29.07.2009

Domestic tourism during crisis

Sergey ABAKSHIN

Expectations of experts of that the economic crisis will force more Kazakhstani to spend holiday within country in many respects were justified. However the infrastructure has appeared is not absolutely ready to it, and somewhere is completely not ready. The main problems in interesting places for domestic tourism are dust, lack of household comfort, safety.

2009 07 28 musor in priridaHotel of the European level where it is convenient to have a rest with children was opened on the Kapchagay water reservoir (60 km to the north of Almaty). Certainly, one swallow doesn't make a summer, but nevertheless the tendency is obvious. The previous institutions for rest was focused or on the undemanding tourist to be bought in a reservoir and to have a drink vodka, or represented something close to brothels for VIP clients.

Statistics from department of tourism and sports is eloquent enough. Couple of years ago every 17th citizen of Almaty went on rest to Turkey, and then this year every 44th is predicted. But it is necessary to make important specification here. The official number of inhabitants of Almaty is estimated around 1, 3 million persons whereas experts-demographers and urbanists name figure in 2 million. Anyway, but the general trend is all the same obvious.

For example if we will consider the structure of companies the parity of people working on entrance and exit tourism on the beginning of this year made 1:60 (by quantity of firms). In the questionnaire on border in 2008 only 50 thousand persons have written that they have arrived to Kazakhstan to have a rest. When the official statistics informs about 8 million foreign tourists per year they consider also migrant worker, and following as transit «shuttles» and those who has arrived to republic in business trip that is on business affairs.

The flow of Kazakhstani to Issyk Kul boarding houses (territory of Kyrgyzstan) was slightly reduced in comparison with last year, but all the same was reduced. First of all due to those who travels on own car. Motorists from Kazakhstan were tortured by interminable requisitions from the Kirghiz inspectors of traffic police, and now motorists have directed wheels to the places where the domestic «GAI officers» are under the control. Domestic «GAI officers» too greedy, but all the same it is less.

One of the most popular places of this year is Alakol Lake. This salty drain less lake located on border between Almaty and East Kazakhstan areas at the border with China is considered unique. It is in the lowest part of Balhashsko-Alakolsky lowland, at height of 350 meters below a sea level in an environment of Dzungaria Ala-Tau Mountains. Together with Sasykkol, Uyaly, Zhalanashkol lakes and others smaller forms Alakolsky lake system. The area of lake is 2696 square kilometer, length 104 km, width 52 km, average depth 22 m, more than 15 inflows runs in lake. Coast climate is sharply continental. Water temperature reaches +20-250С in summer. Alakolsky national park is a place of dwelling of a cormorant, divers, ducks, herons, and swan. Here it is possible to meet such rare birds as a relic seagull, great black-headed gull, gull-billed tern, stiff-tailed ducks, and a curly and pink pelican. The pike perch, sazan, marinka, a perch, a white amur-fish and others live in Alakol waters. In mouths the rivers running into lake the muskrat is found.

Those who were here couple of years ago, assert that is simple there's not an inch of room this summer. Boarding houses work with a maximum load. Even in spite of the fact that is rather new constructions of 2007 year, the flow having a rest people has appeared excessive for its development in a quiet mode. Actually Alakol works in a work involving all hands condition. There was a dust problem as it often happens almost in all places of mass rest of Kazakhstani. Culture relation to dust in republic completely not as German or Japanese, that is why in picturesque places more and more a waste from various glass container, plastic and paper packing. Resources of boarding houses for recycling of this dust obviously do not suffice.

But if Alakol with quickly growing mountains of dust so has sharply faced for the first time, then for Charynsky canyon and Turgensky falls, favorite places for rest of citizens of Almaty it is an old story.

Canyon of Charyn is the unique nature sanctuary which has remained since paleogene epoch. Its age makes more than 30 million years. Similar natural landscapes have remained just in several places in the world. Relic tree Sogdian ash, one of the most ancient kinds of the modern flora, by international cadastre it is a vanishing species (relict of dinosaurs times) remained since the end tertiary preglacial period, grows in rivers bottomland. The Sogdian ash in an environment of rusty cans is something like «dialogue» between two epochs. Defenders of the nature sound alarm for a long time, but a problem and is not solved.

Turgensky falls are rest from «weekend tour» category. And if not dust good impressions would not be diluted with the given discomfort. When cars go to Almaty mountains they pay rather impressive ecological gathering on special posts. Money undertakes from a vehicle, and personally from each person being in the car. For example one jeep on such post pays approximately $30. In everyday life of the period of holidays similar cars are estimated in tens, in weekends in hundreds. It is not clear where the money is. There is no special organization solving the problems of cleaning and dust recycling in places of recreational tourism. Only owners of cafe and holders of vacation spots are cleans something.

Fans of mountain rest appreciate deadlock gorges more and more. Because if gorge through passage, dust there 10 times more, than in place with deadlock. However there are too many problems in deadlock gorge. For example, here there are more chances to meet a bear because of wildness of the nature. And the bear is such animal that can eat the people.

Balkhash it is drainless semifresh-water lake in east part of Kazakhstan, the second-large not drying up salty lake (after Caspian Sea) and 13th in the list of the largest lakes in the world on harbour area. Uniqueness of lake consists that it is divided by narrow passage on two parts with various chemical characteristics of water, in the western part it is practically fresh, and in east it is saltish.

This lake always involved fans of the nature. There were even some yacht-clubs from the large enterprises here during Soviet time. Warm, salty and pure water, sandy beaches and blue open space create illusion of the real sea. On the wild not mastered coast people pitch tents, bathe, fish, cook food on a fire, relax, having completely disconnected from city vanity.

For quite some time now jobless inhabitants of neighboring villages have decided to derive from this benefit. They comb coast (mainly at night) on horses having united in groups till 10-15 person. Having seen fire and tent fire, «neobasmachi» at full speed with whooping go to having a rest people, taking by surprise. In a few minutes the scared townspeople lose the money, valuable things and a foodstuff.

Attacks occur on having a rest out of specially equipped zones, but situation of tourists is not easier from it. Owners of the hunting weapon have already warned fans of easy money that will shoot for effect. The police simply have no forces in sparsely populated district (maybe they have no desires) to put things in order.

Tourism unites minimum 32 branches of economy. However there is no coordination at interdepartmental level. For example Ministry of Agriculture responds for National parks, but such criterion of work quality as tourism development in the given department simply is not present. Similarly in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has filled up the decree of the president from June, 2008 about a mutual recognition of visas with Kyrgyzstan. Also Ministry of Transport and other ministries, whose activity it is expressly or by implication connected with tourism.

Department of Temirhan Dosmuhanbetov the department of tourism and sports, last year has developed the bill which workers of the tourist industry precisely named as «reactionary» and «harmful». The bill passed through Mazhilis, but in the Senate have rejected. In particular, with such bill the ministry was offered to spend certifications (separately on each area of republic), certifications, standardization, licensing. Thus there was no clear how workers of tourist branch should receive the certificate of quality and certification at the ministry. It would lead only to increase in a corruption sphere, and it and so over any reasonable limits.

Nothing can be made once and for all and then only to use fruits in tourism. If modern boarding houses was constructed then good roads are necessary, have made roads, then it is necessary to watch cleanliness in vacation spots. It is necessary to provide the big safety where motorists have a rest. It is also necessary to keep order in cities. The one information became property of mass-media last year, as criminals deceived into parting with money a foreigner (throwing ostensibly casually fallen wallet) directly in territory of five-star hotel. So still it is a lot of work. If the economic crisis will tighten, it will force all to appreciate each tenge. That is way there are reliable prospects at domestic tourism.

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