Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan Highway Route Confirmed
Project to boost Issyk Kul Lake regional tourism
The final route of the highway project between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan has been confirmed, according to Aizada Ozbekova, of Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The economic analysis of the Almaty-Issyk-Kul highway project has been completed. The final route will be: “Almaty – Uzynagash – Kastek pass – Karasay-Batyr – Kemin – Issyk-Kul”. The route already exists, the project will be to take it to highway standards. Much of the terrain is high-altitude mountains, although the route will lead to Issyk Kul, a high-altitude regional lake popular with Tourists. A highway already links Issyk Kul with the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.
The Issyk Kul region is part of a national park, although one shore of the lake has extensive sandy beaches. The lake itself is the seventh deepest and tenth largest in the world, and although at a high altitude, never freezes during the winter. Challenges remain in securing ecological and high-quality tourism facilities without despoiling the region’s natural beauty.
Ozbekova stated that the total cost of the project, which aims to increase the country’s tourism potential, will be about US$90 million, while according to Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Transport and Communications preliminary forecasts, could generate revenues of US$53 million in tourism revenues for the Issyk-Kul region especially, every year.