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Monday, August 21, 2017

Kazakhstan's development program aims to bolster tourism industry

The Kazakhstan State Program of Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development is focusing on developing the tourism industry through large-scale transformations.

The program would create five new tourism clusters around Astana, Almaty, East Kazakhstan, South Kazakhstan and West Kazakhstan up through 2020, according to The Astana Times.

Additionally, the development would abolish visa regimes for citizens from countries that are politically and economically stable. It would also develop subsidies for domestic transportation.

Between 2011 and 2013, Kazakhstan rose by five places on the competitiveness index for tourism, The Astana Times reports.

The Tourism Industry Committee, meanwhile, is developing the industry through national contests, including the Myths and Legends contest and the Best Regional Tourism Startups contest.

"Tourism should be a priority sector of the economy," Asset Issekeshev, Kazakhstan's deputy prime minister, said, according to The Astana Times. "It's time to withdraw the industry from the social sphere and the category of non-core assets. The tourist branch can develop and grow faster than the GDP and one job in this industry costs 10 times less than in the manufacturing industry. Tourism in the global economy is one of the leading creators of jobs; it creates over 75 million vacancies in the world. Every 11th or 12th employee works in this sector and international tourism provides employment, first of all for youth and women."