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news | June 03, 2014 | Tajikistan | Development

Jumpstarting the Tajik tourism industry

Rich in culture and history, within beautiful mountainous landscapes, Tajikistan has great potential to develop a thriving tourism industry. On April 1st of this year, Tajik tourism associations from all across Tajikistan met at the Bactria Cultural Center run by ACTED in Dushanbe to create a national umbrella tourism association, the Tajik Community Based Tourism Association.

By supporting the development of small and medium enterprises throughout the country, ACTED teams are working to improve the tourism industry in Tajikistan, with the support of the EU.

ACTED has been meeting with community based tourism representatives to identify problems that need solving, such as lack of an official legal status for community based tourism, weak advertising for available tours, and a lack of an accreditation system by which to validate tourism operators.

To find solutions to these issues, ACTED is setting up a common platform in Tajikistan for information sharing and best practices. For example, recently Tajik tourist professionals learnt about best practices from the Kyrgyzstan community based tourism association.

Development of the tourism sector is believed to create important income opportunities and generate new jobs especially for rural populations, whose geographical location is the added value attracting tourists interested in outdoor based activities such as hiking, horse riding, and biking among others. By building on local resources, community-based tourism has also the potential to be a means to wider rural development whereby economic, as well as social and environmental needs of local communities are better fulfilled through offering tourism products and services.