Central Asian countries want to develop their tourism industries
Tourism industry as an engine of development - Central Asian countries intend to exploit the full potential of this industry. Experts say that there are great opportunities in this field due to the constant interest in the Great Silk Road from travelers from all over the world. The members of the Kazakh expedition ‘Caravanning - Tourism of Modern Nomads’ have identified a site for the future caravanning station, which is planned to be installed as early as next year. The campground is expected to be located in the Ayusai gorge, on the territory of the Ile-Alatau National Park near Almaty. A group of travelers has already placed a special plate with a mark of the corresponding geolocation for road tourists there. In the future, it will be possible to set up a motorhome or a tent at the protected site, as well as connect to electricity and obtain water.
“The caravanning is well developed in other countries - caravaners are autonomous, they spend little money, buy only food and gasoline. Kazakhstan is a large country rich in diverse landscapes and cultural monuments, it is convenient to travel around by car. Therefore, the budget approved by our company for this year, was revised, as well as the budget for image marketing activities abroad. Thanks for this to the specialists of the tourism industry and representatives of the ‘Atameken’ National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, who helped us develop a new strategy,” said Yerzhan Yerkinbayev, Chairperson of ‘Kazakh Tourism’ National Company.
Auto tourists plan to find more than a dozen of the most suitable places for comfortable stops, as they have more than 2,000 kilometers of travel from the border with China to the border with Uzbekistan and 14 points on the map. In the first five days, the participants of the expedition crossed nearly 1,300 kilometers of road towards Zharkent. Locations such as Saryozek, Baschi, Kegen, Bestobe reservoir, Charyn Canyon, Malybai and Huns yurt glamping were investigated for future stopping points and glamping (portmanteau of ‘gramorous’ and ‘camping’) sites.
“The result of the expedition’s work will be a single applied handbook, which will be translated into different languages and distributed among local governors’ offices as a recommendation. These will be easy to understand checklists describing what needs to be corrected and added at what stage of the road so that caravaners could freely, safely and confidently enter Kazakhstan and experience its beauty,” Yerkinbayev said.
Tourism is developing at a rapid pace in other countries of Central Asia as well, including Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Recently, the European Union announced the launch of a special tourism development program that will affect the countries mentioned above. The program will be implemented until 2023, and the budget of the projects amounts to nearly US$4 million (1.692 billion tenge). According to the EU Delegation to Tajikistan, more than two million euros of these funds (US$2.3 million or 989.2 million tenge), are allocated for sustainable energy for tourism and more than one million euros (US$1.169 million or 494 million tenge) for the Silk Road initiative.
“Tajikistan will benefit from actions aimed at enhancing business development, supporting community-based tourism, increasing access to sustainable energy, improving the competitiveness of small rural enterprises and supporting long-term carbon footprint reduction in the tourism sector, which will be carried out through the projects,” the statement says.
The EU Delegation to Tajikistan mentioned that the tourist influx to these Central Asian countries has increased significantly over the past two years.