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About Destination South Shore

Discover the organization behind the information.

The southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul emerged as a tourism destination after the collapse of the Soviet Union. During Soviet times, tourism and industry development focused on the northern shore of the lake, leaving the South Shore with unspoiled nature and strong nomadic traditions uninfluenced by decades of Soviet influence felt in other regions in Kyrgyzstan. In the 1990s, Kyrgyzstan as a nation began to embrace its unique cultural history, bringing music, dance, customs, and traditions to the forefront of its identity. With a broad range of unique ethno-cultural activities offered nowhere else in the country, more than 20 local businesses and community leaders joined together to form the South Shore Destination Marketing Organization, which operates as “Destination South Shore.”

To better serve independent travelers and tour groups, Destination South Shore is dedicated to developing a regional tourism industry that respects and protects local culture and traditions, while also bringing broad economic benefits to the local communities along the southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul.

South Shore Summer Festival
Members of the South Shore DMO and larger community at a summer festival.

Tourism in South Shore has grown in the past several years. Travelers enjoy unique experiences — including cultural heritage experiences, outdoor adventures, and wellness and relaxation activities — in a market where sustainable tourism is baked into the travel experience. Destination South Shore works to improve and enhance product/service development within small businesses. It also helps build the capacity of local stakeholders to address the needs of the tourism sector. Foremost, it aims to provide clear, actionable information for independent travelers.

By playing this supportive role, South Shore has emerged as a memorable experience for travelers in Kyrgyzstan. As a registered non-profit organization, Destination South Shore maintains financial sustainability and independence by connecting travelers to high-quality local tours and earning a commission from these travel bookings. Anything you book through Destination South Shore supports its ongoing tourism and community development activities.

Note: Destination South Shore members are highlighted in a different color in the listings for accommodation providers and restaurants. These businesses and entrepreneurs are actively invested in promoting tourism and community development in the South Shore of Lake Issyk-Kul by being engaged in Destination South Shore.

Founded in 2016, Destination South Shore has seen a number of successes from its efforts to grow a tourism industry that supports the local economy. These include:

  • Development of marketing and branding for South Shore as a leading ethno-cultural tourism destination in Kyrgyzstan.
  • Winning three awards at the Kyrgyz National Tourism Awards: 1st place, Best Tourism Event for South Shore Summer Festival; 2nd place, Best Tourism Event for the CBT Birds of Prey Festival; 3rd place, Best Yurt Camp for Bel-Tam Yurt Camp.
  • Hosting the International Association of Falconry, where South Shore was promoted as the origin of Salbuurun.

Explore: Popular Tours and Things To Do in South Shore

Resources to Plan Your Trip to the South Shore of Lake Issyk-Kul

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