Almaty Region boosts trade and tourism

The tourist potential of the Almaty Region is rich and diverse. The region has unique opportunities for the development of all types of tourism, starting from cultural and eco-tourism, including the observation of rare species of flora and fauna, to adventure tourism, wellness tourism and others. In order to develop all these areas, the local authorities adopted the Tourism Roadmap for Almaty oblast for 2018-2020 taking into account the priority development of domestic and inbound tourism.

The Almaty Region is also a key entry point into Kazakhstan from China as it implements its famed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which opens great trade opportunities and boosts tourism infrastructure. From 2016-2018, Almaty oblast signed 22 public-private partnership (PPP) agreements worth 33 billion tenge ($86.3 million) and generated 12 billion tenge (US$31.4 million) of private investment, as well as created more than 400 new jobs.

Increasing number of transnational corporations started doing business in the region. The Khorgos-Eastern Gate SEZ (special economic zone), a major transport and logistics hub at the crossroads of commodity flows between China, Central Asia and the Eurasian Union, provides a powerful impetus to the economic development of the oblast.

All of the above mentioned factors impacted the development of tourism infrastructure as well. In 2018, an investment of 2.5 billion tenge (US$6.5 million) allowed the region to commission 33 facilities on the shore of Lake Alakol and create 216 new jobs. The construction of a multifunctional five-star, 400-bed Koktem Grand Resort has been completed. Its investor is Falcon Petroleum LLC; the hotel resort is officially open.

The work carried out in 2018 showed that the tourist flow to Lake Alakol grew by 35.4 percent compared with 2017 and amounted to over one million people. By 2025, the projected flow of tourists will reach 65,000 people per day and 320 km of tracks will be created. In general, the tourist flow to the Almaty Region is expected reach 4.165 million people.

Source: The Astana Times