Sustainable Tourism Strengthens People and Nature

The tourism sector in Kyrgyzstan faces numerous challenges, including the lack of supply chain and logistics facilities, poorly developed infrastructures and low standard services for tourists. That is why Helvetas aims to boost the transformation of Kyrgyzstan towards a green economy by enhancing the sustainability and competitiveness of tourism as a key sector with this project.

  • Project Name
    Greentour: Sustainable Tourism in Kyrgyzstan
  • Project Phase
    2020 to 2024
  • Funding
    The project is funded by the European Union's SWITCH-Asia program
  • Thematic focus
    Private Sector Development
    Climate & Disaster Resilience

While the term “sustainable tourism” is still not widely known and used in the region, terms such as “nature tourism”, “responsible tourism”, and “green tourism” are increasingly being used, indicating the growing awareness of the need to switch to tourism models that will have less negative impacts on the environment, natural resources and local communities’ livelihoods.

With this project, Helvetas, together with our partners Stichting European Centre for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism – Netherlands (ECEAT), the Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators (KATO) and the Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism Association Hospitality Kyrgyzstan (KCBTA), responds to the objectives of the Kyrgyz government to advance a more sustainable tourism, involving communities, and diversifying tourism products in order to attract new target groups and clients.

Through an integrated business-led approach, the Greentour project mobilizes and mentors Kyrgyz tour operators and their suppliers to adapt and promote sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices throughout their supply chains and business processes. This includes using local suppliers, purchasing environmentally friendly products, plastic reduction, conserving natural resources and applying socially responsible ways of interacting with local communities. Furthermore, the capacity of travel associations to provide Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) advisory services will be improved to spread the sustainable tourism practices. For the targeted Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Helvetas fosters the creation of new financial schemes and promotes access to green financing.

Meeting of Helvetas and ECEAT with public and private stakeholders to identify specific areas of support to promote the region of Naryn as a green destination.
Removal of 6.8 tons of garbage - In August 2020, the project supported the initiative of the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic to collect and dispose of household waste on the territory of Lenin Peak, one of the main tourist attractions of the southern ...
Representatives from tourist service providers, guest houses, yurt camps, accommodation business providers, CBT coordinators and government agencies involved in tourism discuss about sustainable tourism in their region
In Greentour's Workshops, the representatives of tour operators and accommodation facilities have the opportunity not only to learn about sustainable tourism and management, but also to share their experience and knowledge, and network with potential partners.
On May 15, 2021, the International Tourism Fair (Issyk-Kul ITF) 'I AM NOMAD' was held on the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul with the financial support of the Helvetas Association and other international donors.
More than 100 local and foreign companies, associations and international projects presented their activities and products at the Cultural Center Ruh Ordo in Cholpon-Ata.
Our partners the Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators (KATO) and the Kyrgyz Community-Based Tourism Association (KCBTA) were among the organizers of the exhibition.
Kyrgyzstan's Alay District was awarded a place in the 2022 Green Destinations Top 100 Stories in recognition of its efforts to promote responsible tourism and its special appeal. 
Award ceremony on September 27, 2022.

To achieve its goal, the project also focuses on triggering market demand for sustainable tourism by marketing Kyrgyzstan as a green destination and by raising consumer awareness on sustainable tourism MSMEs among tourists and international travel agents.

This project will ultimately reward tourism SMEs and supplier MSMEs adapting sustainable practices with a competitive advantage, resulting in increased income and employment opportunities. With KCBTA and KATO as local industry representatives, the project contributes to create an enabling policy environment through sustainable local structures supporting national SCP practices in the tourism sector.

The project is funded by the European Union's SWITCH-Asia program and by donations.

Switch Asia funded by the European Union

2022 Green Destinations TOP 100 Stories

On September 27, World Tourism Day, the Green Destinations Platform presented the TOP 100 list of "Good Practice Stories" from around the world, showcasing and promoting innovative and effective initiatives and projects by destinations working towards more sustainable development around the world.

Kyrgyzstan was represented at this event by a joint team of two Helvetas-implemented projects - GreenTour and Bai Alai - funded by the European Union and the Swiss government, respectively. 

Kyrgyzstan's Alay District was awarded a place in the 2022 Green Destinations Top 100 Stories in recognition of its efforts to promote responsible tourism and its special appeal. 


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