Issues of development of domestic tourism and national parks were discussed at the meeting of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan under the chairmanship of Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov.

The reports were made by the Ministers of Culture and Sports Dauren Abayev, ecology, geology and Natural Resources – Serikkali Brekeshev, as well as akims of Akmola region Ermek Marzhikpayev and Mangistau – Nurlan Nogayev.

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 percent. At the same time, the number of foreign tourists 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.

In the first four months, 75.6 billion tenge was attracted to the industry, the target figure for 2022 is 1 trillion tenge.

– Currently, international flights with 25 countries on 80 routes have been restored, visa-free regime for 74 countries has been resumed, land borders have been opened. (...) In the near future, there is a task to liberalize the visa regime," D. Abayev said.

Summarizing the discussion of the issue, Alikhan Smailov noted that tourism is a very promising industry, which accounted for 30 percent of world exports of services, seven percent of world investments and five percent of tax revenues before the pandemic.

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 infrastructure and service development in regions with high tourist potential.

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

According to Alikhan Smailov, one of the constraining factors in the development of the industry is the limited geography of passenger air and rail transportation, the complexity of logistics to tour facilities 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 of 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 Turkestan," A. Smailov stressed.

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

First. Akimats of the regions, together with interested state bodies, should take measures to ensure timely provision of engineering infrastructure for tourist facilities;

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

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

– Special attention should be paid to the quality of tourist services, including the availability of toilets. These are important factors in the growth of tourist flows. It is the service that our and foreign tourists complain about the most. Therefore, it is necessary to work out specific measures here," A. Smailov instructed.

Photos from the Internet

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