The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recognized the Kazakh village of Saty as one of the Best Tourism Villages in 2023 during the organization's 25th General Assembly in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, QazMonitor reports citing the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
Saty, known for having one of the highest numbers of guest houses in the country, is situated within the Kolsay Lakes National Park in the Almaty region, with many of its residents engaged in the local tourism industry.
Over the past five years, the village has witnessed the creation of convenient trails and walking paths, the paving of the road to Lower Kolsay, and the installation of numerous benches, gazebos, and piers throughout the area. An observation deck now provides panoramic views of the lakes.
“To disseminate Saty's successful model in Kazakhstan, we organize tours for domestic tour operators and guesthouse owners from other regions, along with educational training sessions and seminars. As of 2023, Saty has 90 guesthouses and 30 hotels, doubling the numbers from 2019," said Vice Minister of Tourism and Sports Yerzhan Yerkinbayev.
Launched in 2021, the Best Tourism Villages program is part of the UNWTO Tourism for Rural Development Programme. It aims to promote development and inclusion in rural areas, combat depopulation, advance innovation and value chain integration through tourism, and encourage sustainable practices.
The villages are evaluated based on nine key areas: Cultural and Natural Resources, Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources, Economic Sustainability, Social Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, Tourism Development and Value Chain Integration, Governance and Prioritization of Tourism, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Health, Safety, and Security.