During a press conference following the Government meeting, Deputy Minister of Culture and Sport Askar Batalov spoke about the goals and tools for implementing the updated Tourism Industry Development Concept 2023.

According to A. Batalov, in connection with tourism entering the Olympic circuit, the industry faces an important task - to increase the share of tourism in GDP to 8% by 2025 and to ensure 100% growth of inbound tourism.

“As a rule, 95% of tour operators are focused only on outbound tourism. It is necessary that tour operators, together with authorized bodies, identify Kazakhstan as a place to where it is necessary to attract both domestic and foreign tourists. With this in mind, the previous version of the Tourism Industry Development Concept has been updated,” – A. Batalov said.

The main tool for implementing the Concept will be the Action Plan. Within the project management, specific indicators are set, according to which the labor productivity will annually increase up to 4-5%, the employment of the population - by 5%. This, according to A. Batalov, will increase the share of tourism in the structure of Kazakhstan’s economy.

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This was stated at a press conference in the Government press center by Minister of Investments and Development Zhenis Kassymbek.

According to him, only in the last 7 years transit passenger traffic by air grew more than 20 times: from 20 thousand people in 2010 to 478 thousand people in 2016.

Answering the question of a Primeminister.kz correspondent about the development of transit in civil aviation, Zhenis Kassymbek noted that air transit is one of the important components of Kazakhstan's economy. After all, every transit passenger leaves about 600 USD in Kazakhstan.

“If you subtract all transportation costs, then a transit passenger leaves a minimum of 200-250 USD in Kazakhstan if they stay for half a day or a day,” – the Minister said.

The number of transit flights through Kazakhstan’s airspace increases 6-7% annually. Key passenger flows through Kazakhstan are observed in the following directions: from China to Europe, Russia and Turkey, between Europe and India, Southeast Asia, between Ukraine and Uzbekistan, between Kyrgyzstan and South Korea, from Europe to Southeast Asia.

“This year we expect that about 130 thousand aircraft of foreign states will fly through Kazakhstan. To increase the attractiveness of air transit through Kazakhstan within the framework of the Presidential Address "Third Modernization of Kazakhstan: Global Competitiveness", by the end of 2017 it is planned to transport 600 thousand transit air passengers, and up to 1.6 million people before 2020,” – Z. Kassymbek added.

To achieve these indicators, a 72-hour visa-free regime was introduced in pilot mode for citizens of the People's Republic of China, which transit through airports of Astana and Almaty by Kazakhstan airlines during the period of EXPO-2017. The attractiveness of flights to our country will also be significantly facilitated by introducing a visa-free regime for citizens of OECD, EU, UAE, Malaysia, the Republic of Singapore and the Kingdom of Monaco (45 countries in total).

Introduction of an open sky for Astana for the period of EXPO also played a very positive role - frequencies increased on international routes. For example, aircraft began to fly to Beijing and London daily. 9 new routes have been opened in the last month.

"There is a positive effect. We believe that we can take a worthy place in this market as a major transit country," - Z. Kassymbek said.

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The Government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, in accordance with the Presidential Address, adopted the bill “On Amendments to the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Administrative Offenses”.

According to Minister of Justice M. Beketayev, the amendments aim at humanizing the legislation and contain norms that mitigate penalties for administrative offenses. Explanatory work on the bill was carried out in media, social networks, as well as in the framework of regional seminars and public hearings.

Following consideration, the bill was adopted and sent for consideration to the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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During the Government meeting, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev instructed to take measures to ensure stable growth of transit traffic volumes.

Bakytzhan Sagintayev instructed the Ministry of Investments and Development together with concerned state bodies to carry out work with foreign partners in the EAEU, SCO and other international organization on increasing transit traffic through Kazakhstan,

In addition, the Ministry of Investments and Development is tasked to work out the issue of introducing information support for the movement of goods and bringing road service facilities on the main transit corridors in accordance with national standards.

The KTZ National Company needs to intensify the work on increasing volumes of container transportation and ensure the timely creation of a network of transport and logistics centers, both in the country and abroad.

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The Government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev considered the development of transit, logistics and roadside service in the country.

According to the Ministry of Investments and Development, in 2016 the share of the transport sector in GDP was about 7.8%, while the Volume Index was 103.8%. The main transit of goods falls on road and rail transport.

Measures are being taken to increase the volume of container transportations, including on the promising PRC-EU-PRC direction. In 2016, 245 thousand containers were transported by transit across the territory of Kazakhstan, which is 35.3 thousand more than in 2015, or 14%. During the 5 months of this year, the volume of container traffic amounted to 119 thousand TEU, which is 34% more compared to the same period in 2016.

