First Ayusai Visitors Center Opens at Ile-Alatau National Park to Promote Sustainable Ecotourism

NUR-SULTAN – The Ayusai visitor center at the Ile-Alatau national park has opened its doors. It aims to promote sustainable ecotourism and acts as an environmental awareness-raising educational complex. 

The Ayusai visitor center at the Ile-Alatau national park. Photo credit: ile-alatau.kz. Click to see the map in full size.

The center is located in the Ayusai river gorge. Visitors will be provided with detailed information about the Ile-Alatau national park when they visit. 

“The construction of the visit center will promote ecotourism, provide information about natural monuments and promote environmental awareness. It is an opportunity to explain to children about flora and fauna and conduct lessons,” said Damir Malgeldiyev head of the Ile-Alatau national park.

The object module is entirely made from eco-friendly materials, Malgeldiyev said. 

The visit center’s modules are assembled from eco-friendly materials and locally produced wooden structures. Their base is constructed without using concrete on geo-screws with metal straps. The project was prepared by a famous Singaporean architect. The area has a Wi-Fi connection.

“Since the beginning of January, around 300 people have visited the center. Currently, it is operating in a technical mode. We hope that the visitor flow will increase. We did this project for all of Kazakhstan’s citizens. Therefore, come on by, warm yourselves up and feel the comfort. Our task is to give everyone an opportunity to look at Ile-Alatau in a new way, to feel its beauty and to be proud of what we have,” Alexander Guzhavin CEO of the Turanga Group LLP said.

Photo credit: ile-alatau.kz.

The Visitor’s Center at Ayusai consists of three modules. Each module is 200 square meters, Guzhavin explained. 

“The building is made entirely of wood and glass. We built it in the form of lightweight construction using American technology. As part of the project to develop ecotourism in Ile-Alatau, we will build six more visit centers in four gorges. This year, we plan to build three centers near the Big Almaty Lake, in the Muztau and Turgen gorges,” Guzhavin added. 

Before creating the infrastructure in the Ayusai river gorge, the national park staff in collaboration with the Al Farabi Kazakh National University and the Institute of Zoology conducted ecological monitoring and recreational load accounting on the environment.

The center also includes the Tamyr school, it promotes ecotourism among tourists, teaches safety on the mountain routes, attracts volunteers to clean the mountain slopes from garbage, explains rules for separate waste collection and disposal. The center has a special hall for ecology lessons. 

The center’s work is based on the idea of the head of state Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and on the development of sustainable ecotourism. As part of the ecotourism development project, Ile-Alatau National Park will open 17 new pedestrian and bicycle paths and repair 155 kilometers of hiking trails.

Askhat Kainarbekov, the Committee Chairman for Forestry and Wildlife of the Kazakh Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, public figures, and representatives of the public council for the development of ecotourism in the national park all participated in the opening event. 

The Kazakh Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources will implement ecotourism projects in other national parks as well.

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