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How the hotel industry evolved in Uzbekistan
Back in the Soviet time Uzbekistan was a fairly popular destination for tourists, both from the Union and countries of the Warsaw block, such as Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary etc. At that time, quite a few hotels were built in Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara, though their quality of facilities and service was traditionally low, a thing common for the Soviet service sector.
After independence in 1991, the hotel industry entered a new phase, when private business started to emerge, including the hotel business. In parallel, the old-time hotels went through major renovations to keep up with growing competition, and foreign hotel chains were allowed into the country. At that time, late 90-s and early 2000s, a number of big top-end hotels were built in all major destinations, for example, Intercontinental hotel in Tashkent, Sheraton Hotel and Towers (currently Marqaziy hotel), Le Meridien (currently the Tashkent Palace Hotel), Afrosiyab Hotel in Samarkand and Bukhara Palace Hotel in Bukhara.
Simultaneously, a great number of smaller private hotels were built or converted into new attractive properties from old and ineffective Soviet style hotels. They have less luxury and space, though easily compete with bigger ones by offering a more personalized service, attentive staff, and of course, lower rates.