In the field of road transport, growth of indicators was due to the launch of the Western Europe - Western China transit corridor. In 2016, 1.4 million tonnes of cargo were transported, which is 11.6% more than in 2015. Over 5 months of this year, more than one million tonnes of cargo were transported, which is twice as much as in the same period in 2016. The main directions are cargoes from China (55.3%) and Uzbekistan (26.2%) to the countries of the EAEU.

In order to develop the capacity of air transportations by the end of this year, it is planned to transport 600 thousand transit passengers, and by 2020 to raise this figure to 1.6 million people per year.

First Deputy Prime Minister A. Mamin commented on the issue of expanding transit container transportations from China through the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan: "By 2020, up to 80% of the transit flow will account for transit container transportation by land transport through the territory of Kazakhstan. This is a good dynamic".

Chairman of the Board of JSC NC KTZ K. Alpysbayev and Chairman of the Board of JSC KazAvtoZhol Y. Kizatov reported on the development of container freight transportation and roadside service. Akims of Kyzylorda and Aktobe regions K. Kusherbayev and B. Saparbayev reported on the work on developing transit potential in the regions.

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The Government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev considered the development of Kazakhstan’s transport and logistics potential.

Minister of Investments and Development Zhenis Kassymbek reported that the past 5 years saw construction and reconstruction of 4.2 thousand kilometers of roads of national importance, including within the Nurly Zhol State Program – 1.3 thousand km.

The stretch of railway lines has been increased by 1,854 km; the Arkalyk-Shubarkol and Zhezkazgan-Beineu sections have been put into operation, which allowed providing direct access from the east to the west of Kazakhstan and further to the Persian Gulf countries via the Uzen-Bolashak railway line. The Borzhakty - Yersai stretch was commissioned and construction of the Almaty-Shu section first phase was completed.

The construction of railway lines of the ferry complex in the village of Kuryk was completed. The infrastructure of the Dry Port in FEZ Khorgos - Eastern Gate is fully formed at the border with China. Of the 18 airports in the country, 15 have reconstructed and constructed runways and 11 passenger terminals.

According to the result of 2016, Kazakhstan improved its position in the World Bank's "Logistics Performance Index" on the "Quality of Infrastructure" index from the 106 to 65 place. According to the Ministry, measures to develop the transport and logistics industry, including within the framework of project management, will improve even this indicator.

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At the Government meeting, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev instructed to take measures to further develop Kazakhstan’s tourism industry in view of the recommendations of the World Tourism Organization.

The Government will continue working on liberalizing visa and migration policies and developing air services in order to make it as easy as possible for tourists to visit Kazakhstan. To date, the list of visa-free countries has been expanded to 63 states; there is a 72-hour visa-free regime for citizens of the PRC and the regime of "open skies" in the Astana airport. At the same time, it is necessary to resolve issues of registering foreigners in the migration police, introducing electronic visas, diversifying air services.

On behalf of Prime Minister B. Sagintayev, the Ministry of Culture and Sport will develop an effective model for marketing domestic tourism products, including by creating in-house brand and promoting the country's tourism potential in the international arena.

Following the consideration, the Government adopted the Tourism Industry Development Concept 2023.

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During the Government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization T. Rifai gave recommendations on developing the tourism industry in Kazakhstan.

According to the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization T. Rifai, Kazakhstan has good potential to become a country with a developed tourism industry. To this end, it is necessary to continue improving the visa policy, liberalizing the legislation in the tourism industry and taking measures to promote the country brand.

Akims of East Kazakhstan, South Kazakhstan, Kyzylorda regions and the city of Almaty D. Akhmetov, Z. Tuimebayev, K. Kusherbayev and B. Baybek reported on the measures taken to develop tourism in the regions.

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The Government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev adopted the draft of the updated Tourism Industry Development Concept 2023.

Minister of Culture and Sport Arystanbek Mukhamediuly reported that the draft was developed within implementing the 86 step of the Nation Plan “100 concrete steps to implement five institutional reforms” of the Head of State. The concept is supposed to be implemented in two stages: 2018-2020 and 2021-2023.

According to the concept, six regional cultural and tourist clusters are planned: "Astana - the heart of Eurasia", "Almaty - a free cultural zone of Kazakhstan", "Pearl of Altai", "Great Silk Road Revival", "Caspian Gates", "Unity of Nature and Nomadic Culture ".

In view of the specifics of regions, new directions of tourism will be developed: sacral, camping, gastronomic, hunting, ethnographic, social tourisms and others. The Kazakhtourism organization will be created to promote a benign image of the country and conduct marketing.

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Today at Ukimet Uyi Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev held a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Peter Szijjarto.

The meeting discussed issues of further bilateral cooperation in trade, economy, agriculture, health, tourism and the oil and gas industry. It also considered the cooperation within AIFC and the holding of the National Day of Hungary within the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 on August 18 of this year.

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