Kazakh Tourism Advances Creative Projects to Unlock Potential of Regions

TURKISTAN – The Creative Tourism Forum 2023 was held on Dec. 1 in Turkistan to address the challenges and opportunities in tourism experiences and to activate the potential of creative industries. 

Photo credit: The Astana Times.

The forum was initiated by the Kazakh Ministry of Tourism and Sports, with support from the region’s administration and Kazakh Tourism national company. 

The event gathered representatives from regional creative hubs, experts in education, architecture, and urban planning. The event also included an art fair, educational exhibition, and seminars. 

Photo credit: The Astana Times.

According to Irina Kharitonova, the director of the Creative Tourism Department at Kazakh Tourism, creativity is all about innovation, and the creative industry primarily attracts tourists. 

“The creative economy is about teaching our creators how to monetize their creative potential. We organized a series of events as part of the Turkistan Travel fest. It included a photography festival to promote environmental conservation, educational lectures and seminars, Made in KZ fair, Street Performance Fest, and an eco-friendly road tour. These events contribute to the region’s development and tourist attractiveness. We are delighted to host the creative forum today as an integral part of the dialogue between all interested parties,” said Kharitonova at the sidelines of the conference. 

Photo credit: The Astana Times.

Last year, Kazakhstan introduced the concepts of creative activity and creative industries by amending the Law on Culture and the Entrepreneurial Code. Consequently, creative industries are now considered part of the country’s private business sector. 

For example, events like the World Nomad Games, which align with this direction of creative tourism, contribute to the sector’s growth.

Adil Konysbekov, the deputy head of the Department of Culture of the Turkistan Region, discussed the events and activities implemented in the region to boost the industry during a panel session. 

Additionally, Hamdi Güvenç, Aviation CEO and Board Member of YDA Group, noted that it is necessary to develop infrastructure, particularly airport infrastructure, to increase tourism. 

Turkish companies are ready to share their travel industry experience with Kazakh partners. According to the World Tourism Organization’s assessment, Turkiye ranked fourth worldwide in the number of tourists visiting the country. 

Daniyar Mukitanov, the head of experimentation at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kazakhstan, announced that UNDP and the Kazakh Ministry of National Economy signed an agreement to finance a program on regional development in the Abai, Zhetisy, Ulytau, and Kyzylorda Regions. 

The expert meetings aim to analyze regional creative ecosystems, identify factors influencing their development, and determine the needs and visions of creative representatives.

According to the UNDP, the cultural and creative industries contribute 3.1% to the global GDP and provide jobs for 6.2% of the working population. In 2020, this sector accounted for 2.67% of Kazakhstan’s GDP, employing around 95,000 people. The total investment in fixed capital in this sector amounts to approximately 33.3 billion tenge ($72 million).

It is important to highlight that President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted in his state of the nation address on Sept. 1 that the creative industry contributes to the economic and employment growth. President Tokayev instructed the government to create conditions conducive to the large-scale development of the creative economy in Kazakhstan. 

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