Astana was awarded the prize of the National Geographic Traveler magazine in a special nomination ‘City of the Future’. The prestigious award, which was held for the sixth time, is the Oscar of the tourism industry, and this year its partner is Astana EXPO 2017. Kazakhstan’s capital city received the award for its dynamic development and high tourism potential, and the magazine itself called Astana the city where Oriental flavor is combined with European comfort. Mariya Meshcheryakova from Russia won in the category "Kazakhstan: Time for Discoveries" with an essay about tourist destinations in Kazakhstan. Mariya studies in Rome and has never been to Kazakhstan. However, she mapped out her dream route to famous attractions of Kazakhstan.

 

Olga YAKOVINA, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER:

Kazakhstan is a very interesting destination for us. It is interesting for Russian tourists and for the entire world now. The country is developing rapidly and therefore we made a special nomination for Astana ‘City of the Future’. 264,000 people took part in voting; more than 60 countries competed for the prize, so it was a tough competition.

 

Maria MESHCHERYAKOVA, WINNER IN SPECIAL NOMINATION:

I took some thematic trips from around the world and tried to find similar routes in Kazakhstan. It turned out that it is truly amazing. I described the amazing Kaindy Lake, and if at any point of my life, I have an opportunity to swim there and see that underwater forest, it would be unforgettable. Sliding down on a snowboard in a singing desert just like in Dubai, but in Kazakhstan, which is closer and dearer, and maybe I would visit Baikonur, the city of stars and space.

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