NUR-SULTAN – Domestic tourism has grown 9.8 percent in 2019, external tourism is on the decline and Almaty is the country’s most popular destination, according to the Kazakh Statistics Committee.
Domestic tourism inflow has nearly doubled in the last seven years. While approximately 2.7 million travellers explored their own country from January-September 2013, the number grew to nearly 5.1 million in January-September 2019.
Compared to the same nine months in 2018, an increase has been noted in almost all regions. The only exception is the Mangistau Region, where the number of visitors served decreased from 191,800 to 175,700. The greatest growth in percentage terms was in Shymkent (47.4 percent or 185,400 people); in real terms, in Almaty (197,900).
At the same time, external tourism rates declined to 8,222,500 in January-September, compared to 8,233,600 for the same time last year. External tourism set a record high in 2015 of 8,980,500.
Almaty is this year’s most popular destination for domestic guests, as 984,700 tourism industry customers visited the city from January-September. It is followed by Almaty Region (excluding Almaty city), with 733,700, and the capital, with 654,100. The Aktobe, Kyzylorda and West Kazakhstan regions were the least popular among Kazakh tourists.
The popularity of the country’s resort areas is difficult to assess, as starting this year the data is confidential. The website assessed the status by the increase/decrease of tourist accommodations available at the resorts. Based on those figures, the Almaty and Shortandy-Burabai resorts increased by 17 and 36 accommodation units, respectively; the Kostanai resort decreased by four units.
Kazakh Tourism is currently trying to promote domestic tourism by inviting bloggers and tour operators to the country. The latest project involved inviting Kazakh tour operators to the Almaty Region.
“During the tour, from Dec. 9 to Dec. 13, participants will get acquainted with the tourism potential of the Kokpek gorge, the Huns ethnographic aul (village), the Ak Bulak high mountain resort, the Tabagan sports and entertainment complex and other objects, as well as go on excursions to sports and entertainment complexes, mountain resorts and visits to the Anaka Urmet and Batyr Babalar museums,” wrote a Kazakh Tourism representative on the company’s Facebook page.