Key indicators of tourism of the Republic of Tajikistan
Location: Central Asia
Area: 142.6 thousand square kilometers, mountains cover 93% of the territory of Tajikistan, bordering with Afghanistan, Kyrgzystan, Uzbekistan and China
Climate: dry continental, with over 300 sunny days a year
Water resources: about 1000 rivers, 2000 lakes, 8000 glaciers
Cultural and historical heritage: part of the Great Silk Road, a site of ancient settlement “Sarazm” and National Park are included in the List of World Heritage (UNESCO)
Tourism activities: climbing, mountain sports, skiing, ethnographic, hunting, medical-recreational
Visa requirements: starting from 1st January 2022 Tajikistan has introduced a unilateral visa-free regime (for up to 30 days of temporary residence and for all types of passports) for citizens of 52 countries of the world
National airlines: Somon Air, Tajik Air
International airlines: Air Astana, China South Airlines, FlyDubai, S7 Airlines, SCAT Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Ural Airlines, Utair, Uzbekistan Airways
TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN TAJIKISTAN
The rich history and cultural heritage, unique nature and heavenly places of Tajikistan are a stable basis for the development of tourism, which is considered one of the most reliable sources of development of the national economy. In this regard, tourism has made a significant contribution to economic and social development as a proven means of attracting domestic and foreign investment, creating new jobs, a source of income and enriching the state budget.
Taking into account these factors and in order to improve the socio-economic situation in the country’s regions, provide the population with productive employment and increase the level of economic activity of the population on the initiative of the Founder of Peace and National Unity – Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon the Government announced 2018 as “Year of Tourism Development and Folk Crafts” and 2019-2021 as “Years of Rural Development, Tourism and Folk Crafts”.
Tajikistan’s membership in the World Tourism Organization, the accession of our capital Dushanbe to the World Federation of Tourist Cities, the declaration of Dushanbe as the tourist capital of the Economic Cooperation Organization for 2020-2021, the inscription of the historical site “Sarazm” and “National Park” of Tajikistan in the UNESCO World Heritage List, as well as “Chakan-embroidery art of the Republic of Tajikistan”, “Navruz holiday”, “Oshi palov”, “Music of Shashmaqom” and “Falak” to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, being the proof of this, have facilitated the promotion of the positive tourist image of Tajikistan around the world.
To ensure the attractiveness of the sector for domestic and foreign investors, the Government of the country has established a number of incentives, and at the initial stage created the economic and legal framework for the improvement of tourist sites and the creation of the necessary infrastructure. According to the adopted documents, during the first five years of operation, tourism companies are exempted from income tax as well as for import of equipment and construction materials for the construction of tourist infrastructure from value added tax and customs duties, whereas the amount of customs duties for the import of new cars for tourism purposes has been reduced by 50 percent.
Granting of tax and customs benefits will further increase the interest of entrepreneurs, and only on the basis of these benefits today more than 30 tourist infrastructure projects are being implemented in the field of construction of tourist complexes, parks, cable cars, hotels and resorts and other tourist facilities.
In order to further improve the investment climate and encourage foreign investments, multi-entry five-year visas are issued to entrepreneurs who invest more than $ 1 million in the Tajik economy, and to facilitate the movement of Tajikistan-born compatriots residing abroad multi-entry three-year visas are delivered to them.
The introduction of electronic visa and unilateral visa-free regime with 52 countries, the implementation of a simplified visa regime with 126 countries, as well as the abolition of internal registration of tourists will allow tourists and other foreign citizens to travel abroad without applying to Tajik consulates but through www.evisa.tj to obtain an electronic visa and travel to our country.
According to international assessments, Tajikistan’s e-visa system has been included in the top five visa issuance systems and ranked fourth.
In Tajikistan, the contribution of law enforcement agencies in ensuring the safety of domestic and foreign tourists is significant, and the provision of safe recreation and tourism for tourists is always in the focus of special attention. Since 2018, a tourist police department has been operating under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan. There is a direct cooperation and communication between this department and tourism companies, which contributes to meeting the needs of tourists.
