Bishkek - 05. June 2024

Advancing Sustainable Tourism in Kyrgyzstan: Milestones and Future Directions

The Greentour Project, aimed at enhancing the sustainability of Central Asia regions’ tourism sector, concluded with a final conference in Bishkek. This four-year project, funded by the EU’s SWITCH-Asia program, extensively promoted sustainable tourism practices in Kyrgyzstan.

Key attendees of the event included Mr. Hans Farnhammer, Head of the Cooperation Section of the Delegation of the European Union to Kyrgyz Republic; Ms. Dinara Ashimova, Member of Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic and Deputy Speaker of the Council for Sustainable Development under Climate Change; Kyial Kenzhematova, Deputy Director of the Tourism Department of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce; Anja de Beer, Regional Director of Helvetas Central Asia.

The conference provided a platform to showcase the project’s achievements and discuss the future of sustainable tourism in the region among international experts, policymakers, industry leaders, and community stakeholders.

The panel discussions focused on sustainable accommodation practices in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, sustainable tour businesses and governmental policy. Presentations included sustainable development in Kazakhstan’s domestic tourism, challenges in sustainable tourism development in Uzbekistan, and the Green Economy Development Program in Kyrgyzstan for 2024-2028.

Throughout its four-year duration, the Greentour Project marked numerous achievements. The Alai district gained recognition among the TOP 100 Sustainable Practices by Green Destinations, a first for Central Asia. The initiative helped over 60 local producers implement sustainable methods and trained more than 1,500 tourism professionals. Additionally, 26 individuals completed the GSTC course, and 25 Kyrgyz tour operators received basic Travelife Partner certification. There are ongoing efforts for 20 guesthouses and hotels to earn the GSTC Good Travel Seal. The project also introduced Kyrgyzstan’s first Sustainable Tours Catalog and educated auditors and coaches in sustainable practices across Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

The Greentour Project has laid a solid foundation for sustainable tourism in Kyrgyzstan, contributing to the sector’s development and competitiveness. As the project concludes, the focus now shifts to maintaining and building upon these achievements to ensure long-term benefits for the local communities and the environment.