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Scandal in Khan-Teniri nature park: Daily charge demanded from tourists

Management of Khan-Teniri State Nature Park arbitrarily introduced a daily charge for entry into the territory, and even for setting up tents in the park. The Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators informed 24.kg news agency.

«In the run-up to the tourist season, tourists and tour operators will get a big surprise from Khan-Teniri nature park. A price list for staying in it was introduced.

From now on tourists have to pay daily for entry as well as setting up yurts and tents in the park.

The first two points are more or less clear, but the last one raises questions. It is not clear how the number of days the tent stood there will be calculated. Either an employee will be assigned to each tourist, or corruption and extortion will begin,» the association said.

According to tour operators, companies that previously set up their stationary tourist camps found themselves in a desperate situation.

«Let’s say a travel company has installed 100 tents. At least 50 tents of them are for tourists, 20 tents are for the staff, and the rest are for warehouses and so on.

They have to pay 150 soms for setting up a tent per day now. This is 15,000 soms per day, or 450,000 soms per month for the tent camp.

The amounts are huge. At the same time, it is good if there are 10-15 tourists a month this year,» the Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators noted.

The problem is that mountain tours are prepared well in advance. Most of the foreign tourists have already paid for them, and travel companies simply do not know how to explain the sudden additional costs to people.

Khan-Teniri state nature park was created within the framework of the UNDP project. It is located on the territory of Issyk-Kul region and is the largest natural park in Kyrgyzstan. Many trekking and mountaineering routes run through its territory — tracks along the Tien Shan, ascents to the Khan-Tengri and Pobeda peaks, South Inylchek glaciers, as well as Merzbacher lake.