Astrotourism (a portmanteau of astronomy and tourism) is a niche but fast-growing type of nature-based tourism. It is focused on stargazing, and takes places in destinations where there is little light pollution, so it is possible to see the stars clearly in the night sky. Astrotourism also includes travel to witness astronomical events such as eclipses and comets. Astronomy enthusiasts travel with dark sky guides or professional astronomers and have access to specialist equipment, so the travel experience is educational as well as enjoyable.

Tajikistan is one of the world’s great destinations for astrotourism as there is little light pollution and the climatic conditions are such that there is rarely cloud, dust storms, or other weather patterns which would reduce visibility. This is why the Soviet Academy of Science built astronomical observatories in Tajikistan, with powerful telescopes for research. Several observatories survive, including Shorbuloq, which you can visit.