It is proposed to develop infrastructure for auto tourism along the route “Western Europe – Western China” in Kazakhstan.
President of the Kazakhstan Association of Camping Tourism and Caravanning Bayan Shapagatova suggested creating conditions for the development of caravanning in the country at the expert platform of the corporate fund “Elbasy Academy”. “It’s better to do many tourism projects than one big one. We spend money on some very expensive projects, but for the same amount we can create a whole network of caraway parking. Caravanning is historically nomadic tourism. We are considered nomads in the world. But we see tourism developing in the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, and more recently China, where four motorhome factories have already opened. And we see that there was a boom during the pandemic. RV sales in Europe climbed 35% and in the US 500-300%. There are about 70-80 caraway clubs in the world, in which 5 million members are in China. This is a lot of potential. Having such a large territory as we have, in Kazakhstan, having the historical Silk Road, we are simply obliged to develop this type of tourism, ”Bayan Shapagatova believes. To develop car tourism, she notes, a simple, low-cost infrastructure is needed. For example, a caravanning network can be created along the Western Europe – Western China road. “That is, we could launch this stream. Moreover, with this type of tourism, the requirements of social distancing are met. That is, the tourist with the whole family lives in a motorhome. He does not need to visit hotels, does not need to contact a large number of people. A site somewhere in a beautiful place is enough, and a number of parking lots are needed before this site. During this route, he can buy goods, souvenirs. Turkey started with trailer tourism. And now they see what flow went to the purchase of motorhomes in the European Union. They invited European tourists to come to Turkey by motorhomes, ”said the president of the Kazakhstan Association of Camping Tourism and Caravanning. During a discussion on the possibilities and prospects for the development of Kazakhstani tourism, the director of the Academy of Elbasy, Farhad Kuanganov, noted that the current state program for the development of tourism in the republic sets the task of increasing the industry’s share in GDP to 8%. “This is a very ambitious task, given the situation in which she is now. At the same time, the mechanisms of tourism development offered by the program remain more traditional, it is necessary to pay more attention to systemic work in the form of partnership between the state and business, ”he concluded. The industry mentor, director of Zhibek Zholy Company LLP Timur Duysengaliev noted that the development of the tourism industry in Kazakhstan would be to some extent influenced by autonomy, since the tourism sector is not an independent structure. In his presentation, he stressed the importance of creating an interdepartmental tourism council, which would have direct access to the government. He considers the experience of France to be an exemplary model of the structure of the tourism department. At the same time, the industry, Timur Duysengaliev believes, is underfunded today. International experts in the field of education and hospitality management have raised the issue of the lack of qualified personnel in Kazakhstani tourism. This carries its own risks for the industry. “According to their data, there are over 300 universities in Kazakhstan that train specialists in the hotel business, but no one goes to hotels for practice. Due to the lack of qualified personnel in the tourism and hotel business, the share in Kazakhstan is about 1.9%, ”said Taryk Volkan Oskai, director of business development at Capital Partners, mentor of the program for training industry managers. One of the ways to solve this issue, he proposed to consider the popular student exchange model, which was launched online in the context of a pandemic.