ASTANA – Eight routes to sacred sites were approved as part of the Ruhani Zhangyru (Modernisation of Kazakhstan’s Identity) programme in the Akmola region, according to Kazinform. The project aims to develop a tourist cluster and increase the number of visitors up to three million per year.
Approximately 80 select routes implemented by local tour operators are included in the state register for the region. Ten operators also promote tours to historic and sacred sites in the Birzhan Sal, Burabai, Kokshetau, Korgalzhyn, Yereimentau and Zerenda areas.
“The Abylai Khan’s Headquarters architectural and historical complex is a project implemented as part of the inner and pilgrimage tourism sub-programme to attract tourists to the complex located near the Kokshetau Mountains. The database of all architectural and historical sites located on the territory of the region is not systematised, but this project creates a single architectural and historical complex titled Khan’s Headquarters with the historical monuments added after scientific research,” said Akmola region tourism department head Daniyar Idiyatov.
The project includes Abylai Khan Square, Uali Khan’s burial site located near the Khankol area and a granite cave in the Kokshetau Mountains related to Kenessary, the last Kazakh khan. A monument erected in honour of Abylai Khan stands in the centre of Kokshetau.
“Our main target markets are Russia and China. There’s also an interest from visitors from India and Iran. A quarter of all inbound tourists are from Russia. As for the domestic market, the Ruhani Zhangyru initiative is of special importance. Large-scale work is underway to develop domestic tourism as part of this programme. Since the beginning of the year, we have developed a series of tourist maps, guidebooks and banners for outdoor advertising,” he said.
Kazakhstan Is My Homeland, the second national expedition highlighting the region’s tourist and recreational potential, was organised last year. More than 22,000 people gathered at the Flamingo regional festival in the Korgalzhyn district.
Visitaqmola.kz was launched this year to promote the Akmola brand. Interactive stands offering tourist information services were also installed.
Ethno-cultural tours including a visit to the maral (noble deer) breeding farms and national cuisine presentation are being developed in Burabai. The area will also be launching a unique museum where visitors can become acquainted with the local history and culture using 3D glasses.