Seminar on Sustainable Tourism Development Plan and Marketing

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Seminar on Sustainable Tourism Development Plan and Marketing

On 24,25 November, 2022 a workshop was held at Committee for Tourism Development under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan (CTD) with the participation of employees of the structural units of the head office of the committee and representatives of active national travel agencies on ” Sustainable Tourism Development Plan and Marketing”. The workshop was organized in order to increase the level of knowledge and professional skills of the employees, stakeholders, and legal entities of the tourism industry. At the seminar, International Tourism Advisor to the CTD Ms. Sophie Ibbotson spoke and drew the attention of the participants to the issue of “how we can appeal to a greater proportion of international leisure tourists, and thus capture a larger share of Central Asian’s market”.

As it was mentioned during the workshop, in 2019, 1.5 billion international tourists took overnight trips. The most international arrivals Tajikistan has ever received is about 1.2 million a year, in spite of the high culture of warm hospitality, the moderate climate, high snow-capped peaks, clear waters, healing lakes and springs, unique nature, beautiful natural landscapes, architectural sites, rich historical and cultural heritage, ecologically clean fruits and vegetables, delicious food, the presence of four seasons at one period, rare flora and fauna and medicinal plants are suitable for the development of ecological, sports, mountaineering, historical, cultural, recreational and therapeutic tourism in Tajikistan, but for ensuring the sustainable development of the aforementioned types of tourism and a huge share of the region’s tourism market we need to make more efforts and make the main infrastructure of the tourism industry more competitive.

As it was emphasized, it is impossible to offer everything to everyone, either as a destination or as a business. Not only do we lack the human and financial resources to do it, but plenty of activities would be mutually exclusive: if you built a watersports resort on a lake, and at the same time try to promote the same location for bird watching: these activities and the tourists who want to do them are usually incompatible. You have to match the right products with the right tourists. This means that if we want to increase our market share and the number of tourists visiting Tajikistan, we have to clearly define our audiences, get to know their needs, interests, and how to reach them, and market Tajikistan to them is a strategic way. This is called market segmentation.

It was mentioned that the training of highly qualified personnel in the field of tourism and reaching to the new tourism markets, is one of the right ways to present the country’s tourism potential to the travelers around the world, however, a lot of work has already been done in this direction with the initiative of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan. In particular, the adoption of the open door policy, the organization of tourist spaces of Tajikistan at the international tourism exhibitions, and turning the country into a venue for international level events are proof of the above.

Sophie Ibbotson stated that the Sustainable Tourism Development Plan, presented by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as a guide to member countries, the requirements of this document should be taken into account by the authorized government body in the development of sectoral programs and strategies for the development of the tourism industry.  Because this act consists of a set of norms that will help ensure the smooth development of the tourism industry in the future.

As noted, architectural and ancient heritages are more valuable than modern buildings, and their preservation as tourist attractions further contributes to the sustainable development of tourism in the country.

At the end of the seminar, there was a question-and-answer session among the participants, and they received satisfactory answers to their questions.