The first for the newly created Turkestan region international investment and tourism forum in Turkestan tried to organize with maximum comfort primarily for foreign guests. It seems that in the regional center is not even proved to be suitable premises for this event.

As a result, giant tents and improvised yurts for performances, lunch and panel sessions were installed right on the Central square named after ESIM Khan. At the end of September, but in Turkestan in the sun to +34 degrees Celsius, air conditioners inside did not cope with the task assigned to them, and the forum participants continually ran out to cool down and take a breath of fresh air. For personal hygiene were toilets and old — fashioned handwash (top — water tank, bottom-bucket for used water), such can still be found in villages and cottages. In this regard, the topic of discussion proposed by the President of the Eurasian tourism Association Rysty Karabayev was not surprising: the country needs a toilet revolution. The state of toilets on the slopes of the Turkestan region and even in the most popular tourist places, to put it mildly, leaves much to be desired, as the expert pointed out.

“The country needs some new toilet revolution, like in China, because toilets are the number one issue. Whatever we say, a good toilet is an indicator of civilization. We want to show the world that we are civilized”, – said the President of the Eurasian Association of tourism Rysty Karabaeva.

The expert paid particular attention to the offset of the services rendered in favor of the pilgrims at the expense of ordinary tourists. Rysty Karabaeva believes that visiting the shrines should be pleasant not only for believers, but also for idly curious guests.

“In Uzbekistan, remember the standard sites? They have a standardized visit for tourists. And take Arystan-Baba, when you come there, there is more created for pilgrimage tours. And I think it’s necessary to separate the tourist and religious pilgrimage destinations. Because if one part of the people will be attracted, then a greater percentage of tourists who are outside the pilgrimage tours are left behind, there are no conditions for them. Tourism should be a priority. And we need competent guides, so that all people were interested, not only those who want to read the Koran, and this should be done in a separate place,” — shared Rysty Karabaeva.

In 2017, the region was visited by more than 270 thousand tourists, which is 40% more than in 2016, Governor of the region Zhanseit Tuimebayev announced. For the development of tourism, the region’s leadership, together with the company” Mackenzie”, is developing a comprehensive master plan for the further development of Turkestan, where, according to preliminary estimates, the number of tourists by 2030 will be more than 1.6 million people. Given the great prospects of the region, domestic and Turkish companies have already decided to invest in the construction of five-star hotels, shopping, entertainment and fitness centers and other facilities over $ 100 million.