Development of mass sports, domestic tourism and plan of events for celebration of 30th anniversary of Independence of Kazakhstan — Aktoty Raimkulova on work of the Ministry of Culture and Sports

A reporting public meeting with the Minister of Culture and Sports Aktoty Raimkulovawas was held at the Central Communications Service under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The minister reported on the performance of the department for the past year and the first quarter of this year, and also briefly identified a number of implemented activities and current tasks in the framework of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

“Last year, in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry revised, adjusted many plans and introduced new forms of work. During the quarantine period, the ministry launched numerous online projects that received more than 120 million views. This practice will continue this year. Despite the current situation, the year turned out to be productive and positive results were achieved,” she said.

So, first of all, in 2020, on behalf of the Head of State, the ministry took measures of social support for workers in the industry — this is an increase in wages, special monthly cash payments, the establishment of additional payments for additional workload, payment of royalties to authors of works, improvement of the living conditions of workers. For the first time, funds have been allocated to support creative unions within the framework of the state social order.

As Raimkulova noted, improving welfare, improving wages, motivating workers in the industry, thereby ensuring a decent life for citizens are the main priority of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

All these tasks were voiced in the Address of the Head of State to the people of Kazakhstan "Kazakhstan in a New Reality: Time for Action" dated Sep. 1, 2020, the article "Tauelsizdik Barinen Qymbat", the Nur Otan party's pre-election program "Path of Change: a Decent Life for Everyone!" in other strategic and program documents of the country.

On an ongoing basis, work is underway to improve the legal framework. In accordance with modern realities, in 2020, amendments and additions were made to 4 Laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan on issues of lottery and lottery activities (06/10/2020), gambling business (07/02/2020), culture (11/02/2020), physical culture and sports (12/30/2020).

This year the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on tourism activities was adopted, the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the United Nations on Education, Science and Culture on the establishment of an International Center for the Rapprochement of Cultures under the auspices of UNESCO was ratified.

In order to expand the possibilities of expressing patriotic feelings, Kazakhstani identity, amendments have been made to the Rules for the use of the establishment and placement of the State Flag, Emblem and their images, as well as the text of the Anthem.

“Currently, the ministry is working on making appropriate amendments to the bill on cinematography in accordance with the Plan of legislative work for 2021. A working group has been created, which includes representatives of interested government agencies, public organizations, artists, cinematography, etc. At the moment, more than 10 meetings of the working group have been held, during which problematic issues of cinematography were discussed, in terms of the mechanism for creating film commissions, dubbing films on Kazakh language and other topical issues,’’ added Raimkulova.

Modernization of JSC Kazakhfilm named after Shaken Aimanov stared in 2021, the work will continue for three years. The project provides for the technical re-equipment of the film studio, overhaul of engineering networks and buildings, as well as the construction of a film set, etc. These measures will make the film studio fully self-sufficient and will enable it to function as a new generation film factory.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the introduction of restrictive measures, filming processes were suspended. Despite this, in 2020, the film studio carried out a lot of work to connect to natural gas through sponsorship (in the amount of about 100 million tenge), which saved about 50 million tenge. In the administrative building of the film studio, a video surveillance system was installed and a pass system was introduced, together with the akimat, power cables were repaired, etc.

From the beginning of 2020 to the present day, Kazakhfilm JSC has produced 27 films, which took part in 65 international film festivals and were awarded 32 prizes. In this year 14 films took part in 7 international film festivals.

A striking example demonstrating the achievements of Kazakhstani cinema is the film "Tomiris" directed by Akan Sataev, which won the Grand Prix of the French film festival L'Étrange Festival in 2020. For the first time in the history of independent Kazakhstan, the stunt group Nomad Stunts, staging stunts in the film "Tomiris", received the Taurus award of the World Academy of Stuntmen (USA). The only winner of the Cannes Film Festival award in the CIS, Kazakh actress Samal Eslyamova won the Best Actress award at the Russian national film award NIKA.

To ensure the systematization and accounting of films on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, to provide reliable data on the collection of rental and screening of films, the information system Unified Monitoring of Films in the Territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan (UAIS) is being developed jointly with the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry.

“Today, the development of digitalization is becoming an essential element of economic development. The ministry is developing the digital infrastructure of the cultural sector. Work is underway on the E-culture portal, which will provide detailed information about all cultural objects of Kazakhstan, visit unique museums and theaters in a virtual 3D tour, find all objects of interest on the map, order tickets online, etc.,’’ the minister said.

