Discovery Kyrgyzstan
Discovery Kyrgyzstan travel guide #10/2008

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Vasily Zalokar

Kyrgyzstan - Land of the Tien ShanProject Coordinator of the Tourism Destination Marketing Project, implemented by HELVETAS, Swiss Association for International Cooperation, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

After spending two weeks around Kyrgyzstan at the beginning of May, Claude and Marcelle were overwhelmed. They asked me, "Why is this pearl of a country so little known?"

Kyrgyzstan offers its visitors spectacular scenery, legendary hospitality from its native people and a truly authentic experience that many tourists are looking for, so much so, that this comparatively small country has become a 'secret spot' and even somewhat mystical to many of my experienced fellow western travel enthusiasts.

In reality, few potential visitors to Kyrgyzstan can discover this country on the world map of attractive travel destinations by themselves. They might have been searching for brochures in English or French, searching the Internet, consulting their travel agency, looking for pictures that would make them dream… Many of them might turn to another holiday destination simply because they cannot find any appealing or detailed travel information.

Kyrgyzstan now has to compete with other exciting new travel destinations in leisure, adventure or eco-tourism. It is no longer enough to just put together a tour package and wait for curious customers. The tourism sector needs to actively provide interesting information directly to the customer in the form of accurate and complete maps, attractive brochures showing the variety of attractions and facilities offered by the country and a structured and complete website to reach the 35% of customers who consult the World Wide Web as a first source of information. These future visitors to Kyrgyzstan could come from anywhere including potential markets such as China, India or Italy and it is essential to make them dream, plan and decide to come to this awe-inspiring country.

The new Swiss-funded three-year Tourism Destination Marketing Organisation project has just begun to establish professional destination marketing to Kyrgyzstan and in close cooperation with the Government, other NGOs and the private sector will look to promote the spectacular mountains, rich cultural heritage, age-old traditions of Kyrgyzstan and to meet with warm-hearted people. Now, more than ever, this promotion is needed to place Kyrgyzstan where it should rightfully be - a truly unique and surprising travel destination.

Discovery Kyrgyzstan #4

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