Kyrgyz Holiday Business to Cash in on Economic Gloom

The resorts around the picturesque Lake Issykkul are busy preparing for summer, hoping the economic downturn affecting Kyrgyzstan’s neighbours will be good for them.

Kyrgyz Holiday Business to Cash in on Economic Gloom

The resorts around the picturesque Lake Issykkul are busy preparing for summer, hoping the economic downturn affecting Kyrgyzstan’s neighbours will be good for them.

Monday, 6 April, 2009

Rita Borbukeeva reports that the number of tourist sites around the lake has increased from 10,000 last year to 15,000 as locals rush to tidy up and build new holiday homes. The weather is warmer than usual, and they are hoping for an earlier-than-usual influx from countries that account for the bulk of tourists – Russia and Kazakstan.



Both those countries have suffered from the global financial crisis, and all the signs are that as the middle classes there tighten their belts, many will forego their Mediterranean holidays this year. Some may look to Kyrgyzstan’s mountain lake as a cheaper, nearer and more familiar alternative.



“This year we’re expecting that our neighbours from Kazakstan, who generally go to the bigger resorts around Antalya [in Turkey], will come to Issykkul on holiday,” said Roza Kayikova, acting head of the district government body.



Issykkul tourist firms are expanding the holiday fairs they hold in Almaty, the commercial capital of Kazakstan, from one to three days in hope of boosting business.



However, although the tourist industry is expecting an upswing, local government is expecting to earn lower revenues than last year because of changes to the tax laws. Unless, that is, they succeed with a plan to increase land taxes, a move which is likely to be opposed by local holiday home owners.

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