Kazakhstan Anticipates Up to Half a Million Chinese Tourists in 2024

ASTANA – Kazakhstan anticipates up to 500,000 tourists from China in 2024, said Kairat Sadvakasov, chairman of Kazakh Tourism national company, at the Kazakhstan-China Tourism and Investment Forum in Beijing, reported Kazinform news agency. 

2024 was agreed to become Year of Kazakhstan’s Tourism in China during President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s visit to China last year. Photo credit: Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Kazakhstan

The forum officially kicked off the Year of Kazakhstan’s Tourism in China with more than 30 events planned.

Sadvakassov said that in 2023, the number of Chinese tourists to Kazakhstan reached 367,000. “This year, considering various events, we plan to increase the flow to 500,000. This is our forecast and our goal,” he said.

At the forum, Kazakhstan’s 17 regions presented their tourism opportunities. 

“We believe that Kazakhstan is one of the most attractive destinations for Chinese tourists, being not just a friendly and neighboring country with a visa-free regime but also a strategic partner of the Belt and Road initiative,” said Sadvakasov.

According to him, there are many opportunities to grow the tourist flow from China to Kazakhstan, including those stemming from a visa-free regime that came into effect on Nov. 10, 2023. He also noted the keen interest from both Chinese and Kazakh tour operators. 

In April and May, a film crew from China Central Television will visit Kazakhstan to shoot documentary films about the country’s top tourist locations. They will visit the cities of Almaty, Shymkent, Astana, as well as the Turkistan and Almaty regions.

He added there are also plans to organize an off-road expedition to explore a cross-border tourist car route from Urumqi through the southeastern and southern regions of Kazakhstan to Astana.

Amanda Wang, vice president of Trip Group, a leading global travel service provider based in China, said Almaty is the most popular destination for nearly 70% of Chinese tourists, citing a marketing study conducted during the summer of 2023. 

The study also revealed that 60% of Chinese tourists visiting Kazakhstan are millennials, also known as Generation Y, born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s.

She added that 29% of Chinese tourists hail from Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

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