REVIEW   OF   TOURISM   IN   KYRGYZSTAN 

About us - Association on Promotion of Kyrgyzstan as Tourism Country

According to the  forecasts of the World Tourist organization- The well-known Great Silk road to the year 2020 becomes  the most popular route among tourists on our planet  . But in fact already now it is possible  to pass by the Silk road, how actually that  is done by many tourists from  Western Europe and Japan, isn't it? And that is not necessary pass it for one trip entirely. For the beginning it is possible to familiarize with the Kirghiz part of Great road.


Kyrgyzstan can easily be the hot spot for tourism in Central Asia. It is located across the Tien Shan and is blessed with white peaks, glaciers, and emerald lakes. The salty water of Lake Issyk Kul, some Kyrgyz believe, will heal a wound the second time the wound is washed in it. Additionally, at Aksu, Jalalabad, and Jettioghuz, there are hot water springs for health and recreation. There are ski resorts that are open throughout the winter. Horseback riding, walking, and fishing are some of the other sports available in the river valleys and around the lakes. In the cities, there are public parks, restaurants, and museums. The latter include the History Museum, the Fine Arts Museum, and the Kyrgyz Economic Achievement Exhibition, which specializes in the Kyrgyz culture from the days of the yurts to the present.
Incoming Tourism in Kyrgyzstan

There are some factors which play a big role in making a country or region attractive or not for the foreign tourists. According to their importance they are:

  •  Natural beauty and climate (Kyrgyzstan posses this factor)

  •   Cultural and social characteristics (possess)

  •    Accessibility of the region (lacks)

  •   Attitudes toward tourists (possess)

  •    Infrastructure of the region (lacks)

  •    Prices levels (lacks)

  •    Shopping and commercial facilities (lacks)

  •  Sport, recreation and educational facilities (lacks)

           Kyrgyzstan's scorecard gives a mixed reading. But Kyrgyzstan does have the first most important factor, its natural beauty, which attracts most of the tourists here. With its vast, varied natural environment, especially the Tian Shan Mountains and the Issyk-Kul Lake, it enjoys a strong opportunity to use the tourism and develop its economy. Because of its climate, the tourist season is summer, when the weather is calm and suitable for trekking and rafting.

           Kyrgyzstan also does well on the second point; the Kyrgyz traditional life style may be very attractive to the eyes of foreigners. So there is the possibility to develop some attractive tours showing traditional handcrafts, the playing of traditional musical instruments, the singing of songs, and folk dancing. Most of the tours to visit tourist attractions like Issyk-Kul Lake also include showing some traditional shows and dances. This part of tourism, cultural tourism, can economically benefit the local performers directly.

           But Kyrgyzstan is not likely to become a mass market for tourism anyway. Even if all the artificial obstacles were to be removed, for Europeans and Americans it still seems too far and expensive. People mostly like to visit famous well-known places such as Nepal. Kyrgyzstan must aim at a very special niche market; it is not suitable for short leisure trip, but it is for people who are interested in culture, history, ecology, or mountains of Central Asia, for people who want to see something different. "It is assuredly not for everyone, if you are an adventure type with a passion for the rugged outdoors, if you are pride of yourself on intrepid tolerance, if you are appreciate or seek out places untouched by 'development', Kyrgyzstan should be at the top of your list."

                     If tourism companies will focus on these goals of eco-tourism it will bring a lot more profit in the long run, because if the environment and local people get social and social benefits from the tourism business, this will bring more benefits back to the tourism market. For example cleaning the cities and environment will make Kyrgyzstan look better, and this will attract more tourists to the area. These benefits should spread all over the country, all the small villages that tours are passing through should share in these benefits. Kyrgyzstan does not have a good reputation for the security of its roads and cities. If the inhabitants were taught that tourism will bring benefits for them, they may cease to bother tourists, but instead help than and show their hospitality to them.

            Locals attitude toward tourists is the forth point in the list of factors mentioned at the beginning of this section. From this list Kyrgyzstan can only get three "pluses", for its natural beauty, cultural characteristics, and attitudes toward tourists. The rest of points are "minuses" at present. These minuses are actually obstacles to the development of tourism that I will examine in a later section.

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