ASTANA – Think about being guided via the Altai mountains listening to native tales or studying about early commerce and commerce on the web site of an historical metropolis alongside the Silk Highway from native journey consultants. Indy Information, the largest regional reserving platform in Central Asia that connects visitors with verified native hosts, would possibly make this a actuality. Alexandra Tosun, a co-founder of Indy Information, spoke with The Astana Instances about what Indy Information has to supply to develop sustainable tourism in Kazakhstan as a part of her go to to the Worldwide Convention on Sacred Heritage, Pilgrimage, and Sustainable Tourism in Turkistan.
Tosun stated that the platform is on a mission to indicate the great thing about the area which is usually unknown to the world via genuine and sustainable journey.
Based in 2016 by the Swiss couple, ethnic Kazakh Atahan Tosun and his spouse Alexandra, Indy Information now brings collectively the biggest journey neighborhood for Silk Highway locations with over 2,500 hosts and 5,000 listings. It connects vacationers with 1000’s of service suppliers – guides, drivers, tour operators, and hosts in Central Asia, the Caucasus, Mongolia and past.
“Our hosts are the actual journey consultants. What we do at Indy Information is to extend the visibility of our locations primarily to western vacationers. Our foremost purpose is to share the great thing about this area and to help native communities which are engaged in tourism,” stated Tosun.
She described Indy Information vacationers as “adventurous and unbiased.” “They search the wilderness and the individuality of an unexplored vacation spot and the adventures that include that. In our hectic commercialized world that is stuffed with materialism and stress, persons are on the lookout for one thing significant. Central Asia and the locations alongside the Silk Highway have all of this nonetheless to supply. That’s the benefit of being an underrated vacation spot that doesn’t must take care of mass tourism but,” she added.
Usually referred to as the center of Eurasia, Kazakhstan has an unlimited panorama, a sprawling journey vacation spot, which is not like anyplace else on the planet. From the traditional cities of Otyrar and Sauran to limitless steppe within the central half, mountain peaks within the east, to not point out the thriving Caspian Sea shoreline within the west.
Kazakhstan has 5 UNESCO World Heritage Websites, together with the Khoja Ahmed Yasawi mausoleum in Turkistan and Tamgaly petroglyphs in northern Kazakhstan in addition to 14 websites on the tentative record.
“With its pure and historic points of interest, Kazakhstan has lots to supply. Particularly the tradition of the nomads and usually, the hospitality here’s a way of life that Europeans appear to be fascinated about,” stated Tosun.
“The structure, the tradition, and the historical past are so completely different from those in Europe that it’s a true expertise and journey for western vacationers. I believe that the vastness of the world together with the pure, cultural, and historic wonders are the primary engaging elements why vacationers come to this area,” she added.
But, few individuals exterior of Kazakhstan are conversant in these unimaginable journey alternatives.
Tosun stated she hopes that because the world loosens vaccination necessities and journey restrictions, individuals will be capable of journey extra freely.
She additionally famous that for the reason that pandemic, extra individuals journey to seek out spirituality, psychological and emotional safety, and a connection to one thing significant. “They [travelers] even have the will to expertise an journey in nature. Which means vacationers need to embrace cultural and pure experiences in a single journey,” she stated.
The rise of sustainable tourism is one other constructive aspect impact of the pandemic.
“The numbers on our platform present a rise in unbiased and sustainable vacationers. They do need to journey however with values which are vital to them like respecting native traditions, defending the atmosphere and wildlife, and supporting native communities,” stated Tosun. “That’s the form of influence that many vacationers need to see from their journey. We imagine that that is the way in which ahead and Indy Information desires to be an enabler for this growth.”
Notably, in regard to historic monuments just like the Khoja Ahmed Yasawi mausoleum, it’s essential to not overlook the significance of the historic web site and the well-being of the native communities that the historic heritage belongs to, in response to her.
“For corporations like ours, this implies educating any sort of traveler in the suitable habits and bringing so-called ‘good vacationers’ who’re within the historical past of a rustic, need to make an actual reference to the native individuals and respect their traditions and way of life,” she stated.
Expert Indy Information hosts enable vacationers and residents to achieve firsthand perception into Kazakh tradition, historical past, and heritage with an strategy that rethinks standard journey experiences.
Tosun additionally highlighted the quickly creating vacationer infrastructure within the area, notably Turkistan metropolis, which was named the nation’s religious and historic capital by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
“There’s a model new airport with direct connections to Istanbul, Türkiye, which makes it reachable from everywhere in the world. There’s a new form of leisure space with a museum, a flying theatre, a customer middle, retailers, eating places, and an ethnic village proper subsequent to the mausoleum. This makes it simple for vacationers to be taught extra in regards to the traditions, music, meals, and handicrafts of the Kazakh individuals,” stated Tosun.
There are comparable historic websites that may be discovered within the close by space. Tosun talked about the traditional Otyrar and Sauran cities situated alongside the Silk Highway.
“The tulip has its origins in Central Asia as nicely and in spring this flower might be discovered round Turkistan by 1000’s and there may be even a pageant to have a good time that. There may be additionally a growth challenge happening relating to yurt camps within the space,” stated Tosun.
“It at all times surprises me how a lot there nonetheless is to find. Even for me, who has been there a number of instances, there are at all times new locations to go and new issues to study,” stated the founder. “Central Asia has modified our lives, it might change yours too.”
The web site is unbiased, as Indy Information just isn’t a tour operator. Customers can browse a variety of fixed-price affords with evaluations from earlier visitors.
“We get a lot suggestions from our vacationers saying that their travels in Central Asia impacted their views, led to lasting reminiscences, and even made mates for all times. They search for an genuine expertise, not one thing superficial or synthetic. Tourism and touring imply understanding different cultures higher and this creates acceptance, tolerance, and a greater understanding of the world,” concluded Tosun.
Indy Information excursions can be found for reserving at indyguide.com.