Representatives of nine leading tour operators from the Republic of Uzbekistan visited Osh and Jalal-Abad regions, as part of an information tour from June 7 to 11, 2021. The organizers of the infotour were the Swiss Bai Alai Programme, GIZ’s Green Economy and Sustainable Private Sector Development Programme, IRDP and Destination Osh PF.
The program of the infotour included visits to various attractions in the southern part of the country, as well as participation in a number of specially prepared activities. The first day of the event included a city tour of Osh, which included a climbing of the Sulaiman-Too Mountain, a visit to the Museum of Spiritual Culture and a walk around the main square of the city.
In just four days, the participants of the infotour were able to visit many places, learn about the culture and life of the local population, and even take part in various folk games. The main part of the infotour included excursions to such places as:
- "Kyrgyz-Ata" Nature Park, located at an altitude of over 2,300 meters above sea level and famous for its juniper forests and many mountain rivers with crystal clear meltwater.
- The creative center of ceramics "Golden Valley", where the participants had a master class on ceramics, as well as wine tasting to the melodious Kyrgyz songs accompanied by komuz.
- The stone desert of the Tuya-Muyun Range, where the landscape changes neither in summer nor in winter.
- “Dul-Dul At” pilgrimage center, which is one of the sanctuaries of the Davani era dedicated to the cult of the horse. Today the area is a center of pilgrimage for Muslims in the Fergana Valley and may be of interest as one of the objects of ziyarat (pilgrimage) tours.
- Yurt camp at Sary-Oy pasture, which is located in the reserve of the same name in the spurs of the Alai range.
- Zhosholu area, located on the bank of the river Ayuu Tapan, where two world mountain systems: Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alai converge.
- Sary-Tash area, passing along the famous Pamir highway, where the participants spent night at the highest-lying hotel in Kyrgyzstan (3,500 m above sea level) ‘Alpen Dome Hotel Pamir Alay’.
- Tulparkol area. This is a network of lakes, which is located in the spurs of the Chon-Alai Range at an altitude of 3,500 meters above sea level. There are several yurt camps in the valley, which are of great interest to foreign tourists. National games, festivals, folk shows, and yak shows are organized in the camps. Several horse trails start from this place. Lenin Peak (7134m) can be seen from the territory of Tulparkol and one can reach it during the walk just in 2 hours.
- Uzgen Historical and Architectural Complex of Karakhanid Era, as well as the complex of Imam Serahsi - a famous jurist of Turkic-Islamic world of the 11th century during the rule of Karakhanids, who was also engaged in mathematics, logic, philosophy and poetry.
- The Arslanbob National Reserve, famous for its fruit and nut forests.
- Great and Small Arslanbob Falls
- Horseback riding tour of the Sary-Chelek reserve, where participants of the infotour were able to visit 6 lakes, including the pearl of the reserve - Lake Sary-Chelek.
The main aim of the information tour was to familiarize the leading tour operators in Uzbekistan with ethno-cultural tourism potential of Osh and Jalal-Abad regions, and to provide information on changes and improvements in the tourism infrastructure of the region and new tourist products to meet the needs of tourists.
In addition, a number of business meetings between local stakeholders and tour operators of Uzbekistan were organized as part of the event. These meetings will help participants to establish new cooperation contacts and develop new joint tourism products. So as a result of these meetings the beneficiaries of the Swiss Bai Alai Programme have signed a number of agreements with tour operators of Uzbekistan, and just a few days after the infotour the first orders and requests for tour bookings were received from them. Thus, "CBT Alay", "CBT Sary Mogol" and "Rayan Resort" organizations are already negotiating to supply their services to tourists from Uzbekistan in mid-July this year.
The Bai Alai programme is funded by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and is implemented by Helvetas Kyrgyzstan together with the Aga Khan Foundation.