Jyrgalan Festival Kicks Off New Ski Season

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – On November 18-19, Jyrgalan Valley is hosting a festival to kick off the 2016-2017 ski season, featuring concerts, games and other activities showcasing winter sports, local handicrafts, and guest houses in the burgeoning Tian Shan backcountry ski destination located 60 kilometers east of Karakol. The festival is being organized with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Jyrgalan Festival (J-Fest) seeks to promote the destination by engaging local and international representatives of the tourism industry, media, and local community, while demonstrating economic opportunities available through tourism development to local residents and youth.

“We are positioning Jyrgalan as a tourist destination with unique natural resources to become a center for winter and summer tourism. I am sure that tourism will be an engine for job creation and promoting the rural economy, throughout the region and the country as a whole,” said Bermet Dzhaparova, owner of one of the new guest houses supported by USAID in Jyrgalan.

J-Fest debuted at the opening of the 2015-2016 ski season, and was aimed at promoting the village as a tourist destination for extreme skiers. While J-Fest promotes Jyrgalan as a winter destination, local residents are optimistic about the area’s summer trekking potential.

Jyrgyalan is one of four tourist destinations supported by USAID in Kyrgyzstan through the Business Growth Initiative (BGI). USAID BGI is a four-year, multi-faceted project that strengthens the competitiveness of Kyrgyzstani firms and value chains to promote business growth, job creation and economic development.