DUSHANBE, November 15, Asia-Plus - Tourism companies in Tajikistan will unite, according to the Ministry of Economy and Trade (MoET).

A source at a MoET said that the Association of Tourism Companies of Tajikistan had been established and it had already applied to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for registration.  

The source said that the main objective of the association is to unite tour operators in the country in order to make their activity more efficient.  “The association will study experience of other countries in the filed of tourism and relevant industries, cooperate and conclude agreements with foreign tour operators and promote development of tourism in Tajikistan,” the source said.   .

He added that experts expect Tajikistan to receive nearly US$8.5 million from tourism in 2007, and US$10 million in 2010.  “The upcoming international tourism exhibitions that will be held in Dushanbe will facilitate development of tourism in the republic,” the MoET source said.  

According to the MoET, 29,500 tourists have visited Tajikistan over the first nine months of this year, which is 4.5 time more compared to last year.  Compared to last year number of Tajik tourist traveling to other countries over the first nine months of this has doubled and amounted to 12,100 people in January-September 2006.  

“Taking into consideration that foreign tourist leaves in Tajikistan on average more than US$300, income from the tourism sector will have been considerable this year,” the source said, adding that last year’s income from tourism amounted to more than US$7 million.   According to him, 32 other tour operators have been established in Tajikistan this year, bringing a total number of them to 78.