ASTANA – The Ontustik Tourism Centre opened in Shymkent April 29. The centre provides information for tourists and gathers representatives of tour operators, guides and interpreters, migration services and coach companies. In such a manner, tourists can use the services at a single location.
Akim (Governor) of South Kazakhstan Beibut Atamkulov said the region has many tourism opportunities and the new centre will help tourism development. A day-and-night call centre operates in the Ontustik Tourism Centre, which is unique in Kazakhstan. All services are free.
The establishment of the centre is timely because of EXPO 2017 and Universiade 2017 and the administration of South Kazakhstan plans to improve the operation of tour operators, instruct volunteers and enhance access to information about tourist attractions, as well as improve the quality of services and tourism routes.
The administration of South Kazakhstan plans to reconstruct the territory of Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassawi and build tourism infrastructure to attract more tourists interested in historical and cultural tourism in Turkestan, a town 150 kilometres north of Shymkent, the regional capital of South Kazakhstan.
Turkestan is considered a spiritual centre of Turkic peoples and the oldest capital of the Kazakh Khanate. Today, the Silk Ways routes, which pass through the territory of South Kazakhstan, attract strong interest. The administration plans to construct bazaar, guest homes and cafes in an Asian style. It is planned to build ethnographic towns as well.
It is also planned to develop healing and health-improving tourism in the region because it has the Saryagash resort with mineral and thermal waters. The plan includes construction of a resort town with new hotels, SPA centres, outdoor and indoor pools, a water world, a bazaar and shopping centres. Saryagash is located 120 kilometres south of Shymkent.
Kaskasu Mountain skiing resort in the Tolebi district is another promising project, which can create new jobs, develop social infrastructure and increase investment in the region.