Kazakhstan seeks to attract around 10 million tourists this year

Photo: Alexander Pavskiy

9.2 million tourists visited Kazakhstan in 2023, nearly double the figure reported in a year before, Kazinform News Agency correspondent reports.

9.2 million tourists arrived in Kazakhstan in 2023, a record number in inbound tourism since gaining independence. We were far behind with a huge gap between outbound and inbound tourism. The gap is now reduced to one million. So, we have just over 10 million people travelling abroad, and 9.2 million tourists arrived last year, said Kazakh Tourism Chairman Kairat Sadvakassov during the KITF international exhibition.

The speaker went on to note that this year tourist arrivals are expected from China, the Middle East, Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

I hope this year the figure (of foreign arrivals) will reach 10 million, said Sadvakassov.

The Kazakh Tourism chairman hailed the visa-free regime agreement Kazakhstan and China struck as the country witnessed an increasing number of foreign arrivals from China. According to him, the country will pursue this job. Currently, the list of visa-free countries for Kazakhstani nationals includes 82 countries.

He said that the list will include up to 100 countries by the end of 2025 as the company plans to work with the foreign ministry of the country.

Sadvakassov also shared plans to attract tourists to Kazakhstan, including plans to hold an exhibition in Beijing, China, this October, to visit the Arabian Travel Market exhibition next month in Dubai, the UAE.

The Alpine Ski World Championships among journalists are slated for this year at the Shymbulak ski resort. Up to 150 journalists from different countries are to attend the event. Next year, around 200 people from the Society of American Travel Writers are expected to arrive; their articles are to be published in the world’s leading publications. There are plans to invite different tourist agencies from India and Great Britain. We plan to hold a small mock conference in Baikonur this year, and thematic conferences and invite guests in the future, he said.

Last year, Kazakhstani hotels’ revenue totaled at around 210 billion tenge. The country collected around 500 million tenge under the Bed tax tourist fee, which the country cancelled last year due to flaws.

According to Sadvakassov, a foreign tourist spends 1,000 US dollars on average, staying in the country for at least a week and visiting the country’s attractions, mostly in Almaty, Astana and the vicinity of Almaty region.

The number of domestic tourists in Kazakhstan reached 7.5 million. These are people who stayed at hotels, visited the national parks and other attractions. If include those visiting their relatives, attending weddings and so on, the figure adds up to 10 million, said the Kazakh Tourism Chairman.

SkyWay travel agency director Assem Kozbagarova pointed out that foreign tourists are usually visit Almaty, Almaty and East Kazakhstan regions, Astana, Burabay, Shymkent, Turkestan and Aktau.

As she said, this year a 20-30% growth in foreign arrivals is expected, driven by the 5th World Nomad Games set to take place in Astana.

According to Inna Rei, chair of the corporate fund Turistik Kamkor, tourism in Kazakhstan remains stable despite the geopolitical situation in the world and the natural disasters.

The tourism market has always been turbulent. Things change quickly. All disasters the world is facing affect tourism, said Rei.

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