Tourism in Kazakhstan

From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia

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Kazakhstan is the ninth-largest country by area and the largest landlocked country. As of 2014, tourism has accounted for 0.3% of Kazakhstan's GDP, but the government has plans to increase it to 3% by 2020.[1][2] According to the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, travel and tourism industry GDP in Kazakhstan is $3.08 billion or 1.6 percent of total GDP. The WEF ranks Kazakhstan 81st in its 2017 report, which four positions higher compared to the previous period.[3]


In 2012, Kazakhstan ranked 51st in the world in terms of number of tourist arrivals. In 2000 total 1.47 million international tourists visited Kazakhstan, which was increased to 4.81 million in 2012.[4] The Guardian describes tourism in Kazakhstan as, "hugely underdeveloped," despite the attractions of the country's dramatic mountain, lake and desert landscapes.[5] Factors hampering an increase in tourist visits are said to include high prices, "shabby infrastructure," "poor service" and the logistical difficulties of travel in a geographically enormous, underdeveloped country.[5] Even for locals, going for holiday abroad may cost only half the price of taking a holiday in Kazakhstan.[5] High-end tourists like Britain's Prince Harry have visited for the skiing.[6]

Government initiative

The Kazakh Government, long characterized as authoritarian with a history of human rights abuses and suppression of political opposition,[7] has started an initiative named the "Tourism Industry Development Plan 2020". This initiative aims to establish five tourism clusters in Kazakhstan: Astana city, Almaty city, East Kazakhstan, South Kazakhstan, and West Kazakhstan Oblasts. It also seeks investment of $4 billion and the creation of 300,000 new jobs in the tourism industry by 2020.[8][5]

Visa policy

Template:Main Kazakhstan offers a permanent visa-free regime for up to 90 days to citizens of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia and Ukraine and for up to 30 days to citizens of Argentina, Azerbaijan, Serbia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.[9]

In 2014 Kazakhstan adopted a no-visa pilot program for 10 developed nations with the highest investment in Kazakhstan economy in order to attract tourists and investors. According to this policy, visitors from the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia and the Netherlands can stay in Kazakhstan without any visa for a period of up to 15 days.[1] In 2015, Kazakhstan further expanded this program to 19 countries by including Australia, Finland, Hungary, Monaco, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.[10]

Arrivals by country

Most visitors arriving to Kazakhstan on short term basis were from the following countries:

Rank Country 2015 2016
1 Template:Flagcountry N/A 615,877
2 Template:Flagcountry N/A 409,600
3 Template:Flagcountry N/A 220,000
4 Template:Flagcountry N/A 176,259
5 Template:Flagcountry N/A 90,377
6 Template:Flagcountry N/A 81,433
7 Template:Flagcountry N/A 50,722
8 Template:Flagcountry N/A 49,061
9 Template:Flagcountry N/A 15,810
10 Template:Flagcountry N/A 8,650



External links

Template:Tourism in Asia
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