In a report released at a news conference in Dushanbe Tojiddin Jourazoda, the head of the Tourism Development Agency under the Government of Tajikistan, noted on February 12 that the tourism industry is an economic sector among those most severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to him, 350,600 foreign tourists visited the country last year.  Compared to 2019, the number of foreign tourists reportedly fall 72.2 percent.  1.254 million tourists visited Tajikistan in 2019, Jourazoda said.  

“The tourism sector experienced sharply falling revenues last year and earnings from tourism last year fell to 72 million U.S. dollars, which is equal to only 1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, while before the pandemic, the direct contribution of the travel and tourism industry accounted for 2.0-2.5 percent of the total country’s GDP – it is about US$230 million – US$250 million,” Tourism Development Agency top manager noted.

In the current situation, the Tourism Development Agency intends to develop domestic tourism, he added.  

Thus, the authorities plan to reconstruct the Yamchun Fortress in GBAO’s Ishkashim district and the Hulbuk Fortress in Khatlon’s Vose district. 

Besides, they plan to reconstruct the Mausoleum of Khoja Mashhad and ChiluChorChashma area in Khatlon’s Shahritous district.  

224 tour operators and 1888 hotels now function in Tajikistan.  Jourazoda noted that in the future they will pay more attention to construction of hostels and homestays in Tajikistan.  

He further noted that a US$30 million grant was attracted from the World Bank and a US$10 million grant was attracted from the Asian Development Bank for development of rural areas and tourism in Tajikistan

Tajikistan’s rich cultural heritage, hospitality and abundance of mountain snow peaks, rivers, lakes and recreational opportunities contribute to the development of country’s tourism industry.  In 2018, Tajik Government announced a year of tourism development.  The tourism sector is considered a priority for the development of Tajikistan’s economy.  At the same time, undeveloped infrastructure and low levels of quality of services delay the growth of the tourism industry.