Kazakhstan to create list of travel agencies qualified to assist international travelers

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s Travel Agencies Association and Turistik Kamkor Corporate Fund plan to create a list of travel agencies qualified to assist Kazakhstan citizens experiencing emergency situations while traveling abroad.

travelel.ru

Photo credit: travelel.ru

The list will be finished by the end of the summer and will be available on the website of the corporate fund.

There is a state register of travel agencies which has requirements for all travel agencies. However, the requirements are not enough, according to Zhandos Bimaganbetov, deputy chairman of the Committee for Tourism Industry under Ministry of Culture and Sports.

“At the moment, we are working on requirements for travel agencies to guarantee their proper operation without any deception. First of all, we will differentiate licenses for travel agencies in the field of inbound and outbound tourism,” Bimaganbetov said, highlighting that one of the main criteria will be the conscientiousness and quality of travel agencies’ operations.

Companies that have joined the fund give each tourist a unique tour code, which can be used for emergency assistance abroad during his trip. The companies pay for joining the fund. According to Kazakh legislation on tourism activities, travel agencies have to submit a bank guarantee for 5,000 and 15,000 Monthly Calculation Indexes (MCI).

The fund members are obliged to pay 0.5 MCI for each tourist sent.

“This industry should be taken seriously. If the company does not have enough money to provide a bank guarantee, it means that it does not have enough money to be a travel agency and to re-buy the product from a stronger player in the market,” said President of the Association of Tourist Agencies Assel Nurkebayeva.

More than 380,000 codes have been issued since the fund was established Nov. 7, 2016. The fund has collected more than 400 million tenge (US$1.16 million). All money is accumulated in an account in national currency and can be used only for the intended purposes.