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Development of Sustainable Tourism in Kazakhstan: Dialogue with Government Officials

ALMATY – Today, the prospects of sustainable tourism development in Kazakhstan were discussed by government officials with national and European experts at the conference organized by the EU-funded project “Implementation of SCP practices and sustainability schemes in the MSMEs of the Tourism Sector in Kazakhstan” (SUSTOUKA) to share knowledge and foster the implementation of sustainable consumption and production practices in the tourism sector.

The conference participants reviewed the national legislation on sustainable tourism. The discussion was built around the following questions: How to implement sustainable policies? Potential benefits of sustainable tourism? National and international experts shared their knowledge and presented successful case studies.

Mr Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan stressed “the importance to have an open dialogue among all relevant public and private stakeholders and policy-makers to develop the right set of state policies and business incentives for a truly sustainable tourism, which will create new jobs and improve livelihoods of local communities”.

Mrs Bahytgul Khambar, Director of the Economic Research Institute, the Secretariat of the Sustainable Development Coordination Council, “In line with the State Programme on Tourism Sector Development for 2019-2025, we are now developing quality standards for this priority sector. We are happy to learn from European experts about the Travelife sustainability certification system, which could be introduced in our tourism accommodation sector and among our tour operators. It is our shared responsibility to develop sustainable tourism to preserve our unique nature and ensure a green recovery from the pandemic”.

The SUSTOUKA project is funded by the EU under the SWITCH-Asia programme. The EU’s contribution is EUR 1,236,436 for the total budget of EUR 1,545,547. The project’s duration is 36 months (2020-2023). It is implemented by a consortium led by EKOTEK (Project Coordinator) and composed of the European Centre for Eco and Agro Tourism (ECEAT), Kazakhstan Tourist Association (KTA) and Kazakh Association of Hotels and Restaurants (KAGIR). SUSTOUKA aims at boosting the transformation of Kazakhstan towards an inclusive green economy by enhancing the sustainability and competitiveness of its Tourism Sector as a key sector for the country.

For more information, please contact Ms. Elnura Abakanova, Communications officer, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, e-mail: elnura.abakanova@eeas.europa.eu; Mr Juan Antonio Gascón, SUSTOKA project coordinator, e-mail: jagascon@ekotek.es.

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