In order to develop uniform criteria for departmental awards, improve the regulatory framework on the application and promotion of state symbols and heraldic signs, as well as conduct heraldic expertise, the Center for Heraldic Research was created under the Ministry of Culture and Sports (PP of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated March 31, 2021, No. 195).

In pursuance of the instruction of the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, voiced in the Address to the people of Kazakhstan dated September 1, 2020, on the need to pay the most serious attention to the creative and sports potential of the younger generation, as well as to resume the activities of children's circles and the opening of sports sections, December 30, 2020 Amendments to the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Culture, Physical Culture and Sports” were adopted, within the framework of which the mechanism of state creative and sports orders for children and adolescents was introduced.

For the first time, the ministry, together with interested government agencies, local executive bodies, the public, has developed and adopted relevant regulatory legal acts — methods and rules for per capita financing, rules for placing state creative and sports orders, as well as rules for determining the rating of creative circles and sports sections.

May 1, 2021, the implementation of state creative and sports orders has begun, financing of which will be provided from local budgets.

In general, according to local executive bodies, as of Jan. 1, 2021, there are 22,000 children's clubs and 126,783 sports sections in the republic. The introduction of the state order in 2021 will provide additional visits to 64,105 children and adolescents aged 4-17 years old on a free basis, of which in circles — 23,566 people, sections — 40,539 people.

In order to implement the instructions of the Head of State on teaching the basics of creativity and handicrafts, the educational online platform Ulagatty Urpak has been launched since October 2020, where schoolchildren are given free access to all educational video lessons on the website in 5 areas — musical art, theater , cinematography, fine arts and Sacred Kazakhstan in the state and Russian languages.

To date, the number of registered users is more than 11 thousand students, the number of views of video lessons is more than 5 million people. It is planned to further develop the National Cultural and Educational Online Project Ulagatty Urpak with an increase in its directions, as a result, the number of visits to the portal will double in 2025.

The main priority in the field of sports is the development of mass sports, the involvement of the population in systematic physical education and the popularization of a healthy lifestyle. Today, the coverage of those who systematically go in for physical culture and sports is 5.9 million people, or 31.6% of the total population of the country. In 2025, it is planned to increase the proportion of citizens involved in sports to 45%.

The development of the infrastructure of the industry is an important area of ​​work. Conditions are being created to expand the network of sports facilities and increase accessibility for all segments of the population. The construction of 100 sports and recreation complexes, begun on behalf of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, is underway. In 2020, the construction of 14 sports complexes was completed in the regions (in 2019 - 13 sports centers), in 2021 it is planned to put into operation 73 sports complexes.

In 2020, within the framework of the Employment Roadmap in the regions, 259 projects for capital, current repairs, reconstruction and construction of sports facilities were implemented with the creation of 3,165 jobs.

Among the major infrastructure projects is the Athletics Sports Complex for 7 thousand spectators in Nur-Sultan. The sports complex has been certified by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which allows holding competitions of the highest level. Work continues on the construction of the Olympic Training Base in the Almaty region.

At the initiative of the Head of State, the Zhekpe-zhek Martial Arts Palace in Nur-Sultan was renamed in honor of the legendary Kazakhstani wrestler, Olympic champion into the Zhaksylyk Ushkempirov.

The head of the Ministry of Culture and Sports noted the increasing activity of businessmen and patrons of art in creating conditions for strengthening the health of the population through the development of sports infrastructure, which include both simple and large projects. For example, in 2020 alone, 97 PPP projects were implemented.

In 2021, the Employment Roadmap provides for the implementation of 68 sports projects in 13 regions of the country.

The Comprehensive Plan for the Development of Physical Culture and Mass Sports for 2020-2025 (April 23, 2020) was approved, according to which it is planned to create school and student sports leagues, open additional sports sections in educational institutions, and provide schools with sports equipment and equipment.

On Dec. 30, 2020, the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on physical culture and sports was adopted, providing for the further development of mass sports. In particular, norms have been included for expanding the network of children's and youth physical training clubs and medical and physical dispensaries, introducing additional payments to teachers for conducting extracurricular sections in physical culture and sports in the amount of 100% of the basic official salary, introducing a mandatory component in national sports in the classroom. on physical education at all levels of education, it is envisaged to provide full-time sports instructors to work with the population.

The sport of the highest achievements is developing. According to the Unified Schedule Plan in 2020, athletes of the national team took part in 190 international and 207 republican sports competitions, incl. 6 competitions of the international level were held on the territory of Kazakhstan.

