A recent decision to transfer functions and responsibilities in the field of tourism from the Ministry for Investment and Development to the Ministry of Culture and Sports was made after consideration of international experience of those countries where the same state body works with the tourism and culture issues. For example, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Korea, Malaysia, Turkey and Switzerland.
Countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and China promote national tourism through promotion of cultural brands, whereas Japan almost does not advertise its investment potential, primarily focusing on promoting its unique cultural tourism.
Kazakhstan’s rich historical and cultural heritage can become an effective tool for the development of the country as a strong tourist destination. The increase of tourist flows will positively affect the promotion of our country’s culture abroad, as well as improve the image of Kazakhstan generally.
Taking into account international practices in order to enhance the efficiency of the sector’s management while the process of reorganisation is underway, the issue of raising the status of the authorised department is under consideration. And the Minister of Culture and Sports has in fact instructed to prepare for the department to be reorganised into a committee.
I want to emphasise that all employees of the Tourism Industry Department continue to work at their posts. All plans and activities on Kazakhstan’s tourism industry development will be continued.
In the framework of the President’s instruction, we continue carrying on the work on updating the concept of Kazakhstan’s tourism industry development up to 2020 with the major emphasis on the development of domestic tourism. Those who are interested can email suggestions to [email protected].
The work on reducing administrative barriers and improving the migration regime for foreign tourists is ongoing in the framework of the operational working group created to address the problematic issues of tourism industry development under the Kazakh government.
In addition, the work is held on separate road maps of the following resort areas: Shchuchinsk-Burabai, Imantau-Shalkar, Alakol, Balkhash, Kapshagai, Saryagash, Bayanaul, Katon-Karagai, as well as Kenderli in the Mangistau region. An interdepartmental working commission for consideration and selection of proposals on development of these resorts was created. Currently, it considers proposals from the regions.
As part of the transfer of government functions into the competitive environment, we are working on establishing an organisation for the management of tourist destinations at the national and regional levels. The main task of such an organisation will be to ensure awareness about Kazakhstan’s tourist potential through active marketing, advertising and promotion of the product.
The effective cooperation on tourism industry development with specialised committees and structural divisions of the Ministry for Investment and Development (Civil Aviation Committee, Investment Committee, Transportation Committee, Committee on Highways, etc.) will be maintained and continued.
We have many plans and work to be done. We will try to be as open as possible to the public and media. We look forward for the support of the country’s tourist community and all the citizens concerned about tourism.
Let’s develop tourism in Kazakhstan!
The author is Director of the Department of Tourism Industry of the Ministry for Investment and Development of Kazakhstan.