Colors of Creative Tourism in Kazakhstan

The Creative Tourism Forum 2023 convened in Turkistan on December 1 to explore the nuances of tourism experiences and leverage the creative industries’ potential.

Spearheaded by the Kazakh Ministry of Tourism and Sports and backed by regional authorities and Kazakh Tourism, the event aimed to tackle challenges while capitalizing on opportunities within the tourism sector.

The gathering brought together delegates from local creative centers, along with professionals specializing in education, architecture, and urban planning. It featured an art fair, educational exhibits, and seminars as part of its agenda.

Irina Kharitonova, Director of the Creative Tourism Department at Kazakh Tourism, emphasized that creativity thrives on innovation, asserting that the creative industry significantly appeals to tourists.

Kharitonova highlighted the aim of the creative economy: empowering creators to monetize their potential. Within the Turkistan Travel fest, diverse events like a photography festival, educational sessions, fairs, street performances, and eco-friendly tours were organized.

Such initiatives not only foster regional growth but also enhance tourist appeal. Hosting the creative forum stands as a pivotal component in facilitating dialogue among stakeholders, she noted.

Kazakhstan recently integrated creative activity and industries into its private business sector through amendments to the Law on Culture and the Entrepreneurial Code.

This inclusion signifies a significant step toward recognizing the creative sector’s economic contribution. Events like the World Nomad Games are emblematic of this shift towards creative tourism, actively contributing to the sector’s expansion in the country.

Adil Konysbekov, Turkistan Region’s Deputy Head of the Department of Culture, highlighted regional initiatives aimed at bolstering the industry’s growth during a panel session.

Hamdi Güvenç, Aviation CEO and Board Member of YDA Group, emphasized the critical need for infrastructure development, specifically citing airport infrastructure, as pivotal for advancing tourism.

Turkish companies are eager to exchange their travel industry expertise with Kazakh counterparts. Turkiye’s notable achievement, ranked fourth globally for tourist arrivals by the World Tourism Organization, underscores their substantial experience in the field.

Daniyar Mukitanov, leading experimentation at the UNDP in Kazakhstan, revealed an agreement between UNDP and the Kazakh Ministry of National Economy to fund a regional development program.

This initiative targets the Abai, Zhetisy, Ulytau, and Kyzylorda Regions. The program involves expert meetings focused on analyzing regional creative ecosystems, assessing factors shaping their growth, and understanding the requirements and aspirations of creative stakeholders.

The cultural and creative industries globally contribute 3.1% to the GDP and employ 6.2% of the workforce. In 2020, these sectors made up 2.67% of Kazakhstan’s GDP, providing jobs for about 95,000 individuals. Investments in fixed capital totaled around 33.3 billion tenge ($72 million).

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev highlighted the economic and employment impact of the creative industry in his state of the nation address on Sept. 1. He urged the government to foster an environment conducive to extensive development within Kazakhstan’s creative economy.

SOURCE: Colors of Creative Tourism in Kazakhstan