Bishkek – From March 8-12, the U.S. Government through USAID partnered with Kyrgyzstani tour operators to represent the Kyrgyz Republic at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel and tourism exhibition held annually in the German capital. A fully operational traditional Kyrgyz yurt drew in more than 10,000 visitors eager to glimpse authentic nomad culture and sample traditional food, drink, and music. After the event Ms. Rahat Jamalova, head of tourism promotion NGO “Destination Karakol,” remarked “Ten thousand visitors far exceeds the number of visits in 2016, and we look forward to seeing how that translates to real visitors to the country in the 2017-18 season.”
The yurt attracted countless visitors and also doubled as a meeting space where Kyrgyzstani tour operators exchanged business contacts with more than 1,200 potential partners and finalized 31 contracts with European tour operators. These agreements will bring more international travelers to Kyrgyzstan, strengthen the tourism industry, and create more income and jobs for Kyrgyzstani people.
In the last year, USAID sponsored the participation of Kyrgyzstani delegations in similar international travel trade shows in Madrid, Istanbul, London, and other international and domestic locations. These exhibitions are part of a comprehensive partnership with the Kyrgyz Republic to develop tourism as a major source of revenues and jobs for the country.
USAID partners with the Kyrgyz Republic to develop tourism under its Business Growth Initiative project by promoting its unique and wonderful offerings in international markets. The project also strengthens individual tourism businesses and creates a supportive infrastructure for visitors.