Currently, more than 239 tourism companies, 182 hotels, 29 hostels and motels, 49 sanatoriums, 8 health centers and clinics, 7 rest homes, 1 boarding house, 1 camping site and 4 tourist and recreation bases are operating in the market of tourist services of Tajikistan. Totally, there are 288 tourist facilities.
Tajikistan’s climate is continental and subtropical, with temperate and cold temperatures in the mountains. In a short time, you can move from the snow-capped foothills of the eastern Pamirs to 40-degree-hot Shahritus district of the southern part of the country (Khatlon region).
Thus, 947 rivers, lakes, reservoirs, mineral springs, foothills, highlands of Tajikistan, Karategin and Darvaz, the Pamirs, mountain glaciers, waterfalls, natural and historical sites, favorable climate, flora and fauna of mountainous sites – all these anthtropological and geographic elements have become strong tourist assets of the country, contributing to the development of economy and standards of living in Tajikistan.
In the process of development of domestic and international tourism in Tajikistan, more than 3,000 registered historical and cultural monuments, a large number of ecological resources are being studied for inclusion in the tourist list.
As it is known, administrative and political centers and capitals of the countries play a decisive and effective role in the development of tourism. In Tajikistan, Dushanbe is also one of the tourist cities in the region for regional and global tourists, which has managed to preserve all its ancient historical and cultural monuments along with the development and construction of modern buildings.
Dushanbe has attracted the attention of many tourists with its history, nature and cultural heritage. Attracting foreign investment in the construction of five-star hotels, medical facilities, cultural and recreational parks, modern residential and commercial buildings, teahouses decorated with national motifs, magnificent palaces built in modern ways, libraries and museums which are unique in Central Asia, are the priority areas of tourism development in Dushanbe.
The city of Dushanbe, as the main gateway for receiving tourists and hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors, annually turns its venues into a place of rest and relaxation for tourists heading to beautiful places of Badakhshan, Khatlon, Zeravshan, Romit and Varzob.
According to statistics, the capital now has an international airport, a railway station, a transport station, 37 hotels and 57 restaurants, 4 national teahouses, 32 entertainment centers, 25 markets and 91 shopping centers, 26 gift shops, 17 cultural and leisure parks and 1 zoo, 14 alleys, 5 swimming and recreation lakes, 204 beauty salons and 201 barbershops, 4 cultural palaces and 7 professional theaters, 10 museums and 6 libraries, 6 amphitheaters, 23 ancient, monumental and architectural monuments, 109 tourist companies, fountains in 37 areas of the capital, 1 tennis court and a water sports complex, palaces “Navruz”, “Borbad”, “Vahdat”, “Surush”, 306 medical and prophylactic institutions, which provide services to hundreds of domestic and foreign guests every day.
One of the tallest flags in the world with a height of 165 meters was erected in Dushanbe and recorded in the Guinness Book of Records, and today it has become one of the recreation and tourist sites of residents and guests of the capital.
In the capital there is the “Navruz” Palace, which is one of the finest examples of modern urban art and embodies the unique style of national architecture. The patterns and elements of its decorative culture reflect the more than 6,000-year history of the culture and civilization of the Tajik people, and it is recognized as a modern tourist wonder.
Along with this, the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region is one of the most attractive tourist destinations and is famous for its beautiful rivers and lakes, mountains and unique landscapes. The availability of historical and medical sites, such as Lake Sarez, Garmchashma, Avj, Yamchun, Jelondeh, Bibi Fatimai Zuhro, the highest mountain ranges in the world and the glaciers of the Pamirs contribute to the development of tourism in the region.
In order to expand the material base for the stay of foreign tourists, along with modern hotels in the region, more than 50 small hotels, such as “Homestay” and “Guest House” have been established. Small hotels, established on the basis of housing of local residents, along with fulfilling their function of accommodation, allow foreign tourists to become familiar with the national culture and traditions.
