Kazakhstan emerges as a key destination for Chinese tourists this summer

Photo credit: Akzhigit Chukubayev/ Kazinform

This summer, Kazakhstan is set to be a major draw for Chinese tourists, alongside traditional hotspots like Japan and Thailand, reports Kazinform News Agency correspondent.

According to Cirium, an aviation analytics website, one of the fastest-growing destinations in Asia, Kazakhstan is benefiting from its inclusion in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which seems to be enhancing its appeal to the world’s largest market of travelers.

South Korea and Japan have already seen a surge of Chinese tourists after their currencies weakened against the yuan, while Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia and Thailand lure tourists with visa-free entry and relatively lower costs.

Among these destinations, Kazakhstan is particularly standing out. Travel website ForwardKeys’ data suggests an impressive growth in travel from China, expected to outpace even the robust increases seen in countries like Singapore and Malaysia.

“Other destinations that are expected to outpace 2019 levels show hints of geopolitical influence. Türkiye, Hungary, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Saudi Arabia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan top the list of countries expected to see an increase in travel from China,” according to Cirium.

The return of Chinese tourists is a closely watched development in the global travel industry, vital for the recovery post-pandemic. Trip.com Group Ltd. reports that outbound travel from China is set to double this year compared to last, with significant family holiday bookings.

“The World Travel and Tourism Council earlier this month forecasts Chinese holidaymakers will splurge 1.8 trillion yuan ($250 billion) on overseas trips this year, exceeding pre-pandemic levels for the first time,” the article quotes.

While overall numbers have not yet reached those seen in 2019, destinations in the Asia region are expected to recover to about 80% of their former levels during this summer season.

The appeal of Kazakhstan and other Asian nations is also bolstered by visa-free policies and regional proximity, making them attractive for short-term getaways and longer vacations.

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