Despite the restrictions associated with the sanitary and epidemiological situation in the country and abroad, in 2020, Kazakhstani athletes won 217 medals of various denominations. In connection with the current situation, the championships of the Republic of Kazakhstan and republican competitions were held without the participation of spectators in compliance with an enhanced sanitary and disinfection regime.

In the period of globalization, further strengthening and promotion of the sports image of Kazakhstan in the world sports arena, as well as integration into the international sports community, are important.

“Together with the National Olympic Committee, active work is underway to prepare athletes of national teams for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. The national team will be represented by athletes in 30 sports. To date, 53 licenses in 22 sports have already been won,” Raimkulova said.

She also noted that until July 1, 2021, it is planned to participate in about 15 licensed tournaments and championships (2 continental tournaments, 4 world qualifying competitions, 1 World Cup, 10 rating tournaments), where the athletes of the Olympic team will win additional licenses.

Support for people with special needs is essential. Together with local executive bodies, all sports complexes create conditions for sports for adults and children with special needs. For persons with disabilities, 15 sports clubs function in the country, and a Paralympic training center functions in the capital.

The Paralympic Movement is supported. Today, the national teams of the country are being prepared to participate in the Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo (from Aug. 24 to Sep. 5, 2021). Kazakhstani athletes have won 9 licenses in 3 sports.

Until July 20, the national team in Paralympic sports is planning to participate in 8 qualifying tournaments, where additional licenses will be awarded.

“The past year has shown to all of us how much domestic tourism is becoming in demand in the face of restrictions on movement between countries. So, at the end of 2020, there is a decrease in outbound tourism by 73% (2,865 thousand people) and in inbound tourism by 76% (2,034 thousand people),” the minister said.

At the same time, despite the introduction of restrictions on holding mass events, there was an increase in demand and supply for recreation in resorts within the country.

Despite the pandemic year, positive dynamics was recorded in domestic tourism, a huge amount of work was done to attract private investment, etc. The number of accommodations in resort areas increased by almost 40%, and the number of rooms increased by 1.8 times.

The number of visitors served in resort areas increased from 1.2 to 1.7 million people (an increase of 45%), and the volume of services rendered by accommodation places increased from 17 to 24.5 billion tenge (1.5 times).

The volume of private investment in fixed assets in the tourism sector increased by 30% and amounted to 614.7 billion tenge.

A lot of work has been done to support Kazakhstanis and the tourist market in advance, before the mass spread of the virus. Under the system of guaranteeing the rights of citizens, 5,913 tourists were returned to the country from places of rest by charter and regular flights, as well as assistance was provided for the safe return of citizens of neighboring countries.

During the period of quarantine restrictions, the Government, together with NCE Atameken, introduced anti-crisis measures. Due to the state of emergency, entrepreneurs in the tourism sector were exempted from a number of taxes, a deferral for bank loans was introduced and the rate for preferential loans was unified.

In order to attract private investment and improve the availability of tourist destinations, active work was carried out to provide the necessary engineering infrastructure.

In 2020, together with local executive bodies, within the framework of the Employment and Business Roadmaps, as well as other state programs, financing was provided for 52 projects in the amount of 61 billion tenge.

In 2021, work in this direction will continue. To date, 40 billion tenge has been allocated in the main resort destinations of the country for this year for the implementation of 19 infrastructure projects (including 6 projects in 4 regions within the framework of the Employment Roadmap). During the year, there is an opportunity to increase the number of projects to 79 in the amount of 81 billion tenge, taking into account the availability of estimate documentation.

The availability of infrastructure allows attracting private investors for the construction of modern tourist facilities. So, at the end of 2020, 92 projects were put into operation in the republic due to private investments. Among them are the Sheraton hotel in Nur-Sultan, the Rixos Water World Aktau complex in Aktau, the Rixos Turkistan and Hampton by Hilton hotels in Turkestan, stage 1 of the Promenade Burabay multifunctional tourist complex in Schuchunsk-Borovoe Resort Area, an eco-hotel Tender in Almaty, etc.

As a result of attracting public and private investments by the end of 2020, 19 thousand jobs were created in the tourism industry.

In 2021, attracting private investment will become the main driver of the industry's development. The implementation of 115 projects will continue with a total volume of private investments in the amount of 1.1 trillion tenge.

For example, the Mangystau coast of the Caspian Sea will continue to develop with the commissioning of new facilities, in the next 2-3 years it is planned to build a theme park and about 4-5 international hotels such as Fairmont, DoubleTree by Hilton, Aqualina Resort and others with a total investment of $1.2 billion.

