The most important area of social policy is also the development of tourism. The main task of the State Committee on Tourism of Turkmenistan is to promote international tourism as the most profitable areas of the tourism industry. New tourist routes will be opened in order to attract more foreign tourists, as well as measures are taken to improve the quality of services.
It should be noted that in 2018 certificates of conformity of services in 294 tourist destinations were issued, trips to 105 historical monuments were organized. In addition, five certified tourist routes are complemented by excursions to 30 historical and cultural attractions and sacred sites, and new routes have been developed. Work on the inclusion of new facilities in existing routes is continuing. This activity covers, in particular, the National Tourist Zone "Avaza", the attractions of Koytendag district, the Karakum desert, the canyon of Sumbar and others.
Along with updating the content of the tourist routes, work to improve the service culture in the industry continues. With the participation of specialists from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as well as the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFATG), in 2018, there were held guides training courses.
To date, three major sites of historical and architectural significance - Kunyaurgench, Merv and Nisa - included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Each of them is a huge cultural and scientific value and all of them have long been favorite places for foreign visitors. In the future, necessary steps will be taken in order to include amazing sites of Koytendag and other natural sites to the list of the UNESCO’s world legacy. In this regard, the relevant work is carried out on the improvement of natural scenic corners Koytendag in order to create favorable conditions for tourists - for the construction of hotels and other providing systems.
Turkmenistan has several times given entries in the Guinness Book of Records. In particular, the country first was noted in the Book of Records for the world's largest handmade carpet area of 301 sq.m. Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat is recognized as the white marble city in the world. The list of world records are included other sights of the Turkmen capital - the world's tallest flagpole in front of the National Museum of Turkmenistan, sculptural complex "Oguzhan" locate at the entrance to the international airport of Ashgabat, the international airport of Turkmenabat, the international airport of Ashgabat, and a huge star of Oguz Khan Broadcasting Center "Turkmenistan" and the wheel Ferris Ashgabat cultural and entertainment center «Älem», the image of the horse decorating the podium of the Olympic stadium in the capital as the largest architectural symbol of the horse on the planet, and the Olympic Swimming Center as the world's largest indoor swimming pool, the widescale bicycle action on June 1, 2018 at the multipurpose stadium "Ashgabat", as “the largest cycling awareness lesson in the world”.
The year 2018, which was held under the motto “Turkmenistan - the heart of the Great Silk Road”, provided an opportunity to re-evaluate the historical and cultural heritage of the Turkmen people, to intensify work on the development of domestic and foreign tourism based on the widespread popularization of the country's historical and natural attractions.
Many events were held in the field of tourism. So, on February 3, 2018, in Beijing there was held a branch forum, which was organized by the Embassy of our country to the PRC together with the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Tourism and Chinese companies “Shuangxiong” and “Beijing”. Contracts and agreements, which would support the expansion of tourism business between Turkmenistan and China, have been signed by the outcomes of the forum.
The opening of the “Silk Road” visa service center of Turkmenistan on July 19, 2018 in Beijing is indicative. The participation of the Turkmen delegation in the “China-Eurasia 2018” EXPO, held in Urumqi from August 30 to September 2, testifies to the interest of the two states in the development of tourist exchange. The second Turkmen-Chinese tourism forum was held on the margins of the review with the participation of representatives of the administration of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the city of Urumqi, as well as leading travel companies in the PRC region.
Perspective of development of tourism industry have been presented at the International exhibition “Tourism and Travelling” that united exhibitors from 26 states in “Avaza” National tourist zone on October 9 – 10. Negotiations were held on cooperation with the leaders of major travel companies in China, Japan, Germany, and Spain. In particular, on November 15, representatives of the State Committee for Tourism discussed issues of enhancing contacts with members of the East and Central Asia Department of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).