“Environmental certification procedures and sustainable tourism management issues” – challenges and expectations at the national level in Uzbekistan

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On October 4th, 2019 President Shavkat Mirziyoyev had approved Uzbekistan’s Strategy of transition to a “green” economy for 2019-2030.

“The low level of energy efficiency of the economy, irrational consumption of natural resources, slow technology upgrades, not active participation of small businesses in the implementation of innovative solutions for the development of a green economy impede the achievement of priority national goals and objectives in the field of sustainable development of the country,” the document says.

In the President’s speech addressed to the Parliament (Oliy Majlis), which took place on January 24, 2020, it was noted that the tourism industry should become one of the strategic sectors of the economy of Uzbekistan. It is time to move on to the second phase of development, which will provide qualitative structural changes in all related sectors of the tourism sector.

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting on September 28, 2020, during which he emphasized effectiveness of innovations in the system of technical regulation, standardization, certification and metrology. To improve the quality and competitiveness of products, it is very important to bring national standards in line with international requirements and implement them at enterprises.

If a product does not have an international standard, it will never be competitive. It is necessary to create an environment in which every entrepreneur in the country knows and understands the standards- noted Sh.Mirziyoyev.

Currently, Uzbekistan pays special attention to the modernization of the tourism industry, the development and improvement of the legal-regulatory framework for the sustainable development of this industry, the organization of services for foreign guests in accordance with international standards. In an era of digital transformation and information technology, which are deeply embedded in the tourism industry, the integration of all aspects of environmental sustainability becomes an important factor. Therefore, the application and active use of affordable, efficient «green» technologies and implementation of international standards in the tourism sector of the country is bearing crucial importance.

The project «Model for Sustainable Tourism in Central Asia: Building Capacities, Creating awareness, Introduction of Technology» aims to enhance the tourism potential of the countries in Central Asian. This project is implemented within the framework of the European Union initiative «Switch Asia». For the successful implementation of the project, was formed a strong team of effectively working organizations from 6 countries (Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan). In Uzbekistan, the Association of Private Tourism Agencies of Uzbekistan (APTA) was selected as the implementing organization for the project.

The strategic goal of the project is to raise environmental awareness and introduce appropriate practices and technologies in the hotel business in Central Asia. As part of the implementation of the project tasks, it is planned to provide methodological and technical support to accommodation facilities by providing relevant knowledge and ICT tools.

A round table on «Environmental Certification Procedures and Sustainable Tourism Management» – Challenges and Expectations at the National Level» was organized for the implementation of project tasks, with the participation of representatives of relevant government agencies («Ecological Party of Uzbekistan», «State Committee of Republic of Uzbekistan Ecology and Environmental Protection», «UZSTANDARD»)Tourism agencies and accommodation facilities , experts. The event took place on 22nd December, 2020 at the hotel “MIRAN”.

The purpose of the round table is to strengthen the dialogue between tourism enterprises and representatives of the government, also analyze how they all can contribute their efforts towards on establishment sustainable model in MSE and in the hospitality industry of Uzbekistan. Such round tables have proven to be an effective platform for dialogue between the business sector, experts and government officials to explore partnerships for innovative projects using new technologies, promoting environmental protection and inclusive economic development.

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