On May 27, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev familiarized himself with the presentation of tourism projects, the presidential press service said.
Since March 16, the country has been closed to foreign and local tourists, which reportedly resulted in over 1,500 tour operators and 1,200 hotels suspending operations. This seriously affected the income of more than 250 thousand people, including guides, craftsmen, workers of architectural monuments and spa facilities, catering facilities, transport and others.
A number of reliefs have been granted to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the tourism industry. In particular, 1750 entities got waivers from paying property tax, land and social taxes, totalling about 60 billion soums, US$ 6 mln. But these reliefs and waivers are temporary. For continuous sustainable development, it is necessary to learn how to work in a pandemic, the president said.
“Uzbekistan. Safe Travel Guaranteed Project”, a system of sanitary and epidemiological safety measures for tourists, was presented to the President.
The President emphasized that for the beginning it is necessary to allow domestic tourism between provinces with Green lockdown level. He gave instructions to organize recreation centers in mountainous areas and lakes using lightweight structures.
At the stage two, it is necessary to compile a list of countries with a stable coronavirus situation and gradually restore tourist relations with them, Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted.
“For the resumption of tourism, first of all, there must be a clarity to a number of issues. For example, how will hotels work, how will they receive tourists at the airport, how to organize their movement within the country? The rules should be simple and at the same time sufficient to prevent the disease. It is necessary to develop a system that does not require lockdown of the entire hotel due to one case of infection,” he said.
Tourism-related firms who have suffered losses due to the pandemic are unlikely to be able to cover them in the next year or two. Therefore, the president pointed to the need to provide additional reliefs and waivers for this industry.
In particular, the previously granted relief in the form of exemption from tourist fees will be extended until the end of the year. In addition, when calculating income tax, they will be allowed to deduct losses incurred in 2020–2021 from the profits of subsequent years.
Hotels will be given subsidies in the amount of 10% of the cost of the services they provide. In addition, they will subsidize up to 10% of payments on loans provided to working capital.