Purposeful work is also being carried out to increase the tourist potential of the city of Turkistan. In order to develop cultural, educational and spiritual tourism, dozens of new objects have been built in Turkistan today, which will contribute to an increase in the number of tourists in the region.

A special atmosphere of immersion in the nomadic way of life, way of life and traditions of nomads will be created by the commissioned multifunctional tourist complex Caravan-Saray, built with private investment. In this complex there are international hotels, covered markets with artisans, an oriental bazaar, shopping centers, a water canal with gondolas, an entertainment center, a family center for children, a flying theater with full immersion in the virtual world, where you can make a unique journey and plunge into the history of the Kazakh people.

Also under the leadership of the famous French director M. Lurazh with the participation of foreign and domestic stuntmen, acrobats, an equestrian show is regularly held, which demonstrates the national nomadic civilization.

All these objects are aimed at attracting tourists to the region. The first results are already being observed, on May 8, 2021, a new record was set for visiting the mausoleum of Kozha Ahmed Yasawi, which was visited by 8 thousand people during the day, Caravan-Saray — 10 thousand people.

In 2021, it is planned to increase the number of domestic tourists to 5 million people. In resort areas, the number of tourists will be 2 million people.

Taking into account international experience, one of the important components of attracting tourists, which allows providing visitors with all the necessary information and services about the object of visit, are visit centers. For the convenience of tourists, a Visit Center has been built in Turkistan, operating on the principle of one window, where tourists and guests of the city can get all the necessary information about tourist routes, historical and cultural sites, as well as places of residence, food, etc.

Under these conditions, the main task is to develop the necessary infrastructure for tourism facilities and ensure a favorable investment climate for business. These measures are supported by the adopted law on tourism activities. In particular, new incentive measures have been developed, norms have been introduced to subsidize tour operators for each foreign tourist and domestic flights for children, reimburse investors for the purchase of equipment for ski resorts and tour buses, in the construction of tourist facilities and roadside service facilities, as well as subsidizing the maintenance of sanitary and hygienic nodes in tourist destinations.

“Considering the importance of providing highly qualified personnel in the field of tourism, the International University of Tourism and Hospitality was opened in the city of Turkistan on Sep. 1, 2020. The university is intended to become one of the leading universities in Central Asia in its field,” said Raimkulova.

The International Tourism University has concluded agreements, signed memorandums of cooperation between specialized universities in other countries. In February 2020, a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between the specialized universities of Georgia (Georgian University of Business and Technology, Academy of Tourism and Gastronomy) and Kazakhstan (International University of Tourism and Hospitality), which will give a great impetus to the development of bilateral relations.

In order to improve their qualifications and introduce the best international practices in the educational process, this summer 50 students will undergo training and professional practice in the best tourist centers in Turkey.

The main goal is to create all the conditions for the successful development of Turkistan as a major center of regional tourism in Central Asia.

In addition, to stimulate the growth of foreign tourists within the framework of the State Program for the Development of Tourism Activities, Kazakh Tourism National Company created a Project Office for Tourism. As a result, a lot of work has been done to liberalize visa and migration processes and ensure transport accessibility of the country:

  • the list of visa-free countries has been expanded to 74;
  • electronic visas were introduced for citizens of 105 states;
  • the list of countries with a visa-free regime of entry into the country has been increased to 73, a 72-hour visa-free transit has been introduced in a pilot mode for citizens of China and India, who are temporarily suspended due to quarantine restrictions;
  • registration of foreigners at entry has been canceled for up to 30 days;
  • modernization of border checkpoints has begun;
  • Open Sky mode was introduced in large cities of the country;

As part of this work, negotiations were held with about 20 countries (Qatar, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Malaysia, Austria, etc.), as a result of which the opening of new international routes by foreign airlines Qatar Airways, Israir, Air Asia, Salam was expected. Air, Jazeera Airways, Blue Air, Turkish Airlines, etc. However, due to the current situation, the opening of these flights has been postponed until the epidemiological situation in the world stabilizes.

For reference: Currently, 21 routes are operated to 12 countries of the world with a frequency of 62 flights per week (UAE — 16 flights per week, Turkey — 11 flights, Russia — 6 flights, Uzbekistan — 6 flights, Germany — 6 flights, Belarus — 4 flights, Kyrgyzstan — 2 flights, Egypt — 2 charter flights, South Korea — 2 flights, Ukraine — 1 flight, Maldives — 4 charter flights, Sri Lanka — 2 charter flights).

