ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry of Tourism and Sports offered the list of the top five tourist destinations in 2023, revealing the most popular places travelers chose in Kazakhstan.
The Almaty mountain cluster recorded the biggest number, with 1,728,000 people visiting local resort areas from January to September last year. The cluster includes the Forest Tale mountain resort, located in the picturesque gorge of Oi-Qaragai, the Shymbulak ski resort, recognized as the world’s highest night skiing slope in 2023, the Akbulak high mountain resort, the Tabagan ski resort, the Kok Tau ski and health resort, and others.
Mangystau witnessed 299,000 tourists, securing the second place. Besides steadily developing resort areas on the Caspian Sea coast, the region’s territory boasts various landscapes and desert lands.
In addition to the must-see attraction – Bozzhyra, located on the territory of the Ustyurt Plateau – the region offers no less captivating places such as Sherkala mount, Kapamsay canyon, the Torysh valley of balls, and historical and sacred places of Beket Ata, Shakpak Ata, and the Sultan Epe underground mosques.
The North Kazakhstan Region broke into the top three destinations with the Shchuchinsk-Burabai resort areas, attracting 243,000 travelers with its bizarre scenery, which covers pine forests, lakes, mountain ranges, cliffs and capes.
The Alakol resort area in the Abai Region glorified eastern Kazakhstan, with 204,000 tourists coming. One of the locals’ favorite tourist spots – Lake Alakol – amazes visitors with its changing colors and delightful views.
Last but not least – Balkhash – drew 94,000 travelers as Kazakhstan’s largest lake. The blue and crystal-clear water lake has a fascinating legend, narrating the story about love between a rich man’s daughter who escaped with a poor shepherd. The enraged father, Balkhash, turned the lovers into two rivers and turned himself into a lake depriving the two of a chance to reunite.
Thus, Kazakhstan saw over 3,073,000 tourists visiting resort areas across the country in nine months of 2023, recording a 12.6% growth compared to the previous year, according to the Bureau of National Statistics.