Every year many tourists and mountaineers visit the peaks of Ismoili Somoni, Istiqloliyat, Korzhenevsky, Avicenna, Glaciers Fedchenko, Kherson, lakes – Karakul, Sarez, Yashilkul, Burunkul, healing springs Jelondeh, Garmchashma, Avj, Bibi Fatimai Zahro, Modiyon, National Park of Tajikistan, “Zorkul” Nature Reserve, Pamir Botanical Garden. Also, tourists visit the historical and cultural sites of the region, including the castles of Kahkaha, Yamchun, Karon, Vamar, mausoleums and museums, and get familiar with the ancient culture and traditions of the local people.
One of the most attractive tourist destinations in Tajikistan is the northern part of Sughd region, which is famous for its beautiful rivers and lakes, mountains and unique sights. The development of tourism in the region is due to the existence of historical sites, such as Sarazm, which dates back more than 5500 years, ancient Panjakent, the birthplace of Tajik and Persian classical literature, Ustod Abuabdullo Rudaki in Panjrud village, Fan and Archamaydon mountains, fabulous lakes, such as Haftkul and others.
Zerafshan valley fascinates lovers of history, culture and nature with its unique monuments, such as ancient Sarazm and ancient Panjakent and interesting views of the Fan mountains and lakes Marghuzor, Aloviddin, Kuli Kalon and Iskandarkul. The basin of the lake Kuli Kalon includes the lakes Dushokha, Bibijannat, Siyoh, and Jangal, which are among the most beautiful landscapes of the valley. The magical nature of Aloviddin lakes and its surroundings captivates every spectator.
In the valley of the Shing River are located Marghuzor lakes, each of which is distinguished by its unique color and beauty. These lakes are truly a mysterious wonder of nature and in the hot season become a popular destination for hikers and mountaineers, both domestic and foreign. Also, one of the most interesting facilities is Iskandarkul, which is 5 kilometers long. About two kilometers below the lake, among the rocks, flows a waterfall from a height of 30 meters, which every tourist dreams of seeing. All these assets have allowed Zerafshan to be recognized as the best tourist destination not only inside but also beyond the country.
The study of tourism resources shows that the region has a great potential for the development of health tourism. Sanatoriums “Bahoriston”, “Shifo”, “Sohil”, “Zumrad”, “Havotogh” and “Avis-City” are popular among domestic and foreign tourists.
Khatlon with its ancient monuments, history and mysteries of its ancestors, beautiful nature, magic and vast valleys, medicinal plants and clear springs, juicy fruits and pleasant weather have captivated the hearts of tourists.
In almost all districts, nature trips and visits to historical religious sites have become a tradition in the spring. Particularly, the mausoleum of “Mir Said Ali Hamadoni” in Kulob city, “Hulbuk Fortress” in Vose district, “Khoja Mashhad” mausoleum and “Chiluchorchashma” site in Shahritus district, “Zaynalobuddin” mausoleum in Dusti district, “Hazrati Sulton” mausoleum in Khovaling district, “Sarikhosor” waterfall site in Baljuvon district, “Childukhtaron” waterfall site in Muminobod district and dozens of other sites are attracting a large number of domestic and foreign tourists.
At present, there are 795 historical-cultural, archeological monuments, 36 museums, 37 resorts and sanatoriums, and 33 cultural and recreation parks in the territory of the region, which are visited by many tourists every year.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Gissar (Hisor) Valley, which is visited by a large number of visitors every year, is the Historical and Ethnographic Reserve “Gissar Fortress”. The reserve is an open-air museum of unique historical, archeological and architectural value.
In this valley, the city of Tursunzoda has a beautiful and unique nature and pleasant weather, vineyards and other fruits, plants and healing springs, which can be used for the development of tourism in the city. In particular, the development of eco-agrarian tourism, mountaineering, hunting, historical and cultural tourism is typical for the city of Tursunzoda.
