Key indicators of tourism of the Republic of Tajikistan
Location: Central Asia
Area: 142.6 square kilometers, mountains cover 93%
It borders Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan
Climate: dry continental, with over 300 sunny days a year
Water Resources: about 1000 rivers, 2,000 lakes, 8,000 glaciers
Cultural and historical heritage: part of the Great Silk Road, a site of ancient settlement “Sarazm” and National Park are included in the List of World Heritage (UNESCO)
Tourism activities: climbing, mountain sports, skiing, international hunting, ethnographic, medical
Visa Requirements: for citizens of 80 countries the tourist visa is issued on arrival at the international airport in Dushanbe and Khujand
International airlines: Turkish Airlines, Fly Dubai, China South Airlines, Kam Air, Osmon Air, Utair, Ural Airlines, Sibir Airlines
International hotel operators: Hyatt Regency, Sheraton Hotels, Serena Hotels
The territory of Tajikistan from the most ancient times lay on the important historical routes of the Silk Road, connecting the East and the West. Country in the international trade and cultural exchange linking of old possessions of Bactria – Tokharistan (Chaganian, Shumon, Ahorun, Kubodien, Vakhsh, Hutal, Rasht, Kumed, Darvoz, Vanj, Rushan and Wakhan), Soghd, Istaravshan (Ustrushan) and Ferghana with India, Afghanistan and China. The Silk Road was not only the exchange of goods between the East and the West, but also ideas, cultures and people.
Modern Tajikistan is a mountainous country with the altitudes varies from 300 to 7,495 meters above the sea level. 93% of the territory are mountain ranges relating to Pamirs, Hissar-Alay and Tien-Shan mountain systems. The mentioned ranges are divided by rich and fertile lands of Ferghana, Zerafshan, Vakhsh and Hissar valleys. Complicated relief and big amplitude of mountain system’s high caused exceptional diversity of flora and fauna.
Tajikistan is a country of high peaks, strong glaciers, swift rapid rivers, unrepeatable in terms of beauty lakes, unique flora and rare animals. Mountainous, floor landscape determines originality and peculiarity of Tajikistan’s nature, riches of its forms called for life by diversity of climatic zones. In the republic it is possible during the one and half hour fly from heat of Vakhsh valley and get to arctic cold of everlasting snows of the Pamirs. On the basis of the existing 13 state nature reserves and sanctuaries “Zorkul”, “Romit”, “Mozkul”, “Dashti Jum”, historical and natural park “Shirket” and the Tajik National Park the unique ecology, landscapes and natural monuments in its original form are preserved.
Priority modes for international tourism in the country are considered to be:
- climbing, mountain sports and ecotourism;
- rafting, paragliding, skiing, ski mountaineering;
- international hunting;
- historical, cultural and ethnographic tourism;
- spa treatment and rest.
Tajikistan is the richest country in reserves of fresh water resources. Almost half of the water resources of the Central Asian region are formed in mountainous rivers, lakes and glaciers of the country. Tajikistan is ranked eighth in the world for its hydropower engineering reserves. Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast of the Republic is especially very rich in lakes that have very different origins. The largest of them are the lakes of Karakul, Zorkul, Rangkul, Shorkul, Bulunkul and Lake Sarez, which was formed in 1911 when an earthquake created a natural dam. In general, in the Pamir region at altitudes from 3200 to 5000 meters there are 1450 lakes and 220rivers, or 83% of the total area of lakes in Tajikistan.The largest lake in the Pamirs, a unique salt Lake Karakul, is located at an altitude of 3914 meters above the sea level. The lake has a maximum depth of 236 meters. It is considered that the lake appeared during the ice age and the bottom of the lake and several of its shores for many kilometers are covered by permafrost.
In Tajikistan there are nearly 200 sources of mineral and thermal waters, on the basis of which spa tourism is developed. The most famous of them are resort “Khoja Obi Garm,” resort “Bahoriston”, sanatoriums “Shaambary”, “Obi Garm,” “Zumrad”, “Havatag”, “Yavroz”, “Kaltuch”, “Garm-Chashma”. In the carbonated hot mineral springs of sanatoriums “Garm-chashma”, “Bashor” and “Shahdara” travertine-lime sinter deposits are formed. They are especially beautiful at the spring Garm-chashma, located 35 km from Khorog.
Handmade unique monument of nature in the Pamirs is Pamir Botanical Garden located at an altitude of 2320m above the sea level near the Khorog city. This garden is on the background of barren slopes is the real green miracle, which collected more than 20,000 plants from all continents. Among them are rare and unusual specimens of plants, as Amur cork tree, cork, black Austrian pine and a unique collection of roses with pure tones and incomparable flavor.
Man-made unique monument of nature in the Pamirs is the Pamir Botanical Garden, located at an altitude of 2320m above the sea level near the city of Khorog. Against a background of barren slopes, this garden is a real green miracle, where more than 20,000 plants from all the continents are collected. he rare and unusual specimens of plants, as Amur velvet, cork tree, black Austrian pine and a unique collection of roses with the purest colors and incomparable smell are among them. Fan Mountains are particularly popular among the tourists and mountaineers, which are located between Zerafshan and Hissar ranges from Kshtutdari to Fandaria. Today, Fan Mountains are the most accessible for tourists among the all high mountains of the country. In these mountains, mirror blue-green water – Lake Iskanderkul is located, which is the largest lake of Fan Mountains, located in the north of Tajikistan. It is widely spread out at an altitude of 2200 meters. Here, tourists can watch the stars twinkle and mist rising from the lake surface. On the shore of a lake, within 160 km from Dushanbe, a tourist base “Iskanderkul” is located. This road is crossed by tourists in cars through the amazing gorges of Fandarya, Yagnob and Iskander darya. he mountains around seem to be multi-colored, as they are dominated by bluish, red and purple hues. Iskandar darya gorges are sometimes named as ravines of colored rocks and the forces of wind have turned them into fanciful walls and castles.
A lot of interesting expects travelers in the south of Tajikistan. One of the oldest cities of Central Asia, Kulyab celebrated its 2700 anniversary in 2006; it became a milestone for the country. In forest thicknesses close to Baljuvan district, Tajik archaeologists have unearthed stone tools, the most ancient one found in Central Asia – their age is 850 thousand years. A unique historical and architectural monument is a mausoleum of prominent philosopher and religious figure of the ХIV century Mir Said Ali Hamadoni in Kulyab, where many followers honoring his Sufi teachings perform a religious pilgrimage. Moreover, in this region there are the mausoleums Shakiki Balkhi (IX century), Schoh Nematulloi Wali (XIV century), Sulton Uvayci Karani (VII century), which will become revelation for many people.
Today there is a competitive tourist complex with more than 75 tourism enterprises in Tajikistan. In order to promote international tourism in the country, the government decided to simplify the visa regime; currently the documents to enter the country shall be issued within three days.Pursuant to the decisions adopted by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan to declare Varzob, Baljuvon Romit regions of the country the areas of spa treatment, recreation and tourism promotes to the gradual revival of the tourism industry. More than 65% of sanatoriums and tourist facilities have been renovated on the country; about 35 private tourist and recreation areas have been built.