On the famous Silk Road in Uzbekistan, a newly opened resort promises a luxury experience for tourists and thousands of job opportunities for locals.
Silk Road Samarkand, Uzbekistan’s brand-new tourist cluster, opened its doors to visitors this autumn.
The variety of modern hotels, wellness services, restaurants and tourist attractions promise to be transformative for the local tourism industry.
Developments in tourism
Silk Road Samarkand is the only tourist hub of such a scale in Central Asia, and with the hotels and services on offer, the resort is expected to double the number of tourists coming to the region.
Businesses also hope that tourists will be inspired to stay for longer periods of time, which would boost the local economy and create more jobs.
Roland Obermeier, the Cluster General manager of Samarkand Regency Amir Timur and Savitsky Plaza Hotels said that the new luxury services available in the resort means Samarkand can step up its tourist offering.
More job opportunities
The building of tourist infrastructure for the Silk Road resort has created more than two thousand jobs, boosting employment opportunities for Samarkand locals, who may otherwise have looked for work abroad.
Umid Ulugbekov, a concierge assistant at the Samarkand Regency Amir Timur Hotel, told Euronews that he feels “extremely lucky” for the opportunity to learn from his role.
According to Dias Khalkunov, manager, Silk Road Samarkand, those working in the hotels are trained to internationally recognised standards, with a focus on computer programmes, communication, and guest service skills.
But the hotel industry provides a wide variety of careers, reaching beyond traditional hospitality and housekeeping roles.
The Silk Road Samarkand Fleet was launched to transport tourists to the heart of the cluster, the Eternal City, a town constructed in the medieval style.
The new sailors were trained from scratch by an experienced boatswain, a rare opportunity for young Uzbeks, given the landlocked geography of the country.
Investment beyond the resort
While the number of tourists coming to the region will increase with the opening of the Silk Road resort, the type of tourist is also expected to diversify, with many coming on business or wellness trips.
Locals hope that these new types of tourists will visit the iconic sites of Samarkand, which is famous for being on the Silk Road – the ancient trade route linking China to the Mediterranean – boosting the economy of the city.
One sector which could benefit is the Arts, with new hotels bringing visitors interested in crafts tourism.
Alfiya Valieva, Art Director of the Aysel Gallery, said that if more tourists come, the gallery will be able to "create even more" and hire even more artists and designers.