Without ceasing even for a minute, debates about tourism development in Kazakhstan are getting louder and louder. Various theoretical points of view and common judgments confront each other. Thoughtful and not very thoughtful conclusions are being made. As the great poet Johann Goethe said: “Dry is theory, my friend …”. But even this dryness in the literal sense of the word, when a disputing person’s throat dries up, and in a figurative sense, does not stop the flow of pro and con arguments which are growing in geometric progression.

Perhaps the arguers should recall the second part of the famous expression: “And the tree of life is always green”. Thus, we decided to take a closer look at the life, that is, the practical implementation of tourism in the Ile-Alatau National Park. We hope that the scenes which we documented on the photographs will force theoreticians, legislators, park employees, and tourists to think about questions that involuntarily arise from the contemplation… it is impossible to describe the witnessed scenes in words.

Was the national park created for destruction of nature or for its conservation?

Is it a national park or another parking lot?

Will millions of tourists come to us to get stuck in a traffic jam and suffocate from smog at two and a half thousand meters in the centre of a national park? And why do we need millions of tourists, when we successfully destroy nature without them?!

Is it tourism in the national park or a modern version of “The Big Feast” of Marco Ferreri?

Will any animals other than rats survive in this “tourist paradise”?

Will the resort “Kokzhailau” look like that, if it is built anyway?

And, finally, the main question. Who benefits from this chaos?


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