NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh Tourism national company presented a new concept for ecotourism development in the Kolsai Lakes National Park in the Almaty Region, the company’s press service reported on Oct. 1.
The main idea behind the plan is to ban mass gatherings, vehicle tours and overnight stays at the Kolsai Lakes.
“The tour to the Kolsai Lakes will become part of the trekking route and only hikers will have access to these lakes. Then, they will be able to go further according to their program,” said head of the Kazakh Tourism national company Yerzhan Yerkinbayev.
Currently, approximately 100,000 people visit the national park a year. This figure will increase five-fold by 2025. Due to this, a plan for the preservation of natural resources is of vital importance right now.
According to the plan, parking places will be organized in the neighboring gorges.
“We propose to allow mass gatherings with places for camping, pitching tents and entertainment activities in the Kurmeti gorge. The construction of eco and wellness hotels for peaceful vacations with minimal negative interference for the environment will be developed in the Sati gorge,” Yerkinbayev said.
Director of the Institute of Zoology Roman Yashchenko noted that there are plenty of possibilities for ecotourism development that takes into consideration the need to conserve the biological and ecosystem diversity in the region. “A large influx of tourists will prevent sustainable tourism. But the new concept of the national park development will reduce this impact,” he said.
The same rules will be observed at the Kaiyndy Lake near Almaty including the strict vehicle ban. The lake will be available for walking and hiking tourists. These approaches are widely used in national parks worldwide. Tourists can get all the necessary information about the available activities at the visitor’s centers.
The Kolsai Lakes are one of the most beautiful places in Kazakhstan, according to the Visit Kazakhstan travel website. The lakes are located at the heights of 1,800, 2,250 and 2,700 meters above sea level. Kolsai Lakes National Park was created 12 years ago. It is more than 160,000 hectares wide and employs 130 people.