Creating Value For All: Community-Based Tourism in Kyrgyzstan

Community-based tourism (CBT)-a type of a tourism that is owned and managed by the local community and its members- has emerged as a mechanism to facilitate locally based tourism activities in many developing countries, including the Kyrgyz Republic. The first CBT group was established in May 2000 in Kochkor village and since then the number of CBT organizations has grown to eighteen.

The main objective of the CBT groups in the Kyrgyz Republic is offering sustainable community-based ecotourism services that offer tourists a unique experience and, at the same time, generate income for rural families in remote areas and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the country. CBT brings numerous benefits to the wider community by increasing the attraction of rural areas for local citizens, which contributes to reducing the migration of the rural population to urban areas, and to economic spin-off in nearby localities.

Who is involved?

  • Kyrgyz Community-based Tourism Association (KCBTA): aims to incorporate CBT into the mainstream tourism industry in Kyrgyzstan. Today, the association is an umbrella association that includes 18 CBT groups and a 5-group association of shepherd families. It supports the development of new or existing CBT groups throughout the country, enhancement of rural tourism infrastructure and growth in living standards of local communities through income generation and job creation.
  • Rural inhabitants: provide direct tourism services, supply other goods and services to tourists, for instance through the operation of local grocery stores, handicraft retail, etc.
  • Community Based Tourism Support Project (CBTSP): implemented and facilitated by Helvetas. It provides rural tourism entrepreneurs with marketing support and training through the start-up and growth phases of their business development. It is therefore instrumental in the CBT business model success in Kyrgyzstan.
  • Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE): The OSCE Center in Bishkek provides valuable support to CBT development in Kyrgyzstan and replication of the CBT model in its neighboring countries, such as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, primarily through supporting and leveraging KCBTA.

Further information


Partnership types

Doing business with the poor

Regions / countries / territories

Asia: Kyrgyzstan

Global issues

Job creation and enterprise development; Tourism, travel, leisure and sports

Business sectors

Leisure, hospitality, tourism and sports