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Lecture 8 tourism in central asia


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Lecture 8 tourism in central asia

  1. 1. Tourism in Central AsiaTDM 458Ara Pachmayer
  2. 2. Overview The Stans - “stans” means land Formerly known as Soviet Central Asia Part of the USSR – except Afghanistan Population Largely Muslim with minority Russian population (inattempts to Russify the region) Geography High mountainous region Lower flat plains
  3. 3. History Historical ties to the Arab and Ottoman empires Islamic Genghis Khan - unified the area in 1200’s Trading corridor Silk Road Many buildings from the era still standing and areattractions European influence Russian colonization 1400 – 1900 – brought languageand cultural traditions USSR - 1917 - 1991 CIS - Commonwealth of Independent States
  4. 4. 1990’s – today – AfterIndependence Economic and political instability afterindependence Politically sensitive areas - Civil Wars, terroristcells Ethnic tensions with ethnic Russians Poorly developed infrastructure Kyrgyzstan is presently the most stable
  5. 5. Tourism Today Moscow to Beijing Railway Cultural Tourism Religious sites Traditional cultures Adventure Tourism – rock climbing,mountaineering, river sports Winter Tourism Skiing, trekking Silk Road Tourism
  6. 6. WTO Silk Road Project
  7. 7. Tourism Today Problems for development Not much potential for mass tourism – perhaps nichetourism though? Corruption, bribes standard, totalitarian governments Transportation issues Getting there – no direct flights to the region for themost part Getting around - poor road conditions, links to otherdestinations, some of the most dangerous roads inthe world Image issues - case of Kazakhstan (see textbookhighlight on the movie Borat) and negative reportsfrom tourists Visa and entry issues
  8. 8. Tourism Today Problems for development Lack of modern accommodations Entrance fees higher for tourists Language Barriers Relatively few speakers of other languages Languages spoken are difficult not widely taught(Persian related though for some countries) Lack of qualified tourism service providers Source markets for tourism VFR - so spend less money overall From former Soviet Republics Difficult to compete with most other destinations outsidethe region
  9. 9. Case Study - Afghanistan Well developed tourism in the 1960’s and 1970’s 90,000 tourists each year Many cultural attractions, Buddhist cultural sites, ancientcities, mountain trekking Hippie Trail - came to an end 1978/79 with IslamicRevolution in Iran and Russian Invasion of Afghanistan 1978 - Communist Party take over Results in 10 year war with USSR “Never get involved in a land war in Asia” Afghanistan in disarray after USSR withdrawal Paved way for current instability
  10. 10. Afghanistan Today Expanding investment in tourism New Ministry of Tourism - to promote tourism Current poor relations with US as a result of allegedharboring of Bin Laden
  11. 11. Afghanistan Afghanistan: an unlikely tourist destination