The Tourism Sector in Kazakhstan is growing faster than Asian average, receiving 4.6 million international visitors in 2019. According to the Government of Kazakhstan and the Strategy for Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan 2030 Strategy), Tourism is identified as an industry of national interest and importance, which can bring economic diversification, quality of life and wellbeing for the people of Kazakhstan. In 2019, Tourism contribution to country´s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 1.8% and it encompassed 2.2% of the total employment of the country. Moreover, according to the Government of Kazakhstan, the share of Tourism in the country´s GDP can reach 8% by 2023. In order to drive this significant increase taking into account the natural, social and economic resources of the country, sustainability must be a priority for the Tourist Accommodation Sector in Kazakhstan.
The recently launched “State Program for Development of Tourism Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2019-2025” addresses this issue by considering the best international Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Practices and technologies. SCP aims at improving the overall environmental performance of products and services throughout their life cycle, while stimulating the demand for better products and services and helping consumers to make informed choices.
At this moment, the main needs and constraints the Tourism Sector is facing are:
- Absence of quality and sustainability standards.
- Poorly planned facilities.
- Inadequate skilled human resources.
- Climate change devastating consequences on natural resources of Kazakhstan.
- Low government budget to Tourism Sector.
- Scarce opportunities for interaction with the private sector.
- Limited understanding of Tourism Sector by financial institutions.
- Insufficient destination marketing and promotion.