About Destination Osh
Discover the organization behind the information.
Osh is a city defined by its entrepreneurial spirit and the genuine welcome locals give to visitors from all over the world. Standing as the gateway to the Pamir-Alay Mountains, the city was a pivotal trading hub along the Great Silk Road — perhaps one of the first cities in Central Asia to play such an important role in welcoming, hosting, and empowering travelers to enjoy their time in Central Asia.
In the spirit of their ancestors, a group of local stakeholders banded together in spring 2017 to form a nonprofit public union that would, at the core, help international travelers better enjoy their time in Osh. Founded as Destination Osh, these stakeholders are committed to boosting the ability of local communities in the Fergana Valley to offer sustainable tourism solutions that benefit both travelers and locals alike.
Destination Osh operates as a social enterprise with its broad goal that encompasses the wide-scale improvement of tourism and its benefits for the local communities. As a non-profit organization, all revenues coming from the DMO’s activities go to sustaining its activity as a local social enterprise and organizing community-related projects.
Destination Osh office provides information and assistance to travelers.
Osh Fest, a city-wide parade and festival, organized by Destination Osh.
Destination Osh and its stakeholders achieve the organization's mission through a few key initiatives:
- Deepening connections and increasing cooperation between private businesses, state agencies, and NGOs involved in tourism.
- Developing unique tour products that speak to the region’s unique cultural and culinary heritage.
- Improving tourism services across the region through specific hospitality and guide trainings, seminars, and workshops. This includes recent guide trainings based on WFTGA standards to increase the quality of English language guides in Osh.
- Organizing tourism events and festivals with information accessible to travelers from a broad range of backgrounds.
- Creating effective marketing campaigns about events and activities in Osh and the surrounding Fergana Valley,
- Increasing the number of local communities offering sustainable tourism activities.
Within months of its launch, Destination Osh had already seen enormous successes from its efforts to expand and deepen tourism in Osh. With the assistance of USAID’s Business Growth Initiative, Destination Osh successfully united dozens of leading tour operators, hotels, restaurants, and transportation businesses. Additionally, the organization conducted linguistic and technical trainings and workshops for various tourism workers, participated in several local and international fairs and festivals, and won recognition at the 2017 Kyrgyz Tourism Awards for hosting “Oshfest 2017,” the city’s inaugural annual tourism festival.
As a registered nonprofit organization, Destination Osh maintains financial sustainability and independence by organizing and guiding local tours, earning commission from travel bookings (at no extra cost to travelers), and offering other useful travel information at the Destination Osh Visitor Center. Anything you book through this website or buy through the Visitor Center supports Destination Osh’s ongoing tourism and community development activities.
The team at Destination Osh are locals committed to ensuring that travelers from all over the world have the information they need to dive deep into Osh’s fascinating cultural and culinary heritage. The team works from a visitor’s center in Osh city center — stop by for a hello, to pick up local maps, and to take a free walking tour with a local so you can truly peek under the skin of friendly, fascinating, Osh.
In addition to the DMO members below, we would also like to thank the Osh mayor's office and Tourism Faculty of Osh State University for its ongoing support of Destination Osh and its activities to promote tourism development in Osh.
Destination Osh could not exist without the dedicated team (local Visitor Center staff, managers, and tour guides) and fantastic stakeholders (guesthouse and restaurant owners, tour operators, local entrepreneurs, and more). More than simply a collection of people, Destination Osh represents the desire of the entire Osh community to make the city a place travelers feel an authentic and heartfelt welcome. Meet the team making this happen.
Beksultan is the Executive Director of Destination Osh and is passionate about making tourism a mechanism driving sustainable social and economic development across the region. He is an Osh native with a strong love of tourism management. After graduating from Kyrgyz Turkish Manas University, Beksultan immediately began working in a range of tourism related fields — at hotels, travel agencies, tourism clubs, as a tour guide manager and also as an interpreter for HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in Osh.
Beksultan believes that further development across the tourism spectrum will have immeasurable positive effect on the local community — new products targeted toward the needs of tourists, master classes for guides and guesthouse owners, capacity building in the food and beverage sectors. When he’s not at the Destination Osh offices, you’ll find him tasting the flavors of newly opened restaurants in town, or enjoying downtime playing the guitar. He is also a World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) internationally certified guide, as well as a certified guide trainer.
Atabek is a born and raised Osh local with an education and professional background in political science, international relations, and public policy — three fields he pursued with a goal of making positive changes to society. He also has a Western Liberal Arts degree and a keen interest in travel — he credits this love of travel to his FLEX exchange programs in the U.S. and Europe, as well as an OSCE Secretariat internship in Vienna. It was his courses in sustainable tourism development that inspired him to join Destination Osh as a cultural guide, product developer, and manager. Atabek is also a World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) internationally certified guide in English and Russian, as well as a certified guide trainer.
Atabek most loves that tourism facilitates open-minded discussions, interpersonal cultural exchanges, economic growth for the local society, and actions toward creating a green tourism economy in Osh. He loves that his job allows him to swap stories with travelers, and when he’s not leading tours for Destination Osh you’ll most likely find him sharing food and laughs with new international friends.