It provides huge market prospects for Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan is a very large country with different landscapes and climate zones. However, we still have places where no tourist has set foot.
Therefore, we develop projects in the field of ecological tourism based on communities (Community Based Tourism) in accordance with the principles of rational use of natural resources (Leave No Trace).

If the topic of ecotourism development is close to you in spirit or occupation, write to us about your ideas and plans.

The Fund is ready to support interesting projects. Let’s work together!
Guest houses
As part of the module, we teach guest house owners the basics necessary to get started. We talk about minimum standards, features of tourists, legal and financial aspects, catering standards and much more.

We started helping guest houses from the Katon-Karagay district. The nature of the area is unique. We were surprised to find that the share of tourism in the region’s economy is less than 1%. To change this situation, together with the community of the area, we have developed a tourism development strategy. Now we are already scaling up the tourism development program in the Ulan district.

To participate in the program, you must submit an application and pass an interview. The Fund issues grants and provides methodological and educational support.
Grants issued
Rural areas covered
22 500 000
Total amount of grant support
Feedback on the program
  • Evgeny Mikhailovich Yurchenkov is a former geologist who worked in Altai in his youth. Later, together with others who shared his vision, he initiated the creation of the Katon-Karagai National Park. Evgeny Mikhailovich worked a lot with social and environmental programs, including developing a program for the study and conservation of the snow leopard. In the early 90s, he organized a small travel agency and a guest house in the village of Uryl.

    "Mikhalych's Inn" guest house is located 420 km from Ust-Kamenogorsk in the village of Uryl. "Mikhalych's Inn" is a typical Altai farm with a bathhouse, a garden, and domestic animals. In addition to accommodation, Evgeny organizes different tours of varying complexity: a car tour (in combination with trekking), horseback riding (one-day and multi-day tours).
    Evgeny Mikhailovich Yurchenkov
    с. Урыль, Катон-Карагайский район

    "I would like to note how competent and eager to work Fund’s management are. They are wonderful people and it is a great pleasure to work with them."
  • Zarina Mastikbayeva and her mother Saule decided to move to Katon-Karagay in 2017. They bought a house in the center of Katon and decided to organize an ecovillage.

    Saule organized a School of Health for Rural Women and opened group yoga classes. Zarina organizes retreats, trips and expeditions in Katon-Karagay. Together with the Mastikbaev family, you can go on car, hiking, horseback and even helicopter tours.

    In 2019, the family opened the ALTAI a`RAI guest house, which welcomes guests from different cities of Kazakhstan and from all over the world.
    Zarina Mastikbayeva with her mother
    с. Катон-Карагай, Катон-Карагайский район

    "I want the region to develop, flourish and attract conscious people. Those who understand that the lack of luxury conditions here is compensated by a more meaningful luxury: the vivid life and pristine nature."
  • Olga Skrynnik and her husband moved from Almaty after falling in love with the nature of the Katon-Karagay National Park. Yasnaya Polyana guest house is located 392 km from Ust-Kamenogorsk, on the territory of the Katon-Karagay National Park, 8 km from the village of Uryl.

    In 2016, the family began construction of the Yasnaya Polyana guest house. Today, Yasnaya Polyana is a large wooden frame, a bathhouse and three aiyls (an ethnic house for 3 people).

    In addition to accommodation and meals, the owners of the house also offer car and hiking tours to the most beautiful corners of Katon-Karagay, art therapy, photo shoots and master classes from Altai artisans.

    The Fund provided Yasnaya Polyana with grant support, allocating money to repair the house and bring it up to standard. In addition, the owners of the house were trained under the programs of the School of Hospitality.
    Оlga Alekseevna Skrynnik
    посёлок Урыль, Катон-Карагайский район

    "Several years ago I came to Katon-Karagay in Altai, visited Lake Yazevoye, Markakol, Tsarskaya Valley, and was fascinated by these places. I really want everyone to be able to see and feel the magic of Altai."
Catering Preparation Course
In this module, we teach the basics of sanitation and food safety in catering, record keeping and customer service.
In 2020−2021, we conducted "Altai damy" off-site courses for the owners of 5 guest houses and 16 catering facilities in the Katon-Karagay district. As part of the program, entrepreneurs received recommendations on kitchen equipment and developed a unique menu.
11 guides
Trained in 2020
15 guides
Trained in 2021
Basic guide training course
This module provides basic information for guides working in rural areas. We teach the basics of working with tourists and crisis management, tell how to make a tourist plan, work with partners and suppliers, and prepare for out-of-town multi-day tours.

We conducted a course for guides on the UNWTO system, owners of places of accommodation for foreign tourists and a course for employees of the Katon-Karagay SNNP on working with tour operators and tourists.
Guides Accompanying on Horse Trails
This module aims to educate residents of the area about the standards of horse trails. We teach how to properly and safely provide horse riding services, tell how to communicate with tourists and choose the right route. In 2021, we trained 8 people and issued saddles as an in-kind grant. In 2022, it is planned to purchase another 8−10 sets of cavalry saddles.
Development of tourist identity of the destination
While forming the tourist identity of the area, we analyze, shape the image, attract focus groups from the community and the public sector and foreign tour operators. Tourism identity development includes messages and semantic core, logo, slogan, colors and shapes.

To create a high-quality identity, it is necessary to take into account the culture, nature and history of the destination. Based on the identity, we develop draft designs for the implementation of soft infrastructure*.
*Soft infrastructure is the creation of comfortable conditions for tourists and travelers. This concept includes the improvement and marking of trails, the construction of bivouac glades, the construction of mountain shelters and visit-centers.
      Tourism product development
      We are developing a tourism product for foreign tourists together with one of the largest tour operators in Kazakhstan, ACT Kazakhstan. The development process consists of analysis, field work, and product development/packaging.

      ACT developed 15 tourism products (horse, trekking, cycling, fishing, extreme) and recommendations for tour operators to organize accommodation (mountain huts, bivouacs, etc.) with the application of GPS coordinates and the development of soft infrastructure.
      Improvement of trails in the Katon-Karagay district
      The Fund, together with experts, develops working projects for the improvement of trails and routes. This also includes the development and installation of signs, information boards, bivouacs, mountain shelters and much more.

      In 2021, we examined 2 hiking trails with a total length of more than 200 km in the Katon-Karagay district. In 2022, we plan to install 35 information boards and 35 signs and equip 7 bivouac glades.