KOSOVO, Kyrgystan (AP) Kyrgyzan President Almazbek Atambayev has said his country’s tourism industry is in the midst of a “period of crisis” due to a “disproportionate number of tourists.”
Kyrgyz Tourism Minister Zhanurbek Atalay says the country’s population has reached its limit and that the country is experiencing a “crisis” in tourism.
“I can say that we are facing a period of crisis in our tourism industry,” Atalays comments on social media.
Tourism has been a major source of income for Kyrgyzystan for decades and the country boasts one of the world’s largest tourist resorts, the Ritz-Carlton in Kyrgyza.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Atalaya said the country has to face up to the reality of the situation and “do everything possible to maintain the countrys tourism sector.”
He said the Kyrgyzes need to develop their own way of tourism, not rely on foreign companies.
Tourists are now banned in several areas of the country, including the capital, Bishkek, where authorities have shuttered some of the city’s historic monuments and erected fences to prevent tourists from visiting.
The crackdown on Kyrgyze visitors began in late March, with the Interior Ministry announcing that all tourists were to be banned from entering the country until the end of April.
The move followed a crackdown on U.S.-backed rebels and foreign nationals, who have been trying to overthrow the government in exile for the past two years.
More than 3,000 people have been killed in the unrest.