Kazakhstan is set to become the center of business and event tourism in Central Asia. Presently, there is a growing interest in meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) tourism. Russia’s MICE-agencies paid a visit to Kazakhstan to learn more about its facilities. In a week’s time, the agencies from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Omsk and Novosibirsk visited Halyk Arena, Almaty Arena, Atakent Exhibition Center, Astana EXPO 2017 facilities, the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation and Barys Arena. They also visited tourist sites and tried traditional food.    

ALENA EYVEL, HEAD OF MICE DEPARTMENT, MOSCOW:

- This is my first visit to Kazakhstan. We are engaged in organization of mice-events. It is a significant visit for me because I discovered a new destination for myself. There are lots of sites and possibilities for our companies to hold projects here. As for my impressions, Kazakhstan pleasantly surprised me.    

ANNA PIKUL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BUSINESS TOURISM AND EVENTS AGENCY, OMSK:

- We are currently working on several projects that we will possibly suggest to Kazakh Tourism to work on them together. They are related to Astana’s promotion. Since we are from the Omsk region, Russian border region, we are also interested in a much closer cooperation. We even have plans of organizing cross-border tours.   

60% of the Russian corporate meetings are held abroad. Specialists of this type of business are looking for the new destinations of holding business meetings, conferences, exhibitions and business tours. Experts say that of all the Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan has great possibilities to successfully develop this tourism. 

AKBOTA KALIYEVA, SPOKESPERSON, KAZAKH TOURISM NATIONAL COMPANY:

- Russia is the main market for us in developing this tourism. We have the required infrastructure to hold events organized abroad. That’s why we decided to invite representative of the Russian MICE agencies so that they could learn more about Kazakhstan’s potential.

Currently, the global revenues of MICE tourism exceed one trillion U.S. dollars. There is essential infrastructure in Astana and Almaty with over 45 thousand square meters of rooms for holding events and over 5,500 hotel rooms for the guests.

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