Russia welcomes Kars

01 Apr 2010

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Located in Turkey’s far north eastern corner and serving as a gateway to the Caucasus region, Kars is both a natural and cultural cornucopia appealing to both national and international tourists.

New Horizons - The province of Kars was introduced of the International Moscow Tourism Fair (MITT) in 17–21 March 2010 in order to promote province’s tourism potential to a wider audience. The United Nations Joint Programme “Alliances for Culture Tourism in Eastern Anatolia” team and a representative from Kars tourism sector attended the fair to inform the visitors about the plethora of cultural and natural assets in Kars. UN Joint Programme aims to develop and enhance cultural tourism in Kars.

The fair which took place in Moscow’s huge ‘expocentre’, hosted nearly 160 different destinations from all over the world. Around 3000 participants promoted their own destinations and had the opportunity to get to know other destinations. Although Turkey’s sunny Mediterranean coast is a Russian favorite, like many other travelers around the world, the Russians too have a growing appetite for cultural tourism. With its impressive natural and cultural assets, Kars received a warm welcome from visitors.

Professionals who have extensive knowledge and experience in the Russian tourism market also agree that culture tourism is about to be an important alternative and a strong travel trend in among Russian tourists who plan on coming to Turkey in the near future. Furthermore, perception about Turkey and what it has to offer in terms of tourism is also rapidly changing. Kars’s participation at the fair to promote its genuine assets was of great importance in positioning Kars as an alternative cultural tourism destination.

Throughout the fair, participants who visited the Kars stand had the opportunity to find out about the province’s cultural and natural beauties. Information about the UN Joint Programme and its objectives were also shared along with the information about accommodation facilities in the city, its local cuisine and winter sports capacity.

Culture, winter and nature/eco tourism are three areas falling under the special interest tourism category Kars has much to offer. One of the 15 “brand cities” in Turkey, a visit to Kars with the welcoming songs of the Minstrels against a background of thousands of years of tradition presents an unforgettable experience. The historical city of Ani, the Kars Citadel, examples of elegant Russian architecture in the city centre and 5 historical churches in the town of Digor are also must-sees. Furthermore, the town of Sarıkamış, with unmatched snow quality and exquisite beauty is a magnet for winter sports enthusiasts. Out of 400 bird species in Turkey, 250 live around lakes Kuyucuk and Çıldır in Kars.

United Nations Joint Program “Alliances for Culture Tourism in Eastern Anatolia” (UNJP) aims at developing and enhancing cultural tourism in Kars, contributing to social cohesion and reducing income disparities between the people of Kars and the rest of Turkey. The UNJP is funded by the MDG Achievement Fund entrusted to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) by the Government of Spain, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and United Nations Organisations UNDP, UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization).

Please click to view a promotional brochure for Kars.