurjuns. All information about the potential for ecological and ethnographic tourism accumulated during the work of projects and sub-projects in this area can be found on the nuratau website. om. However, while developing this direction of tourism in settlements near the OPT, one must again be careful, try not to disrupt the established traditional way of life in the villages where tourists are received. The pursuit of comfort and service “like in hotels”, the opening of cafes and restaurants can negatively affect both the spiritual atmosphere in the village and alienate foreign tourists seeking harmony. It is important not to follow the lead of momentary benefits, focusing only on domestic tourists, but to work on creating such a model that would attract different groups of people, would be long-term and sustainable.
Tasks and forms of environmental education in preschool educational institutions. Environmental education programs. Classes, projects and open events on an environmental theme. Video.