Uzbekistan has finally opened to the idea of international tourism, all thanks to the efforts Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbek president, who is more liberal and broad-minded than his predecessor Islam Karimov, whom he replaced in December 2016, after his death. International tourism wasn’t closed, but the rules set for foreign visitors were too strict and required a lot of documents, so not everyone preferred traveling to Uzbekistan. But now, the president has abolished the police clearance certificate and relaxed police security in Uzbekistan, making international tourists feel more welcomed. During his tourism speech on February 2018, Mirziyoyev said that Uzbekistan has immense potential for being a popular travel destination because of it the home to Khiva, Samarkand, and Bukhara, which were kingdoms in the past. It is surprising how no economic or cultural reforms were developed in the past to promote these places. As a part of its latest tourism policy, Uzbekistan has granted visa-free access to 39 countries, citizens of seven countries will have the privilege of staying in the country for up to 30 days. These seven countries include Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Israel, and Turkey. It isn’t that no one visits the country, but those who enter the country either go for investments or work. In 2017, even though 2.7 foreigners visited the country, only a small portion of them represented tourists.
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