Development of domestic tourism discussed in Government of Kazakhstan

Issues of development of domestic tourism and national parks were considered at a meeting of the Government chaired by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov.

Minister of Culture and Sports Dauren Abayev, Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Serikkali Brekeshev, as well as akims of Akmola region Yermek Marzhikpayev and Mangystau - Nurlan Nogayev presented their reports.

The head of the Ministry of Culture said that by the end of 2021, the number of domestic tourists in Kazakhstan increased by more than 50%. At the same time, the number of foreign tourists has decreased due to quarantine measures and closed external borders.

The number of visitors to national parks has increased. The multiple growth of visitors to the Ile-Alatau, Kolsai, Charyn national parks is especially noticeable.

For the first 4 months of this year. 75.6 billion tenge was attracted to the industry, the target for 2022 is 1 trillion tenge.

“Currently, international flights with 25 countries on 80 routes have been restored, a visa-free regime has been resumed for 74 countries, land borders have been opened. In the near future, the task is to liberalize the visa regime,” Abayev informed.

Summarizing the discussion of the issue, Alikhan Smailov noted that tourism is a very promising industry, which before the pandemic accounted for 30% of global service exports, 7% of global investment and 5% of tax revenues.

At the same time, the pandemic has become a catalyst for the development of domestic tourism. So, today there is a steady trend of increasing interest in tourist sites in Kazakhstan.

In this regard, the Head of Government pointed out the need to increase the pace of development of infrastructure and services in regions with high tourism potential.

The importance of developing a “soft” infrastructure for ecotourism facilities, the implementation of which must strictly follow the principles of preserving the ecosystem of specially protected natural areas, was also noted.

According to Alikhan Smailov, one of the limiting factors for the development of the industry is the limited geography of passenger air and rail transportation, the complexity of logistics to tourist sites during the holiday season.

To solve this problem, the Ministry of Industry was instructed to develop proposals for the development of intermodal passenger transportation, to ensure convenient connections for air, road and rail transport.

Another important point that requires a systematic approach is the professional training of specialists in the tourism industry.

“Existing programs do not meet the real needs of the tourism sector. It is necessary to strengthen work in this direction, including on the basis of the International University of Tourism and Hospitality in Turkistan,” Smailov emphasized.

In general, the Head of Government noted the positive dynamics in the development of the industry and gave a number of relevant instructions:

First. Regional akimats, together with interested state bodies, to take measures to timely provide engineering infrastructure for tourist facilities;

Second. The Ministry of Culture, together with the akimats of the regions, needs to organize a comprehensive work to provide tourism products, primarily providing for the safety of tourists and the quality of services provided.

Third. The Ministry of Culture, together with the Ministry of Ecology and the Akimat of the North Kazakhstan region, approve the Development Plan for the Imantau-Shalkar resort area and begin the practical implementation of the envisaged activities.

“Particular attention should be paid to the quality of service for tourists, including the availability of dry closets. This is an important factor in the growth of tourist flows. It is the service that tourists, both ours and foreign ones, complain about the most. Therefore, specific measures need to be worked out here,” Smailov instructed.

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