International innovation center for tourism development will open in Kazakhstan. According to Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization Zurab Pololikashvili, the center will be one of its kind in Central Asia. He also highlighted the role of Kazakhstan’s capital in tourism. The country’s main city should become a venue for holding world conferences and events, the expert said. The center will be based on the territory of the specialized exhibition in Astana.

ZURAB POLOLIKASHVILI, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNWTO:

 - Astana can be a center to which investors will be attracted. Representatives of small businesses can present their projects and organize a laboratory in the center where our specialists can discuss new projects related to tourism. You have a clear and very interesting development plan that was created and approved in 2017, and I'm sure that all investments and activities that the country does in tourism will bring great success.

According to the forecasts of the World Tourism Organization, the growth will continue in the so-called ‘empirical’ tourism in the next decade. This kind of tourism is based on the experience, fact-finding and direct observation. This includes eco and ethno travel, as well as historical, cultural, rural and social kinds of tourism.

ZURAB POLOLIKASHVILI, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNWTO:

 - Eco and ethno tourism is a new area, very interesting and unique one because Kazakhstan has such natural resources that are not available in many countries. Therefore, it is very good to use natural parks which will give great potential and opportunity to attract even more tourists.

The Silk Road is one of the best brands in the world. The expert said that the Central Asian countries should make joint efforts for its dynamic advancement. First of all, the focus should be placed on the modernization of infrastructure and development of a joint tourist product. This is the key to the development of tourism, Pololikashvili concluded.

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