A member of the Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators Elena Kalashnikova told today at a press conference how much Kyrgyzstan would lose if it announced the closure of alpine tourism.
According to her, travel companies can not buy a helicopter on their own. All countries use state helicopters to save tourists.
«The tourist season is wasted, the image of the republic, tried and tested over the years, worsens. Officials are frightened by the fight against corruption and are afraid to take responsibility,» said Elena Kalashnikova.
Up to 80 rescue operations are carried out annually. About 15,000 tourists will not be able to visit the republic. Each climber spends up to €1,500 during a trip.
Chairman of Rescue in the Mountains NGO Vladimir Komissarov added that the rescue operations were not free.
«You have to pay up to $ 20,000-30,000 for a helicopter. One hour costs about $ 3,000. Travel insurance covers expenses. This money would be enough to repair helicopters. The average turnover in the adventure destinations of a travel agency is $ 250,000. Even if a half of the tourists refuse to go to Kyrgyzstan, the losses will be enormous,» he explained.