25 March 2008
Turusbek Mamashov, the director of the Kyrgyz State Agency for
Tourism, last week hailed the significant expansion of the country`s
tourism sector, and reported that tourism-ralated income reached $
341.7 million in 2007.
Mamashov added that roughly 1.6
million tourists visited Kyrgyzstan last year, with an overwhelming 60
percent coming from neighboring Kazakhstan, followed by Russian
tourists at about 15 percent.
He also highlighted the need to
further develop the tourism sector with a focus on raising the low
number of foreign tourists from beyond the CIS, who represented a
mere 2 percent of visitors last year.
With tourism reaching a
4 percent share of overall GDP in 2007, and the total number of tourism
businesses surpassing 5,000, Mamashov attributed the positive results
to substantial state investment in the sector, w hich posted an
impresive 236 percent rise in 2006.