As a result of the work being done to increase the country's recognition in the world, one can note the recognition of Kazakhstan as a promising direction for travel by a number of large information publications.

Kazakhstan won the Best Guest Houses nomination by the global publishing house Lonely Planet ( platform is visited by 13 million people monthly for travel information, tips and entertainment).

The French edition Le Figaro included Kazakhstan in the list of 21 recommended destinations in 2021.

The British Backpacker Society has identified Kazakhstan in the TOP-5 must visit list for 2020 for lovers of active eco-travel.

The Guardian compiled a list of the best places to visit, which included Kazakhstan.

The pandemic has shown the importance of the ongoing work in the digitalization of the tourism industry.

Additional functionalities and modules have been developed on the national tourist portal For business representatives, registers of travel agencies, tour guides, artisans are included with the ability to filter by region and type of tourism.

In order to familiarize the foreign audience and compatriots with the invaluable rich heritage of the Kazakh people, the ancient legends and history of Ulytau, as well as the architectural monuments of the Golden Horde, the Altyn Orda module has been developed.

“In order to further facilitate the migration regime for arriving tourists, the E-Konak system has been developed, where foreign citizens, when checking into hotels, are automatically registered with the migration authorities. To date, the system has been installed in pilot mode in 160 hotels (4.5 stars) in the cities of Nur-Sultan and Almaty. By the end of this year, we plan to implement it in 500 hotels throughout Kazakhstan,” said the head of the Ministry of Culture.

Also, according to her, an information system for the collection and processing of statistics in the field of tourism has been developed with the ability to visualize statistical data in a user-friendly form: graphs, tables, etc.

The measures taken made it possible to rethink the approaches to organizing events to promote the country in the domestic and foreign markets, qualitatively implement situational marketing and lay the foundation for further digitalization of the country's tourism industry.

Thus, the Government has built a systematic work in the field of tourism:

  • demanded tourism products are created;
  • government measures are being taken to support the development of the industry;
  • a favorable investment climate is provided;
  • jobs are created;
  • training of highly qualified personnel is carried out.

Work on further improvement in the tourism industry will continue.

Aktoty Raimkulova, answering journalists' questions, noted that according to the rules, the number of legionnaires in the country is decreasing every year. At the same time, there are athletes who achieve good results.

“For example, we have an international master of sports, world champion Zulfiya Chinshanlo, she came to Kazakhstan at the age of 14, studied at our sports schools and showed such remarkable results,” the minister said.

Raimkulova clarified that "persons who come and receive citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan must be citizens of Kazakhstan for at least three years." And they no longer become legionnaires, but national team players.

“Of course, the most important thing is that every year we make sure that the number of foreign players on the playing court decreases. At the same time, fewer and fewer legionnaires would play, thus, we give our talented youth, Kazakh athletes the opportunity to show themselves in various kinds of sports competitions. For example, today there is not a single legionnaire in the Kazakhstan national water polo team. All citizens of Kazakhstan,’’ explained the head of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Answering the question about the increase in salaries of workers of cultural institutions, including museums in the regions, Raimkulova confirmed that over the past 12 years, the salaries of workers in the cultural sector, especially in regional institutions, have not increased.

“We treat the employees of these organizations with great gratitude and respect. They are real patriots and professionals in their field,” said Raimkulova.

According to the minister, in January 2020 alone, wages were increased by 50% to employees of republican organizations and archives and by 35% to employees of local institutions. This year, the issue of increasing wages is also being worked out, despite the difficulties in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.

“We had to reorient budget funds a lot due to the pandemic, but I hope that by autumn our application submitted to the republican budget commission will be approved. The government supports our initiatives to increase the wages of workers of all categories working in cultural organizations,” said Raimkulova.

At the same time, this year, two theaters were awarded the title of academic and five organizations the title of national cultural objects. Thanks to the status received, salaries in these organizations will also be increased.

As for the issue of providing housing, according to the minister, memorandums have been signed with the Kazakhstan Mortgage Company, and since 2020, many cultural figures have been given apartments with more lenient mortgage terms.

Also Minister Raimkulova noted that work on the implementation of the instructions of the Head of State on the need to reduce funding for professional sports clubs and redirect funds for the development of youth sports is already underway.

“If in 2020 an amount of 55 billion tenge was allocated to clubs, then today the limit has already been set, which should not be exceeded. For example, for football and hockey clubs, a limit of 1 billion 200 million tenge is set, for other sports no more than 450 million tenge per year. The released amounts will be directed to the development of mass sports and the implementation of the state sports order for children and adolescents,” she said.

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