«It’s hard to say how many tourists will come to Kyrgyzstan in 2017,» Azamat Zhamankulov, director of the Tourism Department, said at a press conference today.
«The trend is changing. Previously, the main markets were Kazakhstan and Russia. Today, the Russian Federation sends its citizens to Sochi, Crimea. Kazakhstan is beginning to invest and increase the number of tourism facilities at home. Competition is severe. Therefore, we need to work very quickly and efficiently," he said.
«Those tourists who came in the 1990s, the 2000s, are already changing directions. A new generation appears in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other CIS countries, who doesn’t know about Issyk-Kul, about the tourism potential of Kyrgyzstan. Plus new directions — China, India, European countries are opened. One need to show own features more actively. The country’s marketing strategy on promotion of the potential is being developed now," the director of the department added.
Azamat Zhamankulov recalled that in 2013 Kyrgyzstan introduced a visa-free regime with 44 countries. «Then 25,000 citizens from these countries came to us. Since then, we observe three times increase in tourists from there," he said.
According to the State Border Service of the Kyrgyz Republic, the total number of arriving citizens from countries of the far and near abroad, as classified by the World Tourism Organization, for 2016 decreased by 147,100 people and amounted to 3, 853.4 million people.
«This is slightly less than in 2015. But the gross added value in the sphere of tourism increased by 1, 126.7 million soms and amounted to 21, 458 billion soms. Export of tourist services (income from admission of foreign citizens) increased by $ 5,500 and amounted to $ 415.6 million," Azamat Zhamankulov said.