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$250 taken from foreign climbers for entrance into gorge in Batken region

Leilek forestry in Batken region of Kyrgyzstan, where trekking and mountaineering are popular, set a fee for visiting its territory for foreign tourists — 1,600 soms per day. A separate fee has been introduced for those who plan to go mountaineering — $ 250 per person for 10 days. The Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators informed 24.kg news agency.

«Trekking tours in this area usually last 14 days or more. It is $ 500 per person just for the entrance into the gorge. Tour operators do not understand what services are provided by natural parks and other protected areas to make the cost so high? Is this legal? We can see in the price list that the bulk of these funds is spent on the salaries of employees, but it is not indicated what additional activities will be carried out at the expense of these funds,» the Association says.

The Association of Tour Operators notes that, given the pandemic around the world, governments and private businesses are doing everything to attract foreign tourists. Kyrgyzstan, on the contrary, does everything possible to arouse rejection among potential clients.

This could become a precedent for other gorges. Gates could appear across the country tomorrow and $ 250 per visit will be demanded from tourists.

«How to explain to tourists who bought tours and air tickets 8-12 months in advance that now they have to pay $ 250 extra? Since the tracks are 14 days long, that means $ 500 each! If it is a group of 10 people, then it is $ 5,000?» tour operators ask.

It became known a few days earlier that the management of Khan-Teniri State Natural Park illegally introduced a daily fee for entry into its territory and even for setting up tents in the park.