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Welcome to my professional e-portfolio highlighting what I am going to learn with the Joint Ph.D in GIS application in Tourism at University of Malaga . I am finding the e-portfolio task very useful. Here, I will display the focus of my project and all other related material. This page will be considered an ongoing process for the winter semester of 2015.

Currently I am Ph.D student at Tajik State University located in Tajikistan where I am studying tourism development. I have a strong interest in application of GIS (geographical information system) in sustainable eco - tourism in Badakhshan (Pamirs),  Tajikistan. I believe that the gSmart is best opportunity for me as gSmart project is aiming at improving the management of societies, economies and environments through modern geospatial methods and techniques.

I am particularly interested in the environment science enables to development of tourism and I am really impressed with all the work being done in the environment today. I believe I would be a great fit for helping out on projects that involve mapping, GIS, and being out in the elements to get necessary data needed to help.

Ecotourism has a strong correction with sustainable tourism. Suitable management for ecotourism development is essential in order to be able to maximize the positive impacts and minimize negative impacts on all aspect of tourism. This will help to conserve and maintain biological richness of the areas and opportunities in the field of ecotourism management.

Tourism in Tajikistan region is in early stage of development. The growth of tourist arrival increased to 2.35 percent from year 2004 to 2013. The role of Governments towards the tourism development is weak. Tajikistan, located in the heart of Asia, is currently developing its tourist infrastructure to make available to the international market its wealth of unspoilt natural beauty, its ancient history and the unrivalled hospitality of its people. Independent since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Tajikistan is poor in natural resources but rich in tourist attractions: it offers extraordinary opportunities for adventure and eco-cultural tourism with untouched landscapes, archaeological treasures and attractive itineraries for walking and trekking with charming homestays along the way.

Tajikistan takes a southeast part of Central Asia (latitude – 41 05’ North South, longitude – 67 31’ West; 75 14’ East) where are concentrated highest mountain peaks : Ismoil Somoni Peak (former Communism peak) – 7495 m, Independent Peak (former Lenin peak) – 7 134 m, Korjenevski Peak – 7 – 105 m and other, exceeding a six kilometers mark. The whole territory of republic is dismembered at high –power mountain system: Thian Shan, Himalayans and the Pamirs. Hypsometric levels of mountains change within the limits of 300 – 7 495 m above the sea level. 

Tajikistan is a developing country  with  GDP growth of 7.4% for 2013 It is expected to slow to 6.0% in 2014 and 5.8% in 2015 because of anticipated declines in the production of aluminum and cotton, Tajikistan’s primary exports.  Tajikistan is a mountainous country. Mountains occupy about 93% of the terrain, while about half of the territory is situated at an altitude of above 3,000 masl. Taking into account all these characteristics on view of economy growth point Tajikistan has a poor opportunity to develop manufacturing economy and it will be rational to shift from manufacturing to service economy. The development of secondary and primary sector of economy is a big challenge due to low investments rate and undevelopment technologies. Therefore the development of tourism, mainly eco-torism as very essential and certainly it can promote the economic growth.

In the Republic works more than 125 touristic facilities and (sanatorium) health resorts, including 51 hotels, 9 health resorts and areas of recreation, camping sites, and health improving camps. The majority of them are in Dushanbe, Khodjent, 66% of them belong to small enterprises, and only 4 hotels are in the class of (big) enterprise.

Tajikistan is a member of UNWTO since 2007. UNWTO and the Government of Tajikistan have agreed to advance the country’s tourism sector through a series of concrete initiatives. Tourism development in the country will be based on three axes, ecotourism, mountain tourism and cultural tourism, and will explore Tajikistan’s positioning along the Silk Road, the historic trade route linking numerous tourism destinations.

In January 2014, Globe Spots published a list of top 10 destinations to visit in 2014. Tajikistan was second in this list behind Malta but ahead of Romania, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, Lithuania and others. It was mentioned that just getting there is an adventure on its own. This perfectly illustrates travel and tourism in Tajikistan. The country has great cultural and historic heritage combined with beautiful mountain scenery. However, it has underdeveloped tourism infrastructure and does not run any large-scale promotional campaigns.