Kazakhstan is gaining recognition as a new tourist destination. Local travel agencies are offering a wide range of services in order to attract a greater number of tourists. Tourist traffic grew by 21% since the beginning of this year. Kazakhstan is mostly visited by tourists from Germany, England, Japan, Korea and China. 20.5% more tourists visited Kazakhstan in the first half of 2017 than a year before, according to the statistics. 3 million 600 thousand tourists have chosen Kazakhstan as the final destination. Most of them visited Astana, which is the second most popular destination among the CIS cities. Travelers were able to use special mobile applications that tell about the sightseeing, history, and national traditions of Kazakhstan.

SULTAN AITZHANOV, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FUND OF THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF KAZAKHSTAN:

 - We hope it will be one of the useful resources on the web platform and will make our country more attractive. It will give an opportunity to learn about many interesting facts about Kazakhstan in augmented reality. Those people who cannot visit Kazakhstan will have chance to see our sightseeing in virtual reality.

Representatives of Astana Investments and Development Department say that the flow of tourists to the capital city will grow threefold by 2020. According to the department’s head, the demand for travel agencies’ services has grown by 78% compared to last year. The number of hotels and hostels grew from 36 to 95. Tax revenues from this sphere of services and catering points exceeded 170 million tenge in August alone. A new plan on attraction more travelers is being developed now. It will have three directions: business, recreational and medical tourism.

ALISHER ABDYKADYROV, HEAD OF ASTANA DEPARTMENT OF INVESTMENTS AND DEVELOPMENT:

 - We see tourism as the sphere that will bring economic growth of the city and this is very important. It is necessary to create new attractions to make travelers want to stay here.

The International exhibition EXPO 2017 fostered tourism development in Kazakhstan. The impact spread even to the eastern Kazakhstan to Katon-Karagai. The number of tourists grew twofold this year, specialists say. Therefore, local authorities are developing new projects. 13 walking and horse trails, new hostels opened in the National Park. New wellness spa and sanatoriums are being built in the region. Foreign investors are ready to invest in the sphere.

AKHMETKALI NURGOZHIN, GOVERNOR OF KATON-KARAGAI DISTRICT:

 - We are planning to open a reindeer park in Katon-Karagai, the project is worth 480 million tenge. As for the development of maral breeding and processing of meat of marals and velvet antler products, I think, this will be implemented soon.

Kazakhstan’s tourism industry has a great potential. There are picturesque places, historical sites, ski resorts and the sea. According to experts, this is facilitated by the constant infrastructure development, creating new routes, roads, resort infrastructure and service are improving. This allows tourism sphere to reach a new level.

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