Minister of Information and Communications of Kazakhstan Dauren Abayev told why the construction of the Kok-Zhailau alpine ski resort is necessary during the Otkrytyi dialogue programme on the Khabar TV channel, BNews.kz correspondent reports.
Almaty held regular public hearings on the construction of the Kok-Zhailau alpine ski resort.
During the talk, Dauren Abayev noted that the two sides reveal their arguments, and the local authority shows their readiness to dialogue and openness to public scrutiny. The proof of this is the Almaty Mayor’s Office takes into account remarks of the public relating to the first construction project of the resort in 2014.
«In 2014, the first project of the ski resort was way expensive, as the serious intervention in the natural landscape was needed. It was presented as a premium resort for rich foreign tourists. But today the Mayor’s Office revised the construction approaches. It is about a year-round, affordable resort. The planned length of routes is shortened, as well as the area of buildings and premises by 10 times, if I am not mistaken. All this seriously reduces the burden on the environment. I would like to note that this new concept completely excludes private and individual cottages,» said Dauren Abayev.
Answering the question whether the funds allocated to the construction of the expensive ski resort would be rationally spent on social needs, the Minister responded that: «There is the real demand for Kok-Zhailau. The overburdening of another Almaty resort Shymbulak can prove it.»
«Today we should use recreational capabilities to disclose tourism. The share of tourism in world GDP exceeds 10%, which is around 8 trillion dollars. Most importantly, tourism provides 300 million people with jobs, and the figure increases. We should compete for tourists. And the mountains surrounding the city are Almaty’s huge advantage,» said Abayev.
He noted that the neighbouring countries had already started to intensively develop all areas of ski industry.
«Uzbekistan plans to launch a big resort with a volume of investment of more than 100 million dollars. Kyrgyzstan has started constructing two big resort zones in the Karakol area. In Azerbaijan, a ski resort has been opened, that has been visited by 100 thousand people so far. That is, our neighbors seek to take advantage of the richness of nature to develop tourism,» said the Minister.
He underlined the importance to protect the environment during the construction of resort zones and noted that all environmental risks would be taken into account while implementing the Kok Zhailau project.
«Environment is very important. I think that during the implementation of the project, all risks to the environment will be taken into account. Especially since there is a rich international experience, for instance, the construction of alpine resorts. Despite the fact that the European environmental movement is strong, which nobody can deny, there are hundreds of such resorts in the Alps,» said Dauren Abayev.
The MInister noted that it is necessary to respect all opinions relating to the construction of the Kok-Zhailau resort.
«As I have said, much criticism for the original version was productive as the Almaty Mayor’s Office took it into account and introduced amendments. As they say, controversy served to cause of truth, on the other hand, we do not want it to be like in the old phrase: «While we argue, others do,» said the Minister of Information and Communications.