Tokayev Explores Turkestan Tourism Development Options, Visits Major Cultural Sites

NUR-SULTAN  – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev visited the Otyrar regional tourism center in the Turkestan Region as part of an effort to attract more tourists to explore the region’s rich cultural heritage, reported Akorda press service.

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The Otyrar center is spread out over 2,092 square meters and began employing 54 people when it opened its doors in December 2019 as part of the nation’s Ruhani Zhangyru (Modernization of Kazakhstan’s Identity) program. Government officials believed that it would help preserve the cultural and historic heritage of the region and provide information services to tourists coming to the region, a birthplace of many great thinkers, including Abu Nasr Al-Farabi, whose 1,150th anniversary Kazakhstan is celebrating this year. 

The center workers briefed the President on the electronic ticket system, their marketing campaigns and audio guides for the center visitors. 

Tokayev got acquainted with exhibits located in the Kazakh Khanate hall and the exhibition of antique handmade rugs. 

While in Turkestan, he also visited the Khoja Ahmed Yassawi Mausoleum, a major historical and cultural sight attracting pilgrims from all over Central Asia and beyond, which has recently been renovated. 

Built in between 1389 and 1405 by order of Timur (Tamerlane), the ruler of Central Asia, in honor of a distinguished Sufi master of the 12th century, the construction of the mausoleum was never completed. 

As part of a large-scale effort to renovate major sights in the region, its dome was renovated, with ventilation layers and waterproof works being added to maintain its historical appearance, and a botanical garden was built next to the mausoleum. 

The region and its center in Turkestan have been receiving significant attention after then-President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree in June 2018 making Turkestan the regional center of the newly renamed Turkestan Region, which was previously named South Kazakhstan, and which has always been located on the ancient Silk Road route.  

The potential of the region was quickly recognized and in many areas, primarily in tourism, but the novel pandemic forced these plans to go on hold. 

The government officials informed the President of the construction of a new international airport, and Kazakh Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Magzum Mirzagaliyev spoke about the recent water management efforts in the region located near Central Asia’s longest Syrdarya River and Chu River, and the development of the Kaskasu mountain resort in the Kaskasu gorge in the Tolebi district of the Turkestan Region. 

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