Kars's potential in culture, nature and winter tourism
The Advertising and Promotion Study Group, which was established by local stakeholders within the context of the UN Joint Programme on Alliances for Cultural Tourism in Eastern Anatolia, organized a “Kars Promotional Tour” in June with a view to presenting Kars’s potential in culture, nature and winter tourism to Turkey’s leading tourism agencies and the media.
UNDP TURKEY news (MDG-F Turkey) 30/06/2010 : Sarıkamış, Kuyucuk and Çıldır Lakes, Kars city center and Ani Antique City were among the tourist attractions visited during the tour. Participants agreed that Kars’s rich cultural and natural assets equip the city with the undisputed potential to become attract tourists not only from Turkey but also worldwide.
The group consisting of 40 people from tourism agencies around Turkey and journalists from the national press began their visit to Sarıkamış, which is gaining more and more significance as a hot-spot for winter tourism. Climbing to the top of Sarıkamış, where the scene under the shining June sun was as inviting as its snowy atmosphere in the winter, the participants received detailed information about the mountain and its ski facilities. The group then visited the Katerina Chalet, a wooden chalet built by the Russian Tsar Nicholas II as his command headquarters, is now becoming planned to become an important part of Sarıkamış tourism as a result of private sector investments.
On the second day of the tour, participants visited Kuyucuk Lake, one of the few lakes accommodating a variety of birds in Turkey, and were informed about natural life, bird population, and flora in the Kars-Iğdır region. The participants also found the opportunity to watch birds through special binoculars installed at the edge of the lake. The next stop was to Çıldır Lake, whose fully frozen waters during the winter make it an attractive place for horse-sleighs and fishermen. The participants finally visited the Kars city center hosting some of the most elegant pieces of Seljuk, Ottoman and Russian architecture walking along streets full of historical buildings and stopping by the Kars Museum that exhibits samples of the city’s rich cultural heritage and richness. Kars Culture and Tourism Director Hakan Doğanay and professional tour guide Ali Canip Olgunlu accompanied the group throughout the visit, informing the participants in detail about the history and culture of the city as well as continuing works and planned activities to encourage tourism sector in the city. Moreover, representatives of tourism agencies had the opportunity to visit hotels in the city.
The participants welcomed the third day of the tour in Ani, covered in poppies and daisies. They encountered a unique architectural and cultural richness reflecting the impressive heritage of numerous centuries-long cultures in the antique city, which nestles some of the most beautiful pieces of Medieval architecture.
More in UNDP Turkey Newsletter : http://www.undp.org.tr/Gozlem2.aspx?WebSayfaNo=2578