El-Too has been implementing a series activities (festivals, training, ecotourism caravans, cleaning, developing tours) to promote ecological tourism in Kyrgyzstan.
The founder of El-Too, Bakyt Choitonbaev has contributed much to the development of ecological tourism in the area, developing the network of community-based tourism service providers.
Since its foundation, El-Too has been conducting several events with the support of donors and on their initiative:
“Rehabilitation of shoreline and beach zone of Manjyly”, 2001 Tong district, south of Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan –
The foundation has rehabilitated an abandoned beach zone and shoreline near Manjyly-Ata sacred place that would allow to develop yurt tourism in the area. The members of the community learnt about ecotourism and initiated actions cleaning the area, established locker rooms and basic conveniences at the beach. Irrigation canals were repaired that to bring water to areas that had soil degradation due to overgrazing. Ecological and cultural tours were conducted for school students.
“Issyk-Kul – the eye of Asia” , 2008 Grant from Japanese Embassy in KR.
A project focused on building capacity of tourism service providers in event planning, hospitality, promoting and marketing of the locally produced products according to ecotourism principles in Issyk-Kul region.
“Apricot festival” on an annual basis. The area is known for abundant apricots that are sold by locals to intermediaries exporting to Russia. The given festival motivates local communities to produce their products from apricot and sell for higher price then just selling raw. The festival is usually held in July and gather international and local travelers and local producers.
“Ecotourism-caravan” on an annual basis. The project team shares their experience on ecotourism with new communities by ecotourism caravans. By now, the team has shared their experience to 7 villages in Naryn region, 5 villages in Issyk-Kul region. During visit, the team identifies the strengths of the location for developing ecological tourism and develops tour products.