The University of South Carolina has entered into a partnership to nurture the tourism industry and service economy in the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan.
As part of the country’s initiative to build service economy infrastructure, leaders from two of its capital city universities – Tashkent University of Economics and Tashkent University of Information Technologies — visited USC’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management (HRSM) in Columbia this summer.
After meeting with faculty from the HRSM and retailing departments, the institutions developed a memorandum of understanding to establish a new academic and research collaboration. That memorandum has been accepted in principle and awaits final approval from the school’s board of trustees.
Retailing chair Mark Rosenbaum told South Carolina Radio Network his department will offer research and advice on “how we can develop a close relationship with Uzbekistan to help the country build its tourism and retailing economy.”
Rosenbaum and School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management director Drew Martin will visit Uzbekistan later this year for the next step in the developing partnership.
“We want to create a center so that there is a central network that brings together service academics as well as practitioners involved in the economic structure of the country,” Rosenbaum said.
Getting there is already much easier than it was even five years ago. Rosenbaum said there are more flights from major airports to Tashkent and new visa procedures to make it easier for tourists to visit.