Uzbekistan: How is the mysterious Central Asian country trying to entice Western tourists?

With almost half its landmass covered by desert, remote, mysterious Uzbekistan, a landlocked country of 33 million in Central Asia, is slowly starting to unravel its secrets to Western visitors.

Among its UNESCO World Heritage recognised towns and cities, the country has some of Central Asia’s most incredible sights along what was the Silk Road, the ancient network of trading routes that linked China with Europe.

This year marks Uzbekistan’s 30th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union, with a calendar of Covid-friendly celebrations taking place in the capital Tashkent as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva.

Travelling between these cities is now

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