On March 2-5, 2021, a four-day workshop on sustainable tourism was held in Bishkek within the framework of the Greentour Project. The workshop program was divided into 2 parts: March 2-3 for tour operators and March 4-5 for accommodation facilities. In total, the event was attended by over 60 representatives of large and small tour operators of inbound and outbound tourism, independent guides and tour organizers, representatives of guest houses, hotels, resorts and ski resorts, as well as government bodies.
During the event, participants were able to gain valuable new information on various issues, including:
• Concept of sustainability in tourism.
• Development of sustainable tourism products
• Effective communication with clients and partners about achievements in the field of sustainable development
• Working with communities;
• Responsibility in dealing with tourists with special needs;
• Sustainable marketing and sales
• Conservation of water and energy
• Waste management
In addition, issues such as the responsible use of animals and birds during tours, the peculiarities of working with tourists of a special category (children, the elderly, PWDs), as well as possible ways of cooperation and the implementation of joint projects were discussed. It is worth noting that the workshop was held in an interactive format, thanks to which the participants were given the opportunity to share their experience, vision and development plans.
In turn, the participants of the workshop noted the importance of such events, as well as the high professionalism of the lecturer of the workshop, Ms. Anula Galewska, who is an international consultant on sustainable tourism.
“The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world, we need to adapt to new realities and, accordingly, we need to pay special attention to the development of domestic tourism. But this requires knowledge and skills, and the information that we received during the workshop - certification in hotels, work with staff, communication with guests, is of great value. I hope there will be more such events as this will help us significantly accelerate the development of the sustainable and responsible tourism sector in our country,” said one of the participants, Stella Bondareva, who has been working in the field of tourism for over 15 years.
After completing the training, participants received support through the Travelife sustainable tourism platform in using and implementing the knowledge, methods and tools gained during the training. Interested companies have also received all the support they need to apply and obtain the Travelife Partner sustainability certification.
“Previously, we worked without thinking about internal reports, planning, communications, thanks to the information received during the workshop, as well as Travelife, we understood how we can make our work as effective as possible, I am very glad that I was able to take a part at this workshop and I hope that in the future I will be able to participate in other similar events,” said Nargiza Askarbekova, a representative of the Son-Kol yurt camp.
The Greentour Project is implemented by the representative office of Helvetas Intercooperation GmbH in the Kyrgyz Republic in partnership with KATO, KCBT and ECEAT. The project is funded by the European Union’s SWITCH-Asia Program.