BISHKEK. An opening ceremony of a new skiing lodge in the Semyonov canyon in the Yssyk-Kul region was held today with participation of President Askar Akayev. The lodge was built by the local residents' initiative and financial support. Akayev praised the 'Ashar' (Community participation) method and said that the Yssyk-Kul resort places have to be developed to international standards.
The mountainous region around Yssyk-Kul lake is famous for its resorts and some of them are being rented by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. During the post-soviet decade hundreds Europeans traveled to the region's peaks with glaciers, but until now the main customers of the resorts are the Siberian Russians and Central Asian tourists.
Compiled and translated by Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev and edited by Timothy Jasek in Prague