The Mayor of Almaty held a meeting of the Business Council, during which the issues of tourism development in the metropolis were discussed. Bauyrzhan Baibek instructed to take into account all the collected proposals in the development of the Comprehensive Tourism Development Program in Almaty until 2020, the city Mayor's Office reported.
During the meeting the Mayor of Almaty noted that today tourism forms 10% of world GDP and this trend continues to grow, therefore tourism is defined in the development program of "Almaty-2020" as a new driver of growth and a priority sector of city's economy.
"Already today every second foreign visitor of Kazakhstan visits Almaty, however the share of tourism in GRP of the city is still insignificant and is only 1.5%. The analysis of tourism development in 10 competing and other countries has determined a number of advantages of Almaty, which can become drivers of growth of this industry. Among them are the millennial history of the city on the Great Silk Road, the presence of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the well-developed infrastructure of the city and the proximity of almost pristine nature. Almaty can become the tourist capital of Central Asia", B. Baybek said.
In addition, the analysis of the competitiveness of the Almaty tour product in 25 country and city ratings showed that Kazakhstan and Almaty are confident in the 22 ratings.
Thus, in the rating of brand recognition of the country according to Bloom Consulting Kazakhstan is on 98 place among 193 countries. In the ranking of Doing Business in the 36th place out of 190, according to the cost and quality of life Mercer, Kazakhstan takes 178 place out of 400 countries. This means that along with affordable cost of living, there are favorable regulatory environment and conditions for doing business.
According to the participants of the Business Council, the development of tourism in Almaty today is also positively influenced by the work on creating a comfortable urban environment and promoting the city as an attractive tourist destination through sports, ethno-cultural, medical and event tourism.
At the same time, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed, including at the central level. Among them, the need to improve the system of tourism statistics, improve the availability of airfares and expand direct routes, optimize the procedure for obtaining visas, etc. A number of other issues were also voiced. For example, despite the fact that places of budget accommodation are becoming more popular, the legislation does not have such a concept as a hostel, which prevents further development of this direction. Today, the number of hostels in the last year in Almaty has doubled, from 60 to 120.
Following the meeting of the Business Council, the Mayor of the megapolis instructed the relevant departments to take into account all the issues raised and proposals during the development of the Comprehensive Tourism Development Program in Almaty until 2020.