Local authorities and communities of Naryn and Osh provinces join their efforts to develop tourism

Jun 17, 2013

Workshop participants studying experience of one of the CBT tourism sites.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (June 17, 2013) – About 50 representatives of local communities and the private sector involved in tourism, as well as representatives of local authorities of  Osh and Naryn oblasts participated in workshops on community based tourism. Participants learned about international experience of community based tourism and benefits of this type of tourism for their regions. In addition, they discussed the main issues, shared the successful practices with colleagues and decided to establish the tourism associations at the local level for more effective promotion of ideas for the development of the sector.

“Community based tourism: challenges and prospects" workshops were organized by UNDP in cooperation with the Department of Tourism under the Kyrgyz Republic Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Information in the beginning of June. The workshops were aimed at increasing the capacity of local communities and the identification of the prospects of tourism development in the Osh and Naryn provinces.                                                                                                

As Sergei Magai, the Head of the Organizational and Legal Affairs of the Department of Tourism at the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism noted: "The workshops on community based tourism are part of our joint project in the sphere of tourism development. The training program included both theoretical and practical parts. This approach allowed the participants to share their experiences more deeply and discuss existing problems and deficiencies and presented possible ways to share their solutions. Resolutions adopted at the workshops demonstrate the interest of the Department to help the local communities and the willingness of participants to develop tourism in the region. I am convinced that conducted workshops have a positive impact on improving the quality and range of tourist services offered in the pilot (Osh and Naryn) areas."

The workshops feature practical work and master classes of professionals, who work successfully in the field of tourism using innovative approaches for many years: renewable energy sources, new ways to host guests and tourists services in rural areas, technology of trips and work on the tourist route.

UNDP expert Gulmira Karymshakova shared with the international experience in the development of local tourism: "In many countries, this type of tourism is developing successfully. People have learned the correct and effective use of the natural, cultural and ethnographic resources. For example, in Montenegro there are eco-villages, developed bicycle tours and great cuisine. Tourists come for the feelings! "- said the expert.

As a result, participants adopted resolutions with a main point to join efforts of people working in community based tourism in Osh and Naryn provinces into associations in order to address the challenges in the field of tourism. In addition, the participants developed recommendations for the Department of Tourism at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and information on the development of this type of tourism.

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