One of the most attractive destinations for tourists is Romit Gorge, which has a wide range of attractions, clear and fresh waters, rare flora and fauna and a temperate climate for the development of tourism. Romit Gorge offers a variety of types of tourism, including ecological, therapeutic, recreational, mountain, hiking and sports. The region has a number of healing springs, such as “Zayron” and “Obi Shifo”, where various diseases are treated.
Varzob district is one of the closest districts to Dushanbe, which has rich resources for tourism development and a well-developed infrastructure. The district has been declared a recreation, medical, sanatorium and tourism zone by the decision of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan. There are more than 920 recreation areas registered in the district, of which 65 are public and seasonal recreation areas, and the activities of several important tourist facilities are regular, such as recreation areas “Kokhi Malika”, “Varzob Palace”, “Gulobod”, “Guli mayda” and “Safed-dara” ski and tourist complex. These regions have all modern conditions for receiving domestic and foreign tourists.
Along with the historical monuments, the resorts “Khoja Obi Garm”, “Sarob” and the boarding house “Kharangon” are constantly operating, which provides all the conditions for the treatment and recreation of domestic and foreign guests and tourists with modern services.
The Rasht Valley is one of the most beautiful regions of the country, with its clear rivers and lakes, unique flora and fauna, towering mountains and hospitable people, which are always in the focus of tourists.
In recent years, the picturesque gorges of Kamarob, Tagoba, Qalanak, Jafr, Hijborak, Yasman and Hoit, where hunting, ecological, mountaineering, rafting, hiking and horseback riding are developing, have become more popular among tourists.
In this area Lakhsh district is famous for its healing springs, beautiful waterfalls, fresh air and gorgeous valleys.
As 95% of the territory of the district is mountainous, since 2010 international mountaineering expeditions have been conducted on its territory to climb to the peak of Ismoili Somoni. There is a special road from the district to this peak, which leads the climbers to the Moskvina square. The nature of the district is more favorable for the development of ecological tourism and mountain sports. These expeditions are conducted with the participation of athletes and climbers from more than 15 foreign countries.
Agro-tourism is also developing in Tajikistan and is still considered a new and modern form of tourism. Interest in this type of tourism has been steadily growing. Because juicy and ecologically pure fruits of Tajikistan, including grapes, peaches, apricots, cherries, apples, pears and their collection directly in the gardens, fresh vegetables, melons, such as melons and watermelons, dried fruits, the most delicious honey, fruit and vegetable juices and other environmentally friendly products are the basis for the development of agricultural tourism or agro-tourism.
One of the main attractions of gastronomic tourism in Tajikistan is the Navruz dishes, including sumanak and haftsin, haftshin foodstuffs, which are prepared on the occasion of the International Day of Navruz. Navruz is presented as a tourism brand.
In the Republic of Tajikistan, Navruz, Mehrgon, Sada, Tirgon, honey, apple, pumpkin and other holidays are being promoted as a tourist brand in order to attract more tourists.
Tajikistan is known as a habitat for mountain sheep Marco Polo (argali) and is considered suitable for the development of hunting tourism. In addition, there are many different and rare species of animals in the protected areas of the country, which attract thousands of hunting lovers.
Protection and population of Marco Polo sheep, ibex, Bukhara mountain goat, brown bear and other rare species allow hunting of this species in our republic.
The area of specially protected natural areas of Tajikistan is 3.1 million hectares, which includes 4 state nature reserves, nature park, natural-historical park, National Park of Tajikistan, 2 branches of the National Park, 13 nurseries, 37 natural monuments and other facilities. Currently, 85 species of rare animals in nature reserves, nature parks and sanctuaries of the country are protected, such as free-ranging tiger (ozodapalang), red wolf, Bukhara deer, gazelle, Bukhara mountain sheep, argali, ibex, jayran, Turkestan silos, which are of great interest to tourists.
