Tashkent (NITN): Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has announced that tourists from 45 countries will be able to visit Uzbekistan visa free, effective from February 1, 2019.
This is the latest in a series of reforms designed to stimulate the Central Asian country’s tourism development, as Mirziyoyev identified tourism and foreign investment as the two priorities for his term when he came to power in December 2016.
Initiatives including the introduction of e-visas in June 2018 have already resulted in an increase in foreign tourist numbers from 2.6 million in 2017 to 5.3 million in 2018. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs anticipates significant further growth in 2019.
National carrier Uzbekistan Airways will take delivery of two new Airbus A320neos and three new Boeing 787 Dreamliners in spring 2019, increasing its capacity on long haul international routes and enabling it to add new destinations. The airline already provides direct flights between London Heathrow and Tashkent, and expects to add a second UK airport to its network this summer.
From February 1, 2019, the following countries will be able to enter Uzbekistan visa free for up to 30 days:
Andorra, Canada, Iceland, Mongolia, San Marino, Argentina, Chile, Ireland, Montenegro, Serbia, Australia, Croatia, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Latvia, New Zealand, Slovakia, Belgium, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Norway, Spain, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Brunei Darussalam, Greece, Malta, Republic of Cyprus, United Kingdom Bulgaria Hungary Monaco Romania, and Vatican City.
Nationals of France, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Turkey were granted visa free access in 2018. Germans will have visa free access from January 15, 2019.
President Mirziyoyev’s 5 January decrees also stated that:
- The existing e-visa scheme will be extended to cover the nationals of 76 countries, and will allow for double and multiple entries;
- New visa categories will be created for pilgrims, students, academics, and for medical tourism, and will be available within one month;
- Hotels must offer accommodation “regardless of the place of residence, citizenship, kinship and marital relations of individuals, as well as other factors that restrict the right to privacy.” This removes restrictions on unmarried couples;
- A list of prohibited sites (i.e. those of security concern) will be published on or before February 1, and clearly marked with signs. Tourists may photograph and film all unmarked sites without restriction.
September 27 (TravelAndy): Shooting locations of the hit TV series Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland will be turned into tourist attractions.
Iconic locations of the series such as Winterfell, Castle Black and King’s Landing are expected to be among the locations to be made accessible to tourists, said reports. Props such as costumes and weapons will also be displayed.
HBO promises the attraction would be on a “scale and scope bigger than anything the public has ever seen”. Continue reading Game of Thrones sets to open for public in Northern Ireland
June 10 (TravelAndy): Tourism Ireland aims to increase the number of the Chinese visitors to the island to 175,000 by the year 2025, Xinhua reported.
“China is the largest outbound travel market in the world and one that Tourism Ireland is committed to growing over the coming years,” the report quoted James Kenny, Tourism Ireland’s China manager, as saying.
Hainan Airlines will launch a direct Beijing-Dublin flight service starting on June 12. This is the first direct flight ever to be launched between the Chinese mainland and Ireland. Continue reading Ireland woos tourists from China
August 30 (TravelAndy): Tourism Ireland is expecting to see a spurt in the number of visitors following budget airline Ryanair’s announcement of new flights from Munich and Stuttgart to Dublin this winter, as well as the extension of its winter service from Naples into summer 2018.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said the announcement was good news for Irish tourism, especially in view of the coming shoulder and off-season.
“We already work closely with Ryanair and we look forward to co-operating with them to maximise the promotion of these new services to Dublin. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in visitor numbers,” he said. Continue reading Ryanair winter flights boost for Irish tourism
August 5 (TravelAndy): United Airlines has decided to restore year-round flight services between Belfast in Ireland and New York, from 2016.
This will mark the only direct air link between Northern Ireland and the US.
This route between Belfast airport and Newark Liberty airport in New York existed previously. The services were temporarily stopped between January 6 and March 31, 2015. Continue reading United Airlines resumes Belfast-NY flight