Kazakhstan Showcases Tourism Opportunities and Nomad Games to International Audience

ASTANA — The Directorate for the Preparation and Holding of the Fifth World Nomad Games hosted a special presentation for foreign diplomats and journalists on July 5 at the Qazaqstan athletics sports complex. The event, a part of the Sports – Ambassador of the World exhibition, also featured a discussion led by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports on Kazakhstan’s tourism potential.

The exhibition marked the 100th anniversary of the International Sports Press Association. It aimed to highlight the profound connection between diplomacy and the power of sports in fostering peace and mutual understanding among nations, as well as to introduce the upcoming World Nomad Games to international journalists

“Today, we stand in the heart of Astana, a city that symbolizes Kazakhstan’s progressive spirit and dynamic energy. This exhibition captures the essence of sport as a bridge between cultures and a catalyst for diplomacy,” said Murager Sauranbay, the deputy chairman of the Committee for International Information of the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He noted that major sports events such as the Olympic Games or the World Cup often serve as platforms for diplomatic engagement and dialogue, showcasing the power of sport to foster mutual understanding and respect. 

“This event will also provide a substantial boost to local tourism, attracting visitors from various regions across the country to the capital to enjoy the games. The Nomad Games provide an excellent opportunity for our youth to engage directly with our nation’s history,” said Sergei Tsyrulnikov, the Kazakh athlete and Goodwill Ambassador of Kazakhstan. 

“The World Nomad Games is a large-scale international sports event aimed at reviving and preserving the culture of nomadic people and developing national sports in the context of globalization,” said Serik Zharasbayev, the Vice Minister of Tourism and Sports.

“I am confident that the upcoming competition will be successful and will enhance mutual cooperation and cultural ties between our people,” noted Arailym Ziyat, the deputy head of the Directorate for Preparation and Holding of the World Nomad Games.

World Nomad Games preparation 

The Fifth World Nomad Games, scheduled for Sept. 8 to 13, will feature over 2,000 participants competing in 21 sports for 97 medals. 

“We have received confirmation of participation from 89 countries. Around 32 hotels are being considered for accommodation. Operational headquarters are established under the Astana Akimat (city administration) to oversee day-to-day activities. Seven venues in Astana will host the games along a ‘linear principle,’ where the venues are positioned along the same line. The opening ceremony will be at the Astana Arena sports complex on Sept. 8,” said Zharasbayev.

Nail Nurov, the head of the Directorate for the Preparation and Holding of the World Nomad Games, noted that the organizing committee is currently at the final stage. He also mentioned that no new facilities were built for the games, and all the games and cultural programs will be held in the existing infrastructure.

“The national team in 11 sports is in full training. More than 30 training sessions have been conducted, and qualifying championships have been held. More than 200 athletes are being trained by the national team of Kazakhstan. A cash prize fund, sponsored by Halyk Bank, will distribute 500 million tenge ($1 million) among athletes,” added Nurov.


The ethno-village, dubbed the Universe of Nomads, will open in Astana, offering an immersive experience of the culture and traditions of the Kazakh people. The cultural program will feature top projects showcasing ethnic groups from all regions of the country. Each region will showcase its yurts (nomadic houses), providing insights into the cultural and tourist highlights of the area. Guests and residents of Astana will have the opportunity to explore the native cultures of participating countries of the World Games, as represented by foreign creative teams.

“It was crucial to engage the whole country to participate in the Games, not only athletes. Each region will delegate its best ethnic projects, artists, chefs and specialists in its cuisine. We will have seven days of this wonderful cultural feast,” said Nurov.

He noted that ethno-village is not only an opportunity to show the country to foreigners but also to explore the native cultures of the participating countries, as represented by foreign creative teams.

Kazakh tourism potential 

The event continued with a presentation on tourism potential by Vice Minister of Tourism and Sports Yerzhan Yerkinbayev. The presentation provided an overview of Kazakhstan and its tourism industry. 

Kazakhstan ranks 52nd among 119 nations in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Development Index 2024. The presentation highlighted the variety of tourism products Kazakhstan offers, including adventure, ecotourism, gastronomic, cultural, mountain, bleisure, urban, and golf. It also presented a list of countries for which Kazakhstan is visa-free. 

The session concluded with a Q&A, during which Yerkinbayev and Daniel Argyn, the deputy chairman of the Board of Kazakh Tourism, answered questions from international journalists.

When asked about the industry’s challenges, Yerkinbayev noted that Kazakhstan is seeing increasing numbers of visitors for conferences and business. However, Kazakhstan still needs to boost its marketing and promotion efforts as it remains relatively undiscovered. 

“We are working on developing the Mangystau Region, which is attractive to visitors from Azerbaijan and Iran due to its proximity,” said Yerkinbayev in response to a question about plans for developing tourism along the Caspian shores.

According to Argyn, Kazakhstan welcomed 8.5 million foreign tourists before the COVID-19 pandemic. After the sudden drop, the numbers recovered, doubling to 7.2 million tourists in 2023 compared to 2022. Many tourists visit Kazakhstan from Russia, Uzbekistan, and China. 

“Since the announcement of the Year of Kazakhstan Tourism in China, we have conducted over 35 campaigns, resulting in a 20-fold increase in tourists,” said Yerkinbayev.

Joelle Antoine Aziz, a sworn translator and journalist from Lebanon, praised the upcoming World Nomad Games and Astana, noting Kazakhstan’s vibrant culture, tourism potential, and promising future for the country’s international engagements. 

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