ASTANA – Sayat, an ethno tourist centre, was launched recently in Michyurin rural area of Zelenovskyi district in the West Kazakhstan region. The centre seeks to develop local tourism and create conditions for active recreation, reported the West Kazakhstan region Akimat (administration) website.
Regional akim (governor) Altai Kulginov, veterans of World War II and representatives of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (APK) and Kazakhstan Equestrian Federation attended the opening ceremony. National equestrian sports, such as kokpar and tenge alu, and different breeds of horses, were shown to the guests.
The project, part of the Business Roadmap 2020, was funded by a government grant issued in 2016. The centre was in the development stage for two years using a 300 million tenge (US$822,810) investment. A 240 million tenge ($US658,248) loan was provided by the government programme funding small and medium businesses and the balance came from independent sources. The centre currently has a staff of 12 and is planning to expand to 22.
Local businessperson and Beles Group head Murat Dzhakibayev developed the idea for the centre.
“I would like young people not to lose their passion for horses, ride a horse and even participate in sports competitions. This is the purpose of the centre,” he said, according to Kazinform.
Sayat currently has 20 horses and its main activities will focus on sports and medical tourism. The former includes teaching horseback riding; developing equestrian sports, including Olympic competitions such as jumping and dressage, and promoting national sports. The centre will also conduct hippotherapy, which helps people with different illnesses to rehabilitate through horseback riding and communicating with the animals.
The centre also plans to develop educational and recreational tourism. It will conduct rides through the region’s historic and cultural sites to show locals and foreigners the beauties of West Kazakhstan nature and expand their knowledge about its history.
With the support of the regional APK, the Menin Yelim (My Motherland) ethno village will be opened on the centre’s grounds. It will present the traditions of local ethnic groups and offer hotel-type houses where guests can absorb their atmosphere and everyday life.
The administrative and household complex will have a café, hotel and parking area. The 20-hectare complex will include a stable, indoor riding arena and meadow, basketball and volleyball courts and a football field. The centre will soon build the necessary infrastructure for water sports, hiking, skiing and cycling.