A US small business will use financing from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) to construct a hotel in Uzbekistan, helping the country draw a new generation of tourists to its Silk Road attractions.

Opic will provide a US$400,000 loan to the Malika Hotel Group, a joint venture led by O&S Consulting of Gig Harbor, Washington, for construction of a 50-room hotel in Bukhara and the purchase of two buses that will provide transportation among three other hotels in a chain owned by the joint venture: the Malika hotels in Tashkent, Samarkand and Khiva. Upon completion of the Malika Hotel Bukhara, the Malika Hotel Group will be the only company with hotels serving all four of Uzbekistan’s major tourist destinations.

Opic announced in October 2004 that it would provide US$590,000 in political risk insurance to the Malika hotels in Tashkent and Khiva.
The Malika Hotel Bukhara will help alleviate the shortage of quality rooms in Bukhara, making the city a destination for a broader range of travellers. The hotel will feature a restaurant seating 200 persons, a conference room, a business centre, and ample parking for tour buses and cars.

“Uzbekistan, located along what was once the main part of the historic Silk Road and home to many ancient monuments and natural attractions, has the potential to become an international tourist destination.