Top five countries by number of tourists visiting Kazakhstan are France, Italy, Great Britain, Russia and India, President of the Tourism Association of Kazakhstan Rosa Asanbayeva said in an online conference answering Tengrinews.kz
According to Asanbayeva, 84% of tourists travel to Kazakhstan for business and only 13% of foreigners arrive for leisure. "Speaking of the popular locations, 30% of all the tourists are arriving to Akmola Oblast (Astana is the main city), Mangistau Obast (Aktau), East Kazakhstan Oblast (Ust-Kamenogorsk, Semey) and Almaty Oblast (Almaty). Almaty city is visited by 13% of all the tourists," Asanbayeva said.
Speaking of the general preferences of tourists, she said that their interest to Egypt and the UAE was decreasing same as to European countries. "Against this background Kazakhstan has a great opportunity to find a free niche in the international tourism," Asanbayeva said. She believes that Kazakhstan has enough potential to attract 56 million Russians, 96 million Chinese, 42 million Europeans and 46 million Indians.
"All these areas locate geographically near enough to Kazakhstan. That is why it is very important to develop a consistent plan for the country and strengthen our positions. It is necessary to increase the quality of our service, security level and set up the required infrastructure," Asanbayeva added. She referred to the Agency for Sports and Physical Culture when saying that tourism brought 80 billion tenge (about $540 million) to Kazakhstan last year.
Speaking of this season's preferences of Kazakhstan tourists she named Portugal, Croatia, Mexico and Panama. According to Asanbaeyva, when choosing from South-East Asian countries our tourists prefer to visit Vietnam, Thailand, Goa and Hainan.
For those in Kazakhstan who don't wish to go abroad or cannot afford it Asanbayeva offered to consider the northeastern coast of Balkhash Lake that is a beautiful oasis in the steppes.