Travel boom: 11,000 foreign tourists arrive in Kazakhstan every week

Kazakhstan will see an unprecedented tourism boom. 700,000 tourists from abroad will visit the country by the end of the year, the Ministry of Culture and Sports projected. Nearly 11,000 foreign nationals come to Kazakhstan every week. They are mostly from Russia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, China and South Korea. The ministry predicted an additional influx of travelers from Iran and India. Kazakhstan has recently introduced a visa-free regime for these two countries, as well as for China. If earlier tourists from these three states were allowed to stay in Kazakhstan without a visa for only 72 hours, then now this period has been extended to two weeks. The visa-free regime is currently valid for citizens of 77 countries, and Kazakhstan intends to expand this number to 100. Given these and other measures, the country sets an ambitious goal in the next three years to bring the share of tourism to 8 percent of GDP, substantially increasing the contribution of the industry into Kazakhstan’s economy.

“We expect the number of domestic tourists to reach eight million by the end of the year. These figures are already approaching the goals we set to ourselves by 2025. In the past two years, the popular destinations remained the same. These are the Shchuchinsk and Burabai resort areas, Turkistan and Mangystau resort areas. We see the growing number of visitors to national parks, and we expect this figure to reach about two million people this year, which is almost 25-27 percent more than in the same period last year. Also, tourists have great interest in visiting historical and cultural heritage sites,” said Dastan Ryspekov, spokesperson for Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Sports.