Bamiyan adding skiing to already large list of tourist attractions
Bamiyan, known for its Buddhist-era relics and its beautiful deep blue lake, Band-i-Amir, has begun to work towards further revitalizing its tourism industry through skiing.
Skiing on Bamiyan’s three summits of Koh-e-Baba offers a unique, dramatic backdrop with its abundance of hills and colorful cliffs with ancient artistry interspersed.
Europeans and Americans who have started to ski in Bamiyan, consider it an excellent option for those who want a more natural experience. "In Europe and the US, more and more people want to go back to country skiing … without tens of people on the same piste," said Henry Charles, a 31-year-old British citizen who regularly skis in Bamiyan.
The skiing industry has gained a local following as well, with men and women perfecting their skills.
The 1.2 million dollar project to encourage skiing in the area was launched in 2008 by the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) with the help of NZAID, the New Zealand government's international aid agency.
UNESCO recently said it wants to set up several museums nearby to house the remains of Bamiyan's Buddha statues.
Before the Soviet invasion, Bamiyan welcomed around 65,000 tourists a year, of which some 10,000 were from Japan and came to see the Buddhas. Last year, tourism had grown again to 3,300 and looks to continue increasing.