Kazakhstan digitalizing the market of tourist services

NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — An important direction in the State Program of Tourism Development for 2019-2025 in Kazakhstan is the digitalization in the market of tourist services. Chairman of the Board of the Kazakh Tourism National Company Urken Bisakayev told PrimeMinister.kz about the prospects of domestic tourism and the work being carried out to improve this industry.

In Bisakayev’s words, the key project is the national tourist portal Kazakhstan.travel. The portal works in Kazakh, Russian, English, French, German, and Chinese. Korean language will be added in 2019. Here, foreign tourists can get acquainted with the features and sights of the country, get the maximum information for traveling in Kazakhstan.

The portal has a section for business that allows registering a free tour for operators, guides, travel agencies, artisans and souvenir shops to post information about their routes, products and services. This year it is planned to significantly expand the functionality for business. There will be aggregators for booking flights and hotels.

At the same time, as part of the development of the portal, an initiative of the E-hotel project was proposed, which aims to solve a number of tasks: it will automatize the issuance of electronic invitations for obtaining an e-visa and create a single database of hotels and other locations. In the future, this project should become a single window for receiving information for placements.

In addition, it is also planned to provide free internet access in the top 10 priority tourist areas, issuing mobile MiFi routers for foreign tourists which operate as a PowerBank and an SOS button.

For the development of domestic tourism, a project of gamification of sacred places has also been proposed, designed to interest the younger generation to travel around Kazakhstan.

In 2018, 8.79 million foreigners arrived in Kazakhstan, an increase of more than 14%. The number of domestic visitors also increased – last year 4.7 million domestic tourists were recorded, which is 7% more than a year earlier.

Basically, Kazakhstanis choose health and beach tourism. In summer, the coast of the Alakol lakes, Balkhash, the Caspian Sea, and the resort area of Burabay are becoming more and more popular. According to statistics, over the past year more than 1 million Kazakhstanis visited the resort areas of the country.

Sergey Kwan