Bishkek - 07. September 2023

Tourism Organizations of Kyrgyzstan Trained in GSTC Principles of Sustainable Tourism

In a step towards promoting sustainable tourism practices in Kyrgyzstan, the Greentour project, in collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), successfully organized a comprehensive 3-day training program from September 4th to 6th, 2023. The training, held in the city of Bishkek, brought together 23 dedicated representatives from various tourism organizations.

The participants of this essential training program included key stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, representing the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Economy and Commerce of the Kyrgyz Republic, the mayor’s office of the city of Karakol, Destinations Osh and Jalalabad, universities (Kyrgyz Economic University and Osh State University), the Osh Regional Museum of Fine Arts, the Center for Nomadic Civilization, the Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators, the Kyrgyz Association of Community-Based Tourism, as well as the HORECA Plus Association.

The primary focus of the training was to impart knowledge and insights on the four fundamental criteria for sustainable tourism, namely good management, socio-economic impact, cultural impact, and environmental impact. These criteria were elucidated with real-world examples drawn from various global tourism destinations: the sector’s burden on Asian ecosystems, the problems of mass tourism in European capitals, the commodification of culture and the loss of authenticity due to intensive tourism promotion.

The program featured a balanced mix of theoretical sessions that covered the key GSTC criteria, enriching field trips to tourism sites for practical analysis and assessment of their compliance with sustainability criteria, and presentations by participants who shared their assessment results.

Kyal Kenzhematova, Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic, emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in the tourism sector. She stated, “Kyrgyzstan has chosen the path of sustainable development, and the topic of this training is incredibly relevant. We must understand that sustainable tourism benefits everyone: nature, people, and businesses - both today and for many years to come. Knowledge of sustainability criteria is essential for everyone working in the tourism sector.”

The Greentour project, is funded by the European Union’s SWITCH-Asia program and implemented by Helvetas.

For more detailed information about the Greentour project, please visit the Helvetas and SWITCH-Asia website.