Kazakhstan for the first time entered the ranking of the top 100 most environmentally friendly places on earth

Katon-Karagay district of East Kazakhstan region became the first location from Kazakhstan, marked in the world ranking of Green Destinations Top 100 Stories.

The Green Destinations Top 100 Stories is an annual list of 100 eco-friendly places offering innovative and responsible tourism. These destinations represent not only “intact” green landscapes, but also a unique cultural experience, sustainable development for travelers.

Since 2014, every year Green Destinations has been proud to award local communities from the greenest corners of the world for their efforts in the field of eco-tourism and nature protection.

It should be noted that industry experts mark 100 successful destinations in the world according to criteria recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

This year, Katon-Karagay has been selected among 170 destinations and entered the top hundred, demonstrating effective solutions in the management and development of the territory.
“We collect one hundred of the most environmentally friendly destinations in the world in one rating. One of the selection criteria is that they should have a story about what was done to achieve such a result. In recent years, we have strengthened and have also taken the history of sustainable development of the territory as a criterion. This system shows its effectiveness in the selection process,” Albert Salman, President of Top 100 Green Destinations said.
Kazakhstan entered this rating for the first time. The example of Katon-Karagay, along with the rest of the marked destinations, will be transferred to managers of other countries for the exchange of knowledge in the tourism industry.

In addition, organizers of the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories noted the sustainability of destinations in 2023, despite the global challenges faced by the tourism industry, and hard work to increase responsibility. All the selected destinations were also evaluated according to the “Green Destinations Standards”, which are defined as the foundations of sustainable development.
“For several years we have been systematically implementing the strategy of sustainable development of Katon-Karagay district. This rating has shown the results of our work and we are encouraged that they are celebrated in the expert community of the world. We want to see our Katon-Karagay as the country’s first green area with zero emissions. A sacred and intact destination is very important for a conscious traveler. It should be noted that every rural district of Kazakhstan has the opportunity to follow the path of sustainable development. The formula is simple - strategy and synergy. We need a long-term strategy for the development of the district and joint efforts of society, business and government in its implementation,” Serik Zhunussov, the Head of the Sustainable Rural Development Fund said.
As Anula Galewska, the consultant on sustainable tourism and representative of Green Destinations in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, noted, the distinctive beauty of Katon-Karagay, its historical and cultural components have great potential for tourism.
“I keep an eye how Kazakhstan is developing in the field of sustainable development, tourism and hospitality, now more concrete steps are being taken in this direction. I am also happy that the destination we are working with - Katon-Karagay - a great place for the development of ecotourism - has entered the Top 100. I am very proud of you and that such a place has become the first destination from Kazakhstan in the Top 100 Green Destinations Stories. The example of Katon-Karagay will become the most inspiring story for other areas of the region. Here I would like to emphasize that the work on sustainable development comes from the region itself, that is, from the bottom up. It is also an inspiring story not only for Kazakhstanis, but for the whole world,” Anula Galewska said.