ASTANA (TCA) — On September 28, Astana hosted the Kazakh-Chinese tourism forum.
Opening the forum, the Chairman of the Board of the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan Ablay Myrzakhmetov said that a Tourism Development Program will be developed in Kazakhstan, Atameken reported on its website.
“Yesterday Bakhytzhan Sagintayev (Prime Minister of Kazakhstan) ordered the creation of an interdepartmental government working group headed by Askar Mamin (First Deputy Prime Minister). And probably next week we will begin working on the Tourism Development Program. It is extremely important to cover the entire range of issues that arise: visa, customs, migration services, roads, benefits, inclusion of tourism in all programs of state support measures,” Myrzakhmetov said.
According to Myrzakhmetov, major oil service companies which for decades have built their business around the oil industry are now willing to invest in the tourism industry, because they understand that it is now the most promising. “They ask for the program which will encourage investment in tourism. We will try by the end of the year to prepare the program. Tourism is a sphere which gives a large multiplier effect. We believe that tourism will become one of those industries that will help the economy of Kazakhstan to grow, to develop small businesses,” he concluded.
Atameken Deputy Chairperson Yuliya Yakupbaeva stressed that Kazakhstan should prepare to receive tourists from China. “If we can say that today we are ready to receive Russian, English-speaking tourists, then we need to prepare for receiving Chinese tourists. We need to know their traditions, to understand them, so that tourists, no matter what country they come from, would like to return to Kazakhstan again,” she said.
The forum resulted in the signing of memorandums between tourist organizations, representatives of Kazakh, Chinese and Russian companies.
The forum was held in the run-up to the Year of China in Kazakhstan in 2017.
In December 2015, Kazakhstan and China signed a memorandum on simplification of group tourist trips for Chinese citizens to Kazakhstan.
In 2014, 107 million Chinese citizens went abroad for tourist purposes; in 2015 the figure reached 127.9 million tourists from China throughout the world, who spent $292.2 billion on travel.