SCO Citizens Constitute 62% of Foreign Tourists in Kazakhstan

ASTANA — With a visa-free regime established with nearly all member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), citizens from these countries make up 62% of the foreign tourist flow in Kazakhstan, Minister of Tourism and Sports Yermek Marzhikpayev said at a meeting of heads of tourism administrations of SCO member states on May 25, according to the ministry’s press service. 

Photo credit: Kazakh Ministry of Tourism and Sports

Kazakhstan operates 560 flights a week with 28 countries on 114 routes, including 245 regular flights between SCO member countries, with plans to increase this number.

With the fifth freedom of the air in place, a freedom to carry traffic between two foreign countries on a flight that either originated in or is destined for the carrier’s home country, foreign airlines such as IndiGo, FlyNas, and AirAsia X, received the right to operate flights to several airports in Kazakhstan without restrictions on frequencies and types of aircraft.

Raising the issue of human capital development, Marzhikpayev proposed implementing an academic mobility program among students and professors of tourism universities within SCO member states.

The minister highlighted that Almaty, currently the SCO cultural and tourism capital, is ready to transfer this status to Qingdao.

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