Turkmenistan has big plans for its tourism industry in 2013, seeking to become a destination vacation spot. This year will see the construction of new hotels, campgrounds, resorts, and development of the Avaza resort on the Caspian coast. Since assuming office in 2006, Berdymukhammedov has put a reported $1.4 billion into developing Turkmenistan’s tourism infrastructure, with Avaza claiming a large chunk of it. But Avaza has little to show; last summer, an RFE/RL reporter went there to find the resort’s eight luxury hotels practically empty. This was bound to be the case – as Turkmenistan is not an easy place for foreigners to get an entry visa, and the hotels are expensive.
To read the full story