On July 26, Kyrgyz Tourism LLC launched a new horse trekking tour in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The tour runs between two picturesque and popular destinations in Kyrgyzstan: the Suusamyr Valley and Son Kul lake. The tour lasts up to five days and follows expansive and picturesque Kyrgyz pastures including Oi-Kaiyn, Sary-Kol, Ok-Torkoi.
The founder of the start-up business, Aisha Mambetalieva, was one of 11 finalists in a competition to find the best business ideas, organized by USAID’s Enterprise Competitiveness Project. The Project awarded Ms. Mambetalieva with a grant to supply 14 sets of high-quality riding equipment to ensure safe and comfortable horse riding treks for international tourists.
According to Gary Shu, the director of USAID’s Economic Development Office, this new route is expected to attract more tourists and thus create new jobs for the residents of the Suusamyr valley. “We estimate that in the coming years, it will create 30 new jobs like guides, hosts, and cooks – hopefully increasing incomes for as many as 15 families,” said Mr. Shu.
USAID supports the development of tourism in Kyrgyzstan because it is an economic sector with high growth potential. Over the last five years, USAID helped improve hotel and tour guide services, map new trails, develop new tourism products, install hundreds of road signs for tourists, and promote Kyrgyzstan in international tourism markets. This contributed to Kyrgyzstan being included in Lonely Planet’s top 10 recommended destinations in the world for 2019.