By Wan Nadia Khairani Wan Chik
ALMATY (KAZAKHSTAN), June 21 (Bernama) -- The Almaty Tourism Department will intensify its campaigns to attract more tourists from Malaysia and other countries in Southeast Asia next year.
Its Promotion Department chief, Aslan Konyrkhanov, said various publicity activities have been conducted ahead of its participation in the International Tourismus-Boerse (ITB) Asia 2019 in Singapore in October.
“Last Ramadan, we organised a workshop to highlight the uniqueness and tourist attractions of Almaty to tour operators in Malaysia, as well as online promotions.
“We will also take part in ITB Asia in Singapore, and will also meet Malaysian tour operators there.
“In fact, we have a plan to increase the publicity-related activities and promotion programmes to the countries that participate in the ITB Asia next year,” he told media representatives who took part in an Almaty tourist attraction tour in collaboration with Air Astana recently.
Aslan said apart from intensifying efforts to increase and improve tourism-related infrastructure throughout Almaty, his department will also introduce new tourist attractions, including Ethnoland Ethnic Culture Complex which will be built next year.
He said it was part of their commitment to achieve the target of having the tourism sector contribute six percent to gross regional product by 2025.
“At the moment, the contribution of tourism to the gross regional product is 1.5 percent. We want to increase it to six percent by 2025.
“We developed a plan called 100 Steps for the Development of Tourism in the City of Almaty and this plan includes improvement of infrastructure, solutions for administrative obstacles and promotion steps to foreign countries.”
In addition, Aslan said his office also makes an effort to obtain the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) recognition as a World Heritage Site for several eco-tourism locations in Almaty.
“There are four Unesco Cultural Heritage sites in the region, including the Petroglyphs National Park which lies within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly, White Mountain of Aktau and the Singing Dune.
“There are still a lot of archaeological works going on. Our scientists and researchers are working on that at the moment,” he said.
He said the number of tourists to Almaty increased by 11.8 percent to 1.1 million visitors in 2018 compared with the year before, with 44 percent of them being domestic tourists.
Investment in the tourism industry has also increased by 28.7 percent to US$203.65 million in 2018 compared to 2017.