PCVs help promote tourism In Kyrgyzstan


Seven U.S. Peace Corps Response Eco-Tourism Volunteers arrived in Bishkek to help promote sustainable tourism in partnership with local non-governmental Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism Association (KCBTA), Kabar reports.


After completing training, Response Volunteers will work with CBT partners to develop nature-based tours, assist in creating effective marketing strategies to attract domestic and international tourists, establish guidelines and best practices to minimize the impact of tourism on local ecosystems of the Kyrgyz Republic, and help local partners improve their English language skills.

The Volunteers will undergo two weeks of intensive training, which includes Kyrgyz language classes and cross-cultural competence before deploying to Community Based Tourism Association offices in Kochkor, Toktogul, Arslanbob, Naryn, Karakol, Osh, and Bishkek as Eco-tourism Marketing Specialists. The Volunteers passed a rigorous selection process in the United States that identified individuals who are highly qualified and committed to development. Only those who successfully complete the training program are sworn in as Volunteers. Their planned length of service is 12 months.

“Community Based Tourism Associations throughout the country are glad to welcome Response Volunteers! We hope that these Volunteers will support us in improving our eco-tourism offerings to attract a wide range of tourists to Kyrgyzstan,” said Asylbek Rajiev, the Executive Director of Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism Association.

The Response Volunteers will complement the 35 English language education Volunteers currently serving in Kyrgyzstan, bringing the total number of Volunteers to 42. Peace Corps Kyrgyz Republic’s Eco-tourism Response program is the first in the Peace Corps’ Europe, Asia, and Mediterranean Region and reflects Peace Corps’ increased focus on climate action.


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  • The idea of a year of service focused on a particular need is fantastic. I was lucky enough to meet Kim who is one of the 7 chosen to serve. She has exactly the right background for this project. Congratulations to the volunteers and to the tourism industry in Kyrgyzstan!

  • Fantastic, back in the 60’s the PCV mantra was, “be flexible.” Back then the Peace Corps had a 24 month one size fits all term of service regardless of job assignment. Now the Peace Corps has learned to be flexible.Fantastic.

  • I was able to spend seven months in Kyrgyzstan in 1997, while my husband was on a teaching Fulbright in Bishkek. It was such a fascinating experience, and our travels through the countryside made us aware of such an incredible cultural resource could be found there, in addition to the breathtaking natural environment. We continue to maintain many of the friendships made there. It’s great to hear about this program, and we will look forward to hearing about how it develops.

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