Promotion of energy security and sustainable growth through increased energy and resource efficiency in tourism SMEs in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is rich in landscapes and culture, with its nomadic lifestyles offering a unique tourist experience. The tourism sector accounts for around 6% of the country’s GDP. Given this high share, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector, such as hotels, restaurants, and cafes have the potential to drive economic growth with a strong sustainability perspective. However, challenges such as energy blackouts and radiation from mining activities in mining regions, get in the way.

The PERETO project focuses on promoting green growth by increasing energy and resource efficiency in Kyrgyzstan’s tourism sector. Concretely, PERETO aims at achieving this goal through raising awareness and building capacities of tourism SMEs on energy and resource efficiency (ERE), sustainable consumption and production (SCP), and green financing.

Central to the CSCP’s work within the project is capacity building among tourism SMEs on topics such as SCP, Circular Economy, sustainable business models, sustainability communication, and marketing. The CSCP also supports SMEs to innovate through new business models and product and service offerings as a means to generating additional revenue.

Together with the project partners, the CSCP also works on awareness raising among SMEs, local communities, and tourists in order to promote more sustainable behaviours and practices. For example, the project supports restaurants, hotels and cafes to integrate sustainability into their day-to-day activities through mechanisms such as procurement of local vegetables and organic products for their menus.

As part of another workstream, the CSCP supports the anchoring of sustainable consumption and production principles into the curriculum of Kyrgyz higher education institutions as well as facilitates a policy dialogue among multiple stakeholders to streamline and advance sustainable tourism efforts.

This project is carried out by the CSCP, the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), Unison Group, and Technopolis Group. The project is funded under the Switch Asia Programme framework of the European Commission.