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Uzbekistan: British Tourists Favor More Exotic Destinations

By Stuart Parrot

London, 16 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- British tourists are opting to travel to exotic destinations such as Uzbekistan rather than spend vacations at home, says one of Britain's leading holiday companies.

Saga Holidays, which caters to tourists over the age of 50, says that Uzbekistan, Borneo and Malaysia are now more popular with their clientele than traditional British seaside resorts.

The firm has dropped all but four British seaside resorts from next year's brochure, focusing instead on Uzbekistan and other distant places.

"Our customers are becoming more sophisticated," said a spokesman.

A recent survey by the British magazine, "Travel Trade Gazette," said the Central Asian country is one of the prime tourist destinations in the former Soviet Union. It said that visitors are lured by its ancient Islamic culture and the fact that it is at the start of the 'Silk Road' to China.