Among these sites, the National Park of Tajikistan is unique in Central Asia with its splendor and beauty, historical monuments and rare flora and fauna. Located in the central part of the Pamirs and Alai, this fantastic site covers an area of 2.6 million hectares and in 2013 was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a unique natural site. And it should be noted that there are many such beautiful places in our beloved Motherland, such as “Dashtijum”, “Romit”, “Beshai Palangon” (Tigrovaya Balka) with their unique nature.
The infrastructure of that region plays an important role in the development of winter tourism in certain regions of the country.
For the development of this type of tourism, the ski and tourist complex “Safed-dara” consists of a modern 4-storey hotel, a snow storage point, restaurant and shopping centers, as well as ski resorts. The complex has additional infrastructure, such as an open barbecue terrace, grocery stores and shops selling ski equipment, ski equipment rental points, snowplows, etc., which contribute to the quality of tourist services.
Surveys on the assessment of Tajikistan as a tourist destination by reputable international organizations and the world media.
Tajikistan has become an attractive destination for travelers around the world, and with the image of a safe and peaceful country in the region since independence has acquired the best opportunity for tourism development, thus securing one of the most notable rankings according to reputable international organizations and the world’s news networks:
In the framework of the World Tourism Exhibition Berlin – 2018, the awarding ceremony of “100 best global leaders in the protection of national culture, traditions and the involvement of people in tourism in 2018” was held. The mountainous region of Badakhshan in Tajikistan was placed in the top 100 countries, particularly gaining the first rank in the Asia-Pacific region.
According to the results of 2017, the analytical agency “TourStat” of Russia has developed a ranking of foreign tourist destinations and identified the most popular foreign destinations for Russian tourists in 2017. The Republic of Tajikistan is included in the list of 50 most popular foreign countries for Russian tourists TOP-50.
According to a survey conducted by the Russian analytical agency “TourStat”, the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, has been included in the list of 10 cities of the Commonwealth of Independent States for tourism in spring and autumn.
According to the results of 2018, Tajikistan ranked first in the ranking of the growth of tourism, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Dushanbe has been selected by the Economic Cooperation Organization as the “Tourism Capital of the Economic Cooperation Organization for 2020-2021”.
In 2019, according to a survey conducted by the Information Agency “TourStat”, the capital of Tajikistan – Dushanbe was included in the top ten cities of the Commonwealth of Independent States for autumn travel.
According to the results of 2018, one of the media outlets of the global tourism brand “AFAR” ranked Tajikistan in the first place in terms of growth in the number of tourists (an increase of 190.1%).
The American think tank Gallup has ranked Tajikistan second on the list of the safest countries in the world, according to a survey of citizens of 142 countries.
The popular British newspaper “The Telegraph” in its issue of August 16, 2019, published an article “The Lost City. Archaeologists have discovered “Machu Picchu” in Tajikistan”. This article discusses the excavations of the ancient city of Karon in Tajikistan, which was discovered by Tajik archaeologists a few years ago.
Kokhi Navruz of the capital of Tajikistan has been presented as a modern miracle and has been recognized as one of the 8 wonders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
In 2019, foreign media, including the well-known state media of the Russian Federation – TASS, Uzbekistan – “UzA”, Kyrgyzstan – “Kabar” will cover the development of tourism in Tajikistan, unique nature, clear waters, beautiful landscapes, historical and cultural sites. Tajikistan is considered to be a country with great tourism potential in the scene of the international tourism market.
Tajikistan’s tourism industry has won the world’s most prestigious business award – “The BIZZ Business Excellence Award 2019”.
According to a survey conducted by the authoritative international magazine “Lonely Planet”, Tajikistan ranks first among the 10 best regions for travel and travel on the Silk Road in Central Asia.
The British travel magazine “Wanderlust” presented and recommended for tourists to visit the Fedchenko, Garmchashma, Iskandarkul, Lake Sarez, Vakhon, Karakul and Chapdara glaciers as 7 natural wonders in 2020.
The Pacific Tourism Association (PATWA), recognized as one of the world’s leading organizations in the field of tourism, in March 2020 declared the Republic of Tajikistan a stable and inviolable country for tourism.