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Kazakh tour companies losing market to Russian firms

30 august 2014, 20:17
Photo © Turar Kazangapov
Photo © Turar Kazangapov

Kazakhstani tour operators may eventually be forced out of business by Russian companies that are selling tour at “dumping” prices, Tengrinews reports citing Mereke Pshembayev, former Vice Minister of Transportation and Communications who was recently appointed Chairman of the Automobile Roads Committee of the Ministry for Investments and Development.

Pshembayev specifically mentioned the situation with one of Kazakhstan’s largest tour operators, Gulnar Tour. According to Chairwoman of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs Gulnar Kurbanbayeva, about 11 000 Kazakhstanis who bough tickets from Gulnar Tour could experience problems during their tour or even never received their planned holidays in Turkey.

“The situation with Gulnar Tour is anything but simple, but the Ministry of Transportation and Communications resolved the issues at an adequate level. We organized flights for the tourists who were stuck in Turkey and returned them to Kazakhstan,” then Vice Minister said.

He added that domination of Russian tour operators at the Kazakhstani market posed a danger of a sort, but there were quite few competitive Kazakh tour operators. “Certainly, there is a danger, but I think that today we have enough good travel agencies. Moreover, I know that the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs is working on this issue. We will not give up our market easily and Kazakhstani companies will fight for their positions,” he said.

According to the Vice Minister, there are certain administrative leverages that could help Kazakh travel agencies achieve domination at the local market.

As for the infamous Gulnar Tour, a criminal case was initiated. And the agency's license was suspended.

Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova

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