On October 8th -9th 2013, The World Tourism Organization, at the invitation of the Municipality of Almaty and with the support of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan celebrated the 1st Euro – Asian Ski Resorts Conference:
“Developing New Destinations for Snow Tourism” in Almaty. Although Borat, rather than skiing, is the first thing you think of when you hear Kazakhstan, this conference triggered some thought-provoking new ideas.
The theme of the conference was based on the following premises:
- Snowsports play an important role in the domestic and international tourism market. Studies indicate that approximately 2000 ski resorts are operated in around 80 countries around the world. These resorts accommodate approximately 6 million beds for winter sport enthusiasts.
- International winter tourism usually takes place in larger resorts in Europe, North America, and Japan.
- Due to environmental and market changes in these destinations, the winter sport industry is now seeking new destinations.
According to the conference website:
“The objective of the Conference was to acquire an overview to further develop and expand the international ski tourism market in order to ensure its steady and sustainable growth. For this purpose, it aimed at exchanging state of the art experiences between the traditional, established hot spots of ski tourism and the new and developing ski resorts in winter destinations in Europe and Asia.”
The city of Almaty has an international airport, which offers direct flights from London and other major European cities. Its majestic mountain peaks rival those found in the French Alps, and the region boasts reliable snow conditions between December and April. While the region already has two small working ski areas, Chimbulak and Ak-Bulak, plans are in effect to develop seven more and turn the region into the Chamonix of Central Asia.
Other proposed destinations include:
- Georgia, in the Caucus Mountains
- South and North Korea
As a skier and a lover of travel, where would you like to go?