Tourism Development in three regions of the Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan

Over the past few years, tourism in Uzbekistan has experienced impressive growth and contributed significantly to the economic development of the region. However, challenges such as limited diversification of tourism products and underdeveloped infrastructure remain, resulting in the sector's full potential not being realised. Against this backdrop, the project aims to establish an innovative community tourism network in the Ferghana Valley to enable full participation of communities across the region. The focus is on building and upskilling the capacity of accommodation providers, guides and tour operators in order to create employment opportunities and increase the income of the local population. 

  • Project Name
    Support to economic reforms and sustainable economic development in regions of Uzbekistan
  • Project Phase
    2022 to 2024
  • Funding
    The project is funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)
  • Thematic focus
    Skills, Jobs and Income

Tourism is a strategic sector for the Uzbek economy that can overcome social and economic challenges in the long term. Since the reforms in 2017, tourism in Uzbekistan has experienced impressive growth, with tourist numbers increasing from 2.6 million to 6.7 million in 2019. Despite this success, challenges remain such as limited diversification of tourism products, low service quality, underdeveloped infrastructure and uneven regional development. The Ferghana Valley in particular, known for its rich heritage of folk art and traditions, struggles with underutilisation of its tourism potential. Problems such as inadequate infrastructure, lack of quality service providers, skilled labour and professional guides as well as competition between regions hinder the development of the valley as a unique tourism destination. 

To overcome these challenges, the innovative community tourism network CTN-49 is being established in the Ferghana Valley. This network enables broad participation of the population in the entire region. CTN-49 represents the 49 regions of the Ferghana Valley and includes members from across the tourism industry, including artisans, tour operators, tour guides and accommodation providers. 

The project is being implemented by a consortium of Helvetas Germany and Mascontour GmbH, a sustainable tourism consultancy. A particular focus is on the development of handicrafts, which are closely linked to tourism and represent the lifeblood of the Ferghana Valley. From ceramics to carpets and fabrics to knives, the Ferghana Valley is steeped in a traditional, vibrant craft culture. The aim is to create employment opportunities and increase income through improved capacities in tourism and among service providers in order to contribute to poverty reduction in the Ferghana Valley. 

The project also focuses on the promotion of destinations, capacity building for tourist guides and tour operators and the diversification of tourism products. Linking tourism with agricultural value chains is also being considered, with a focus on rural and community-based tourism. 

A technical approach aims to strengthen the resilience of the tourism sector in the Ferghana Valley. It takes into account both the impact of COVID-19 and current trends in the tourism industry. Through a resilient tourism approach, the Ferghana Valley can position itself as an attractive, sustainable destination that meets the changing demands of travellers while promoting economic growth and protecting local livelihoods. 


This project is implemented on behalf of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). 

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