Kids Go Free: how is the family tourism program developing in Kazakhstan?

Free domestic flights – hundreds of Kazakh families received such opportunity for their children this year thanks to the Kids Go Free program. It aims to support the domestic tourism. Over the six months of the project implementation, about 300 young passengers received free air travels as part of tour packages in Kazakhstan.

“A mechanism for implementing the program is quite simple. For example, they come to tour operators and book tours for tourists, buy tours excluding air tickets, and the children's air tickets are subsidized by the state from 2 to 17 years old. Further, tour operators form the tour packages and pay for children's tickets at their own expense, but after the expiration of the tour package, which means the tour package is fully used, they submit an application to the Kazakh Tourism NC. Аccording to the latest trends, we process this application within 10 days or a week and compensate to tour operators,” Yernur Kenzhebekov, spokesperson for the Kazakh Tourism National Company, said.

Any Kazakh family can become a participant of the program. The main condition is to purchase a ticket from tour operators registered in the project. So far, there are 20 of them. In addition, this measure is applied if a child is accompanied by his parents or close relatives – grandparents or brother and sister. They can go on vacation together to absolutely any tourist destination within the country. Representatives of the Kazakh Tourism company spoke about the most popular of them.

“In recent years, an enormous attention has been paid to Aktau and Turkistan. Many large tourist complexes, which certainly attract local tourists, were opened there. This tendency is seen in our statistics. As you can see, these two destinations are the most popular in our country, including within this program. We are the first country that introduced Kids Go Free at the government level to help and promote the tourism business,” Kenzhebekov added.

This year, about 350 million tenge was allocated for the implementation of Kids Go Free program. An average cost of tours under the program costs 350,000 tenge for Kazakh people. Industry experts note that in this regard, Kazakh travelers can save up to 30 percent on trips within the Kids Go Free.