The Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) is an independent, unitary, democratic state which is located in the center of the Eurasian continent and surrounded by the magnificent Tian-Shan mountains. The history of Kyrgyz statehood totals more than three thousand years and Kyrgyz people have never allowed doubting in their unshakable firmness and aspiration for freedom. Today, in time of global changes in the many-sided structure of this planet’s civilizations, Kyrgyzstan aspires to find a worthy place in it, the fight for this worthy place is ready to be supported with high ideas of tolerance, friendship and spiritual development: aspirations to enrich new humanitarian – economic horizons of the country in which special value belongs to the tourist sphere. The national network of community based tourism home-stays and yurt camps provides an excellent opportunity to meet with local people and to learn about traditional Central Asian nomad life. Kyrgyzstan is friendly, safe and easily accessible.
Population: 5,254,000 million
Area: 199,900 sq km (77,181 sq miles).
The official language: Kyrgyz, Russian
Time zone: UTC + 6.
Religion: Mainly Sunni Muslim. There is Russian Orthodox.
Kyrgyzstan shares borders with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China. Kyrgyzstan lies in the breathtaking landscape of mountains, glaciers and lakes; their isolation ensures that they have been almost forgotten by the crowds. The lakes and mountainous terrain provide excellent opportunities for trekking, skiing, climbing, sailing and swimming. Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions.
Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators (KATO)
KATO is one of the largest and leading associations of representatives of the tourism industry in Kyrgyzstan, officially registered with the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic in 1999. KATO is a non-profit organization that protects the corporate interests of its members and the rights of the clients they serve. The mission of KATO is to create a tourism-friendly environment that is based on universally used principles and standards, which in turn will contribute to further economic growth and prosperity in the regions. KATO is engaged in the implementation of specific projects on marketing, education and information. The Association conducts daily news distribution, organizing various meetings, round tables, social events, etc. KATOs’ basic goals are as follows:
• to turn tourism into the leading branch of the economy of the Kyrgyz Republic;
• to achieve support for the further development of tourism at the highest level, in accordance with its huge importance for the economy of the republic create a favorable climate for tourists by creating jobs, encouraging the development of national cultures and environmental education;
• simplify the visa system and other formalities.
For more information and contact: http://kato.kg/en/
Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism (KCBTA)
KCBTA – “Hospitality Kyrgyzstan” is the country’s driving force behind community based tourism best practices and innovation. The association’s objective is to improve living conditions in remote mountain regions by developing a sustainable and wholesome ecotourism model that utilizes local natural and recreational resources. Located in the capital Bishkek, KCBTA is an umbrella association uniting 14 diverse destination communities (“CBT groups”). KCBTA was registered on January 3, 2003 with support from Helvetas Kyrgyzstan Programme’s Community Based Tourism Support Project (CBT SP) with operations throughout the country. KCBTA balances marketing strategy for local and international segments while fostering communication on new projects, activities and opportunities to its rural chapters. KCBTA encourages rational and responsible natural resource use through training on environmental protection, ecology, cooperation and heritage sites to local members of rural communities. KCBTA provides support to member organizations by marketing their services and products, providing business training, supporting organizational capacity building and organizing training, seminars and study tours. The association represents member interests in national policy development and negotiations within the mainstream tourism industry.
For more information and contact: http://cbtkyrgyzstan.kg