FROM THE FIELD: Weathering a tourist downturn in Kyrgyzstan
The residents of a small traditional village high in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, which once attracted a steady stream of visitors, are learning how to adapt to the reality of a world where the COVID-19 pandemic has all but frozen out the opportunities provided by tourism.
In 2019, more than 1,300 tourists passed through Sary-Mogol to enjoy amongst other attractions the village’s horse and yak games festival and fair; in 2020, the number dwindled to less than a dozen.
According to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) the tourism sector has been one of the biggest economic causalities of the pandemic in Kyrgyzstan.
Villagers in Sary-Mogol are used to long and harsh winters, but this year are looking positively forward to the time when they can welcome tourists back.
Read more here about weathering the winter and the pandemic in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan.