Sustainable development of tourism in Kazakhstan

24.06.2022

Roundtable on "Mechanisms of interaction between government agencies and the business community to promote sustainable consumption / production practices and sustainable tourism in Kazakhstan».

A dialogue between government agencies, internationa.organizations, scientific institutions, the nongovernmental sector and the business community was held on June 23 in Almaty.

The round table participants considered the opportunities and barriers to the development of sustainable tourism, exchanged experiences and knowledge in the implementation of sustainable consumption and production practices in the tourism sector.

Main topics of the session:

1. International experience of interaction between government agencies and the business community to promote sustainable consumption / production practices and sustainable tourism.

2. Development of state support measures to promote sustainable consumption / production practices and sustainable tourism in Kazakhstan.

Yerlan Karimov, Deputy Director of the SDC Secretariat of the Economic Research Institute (ERI), took part in the event. 

Yerlan Karimov spoke about the opportunities and challenges of circular economy development in the field of tourism.

«The tourism sector is one of the most resource-intensive, requiring the use of a wide range of limited resources, such as water, energy, food production, and so on» - the speaker noted.

His presentation included information on the difference between linear and circular economy, as well as the existing economic, environmental and social problems in the development of sustainable tourism in the world and in Kazakhstan. 

For reference:

A circular or circular economy is a system that allows the regeneration of resources, i.e. a system in which the primary resources used and waste, emissions and energy losses are minimized by improving technological processes. The principles of circular economy can be applied in all areas of the economy, including tourism.

«The transition to a circular economy will create enormous opportunities for the modernization of production and innovation, providing annual productivity growth of 3%, and, as a consequence, GDP growth of 7%,» ERI expert stressed.

He gave some examples of current challenges, which have been published in international and domestic studies.  Thus, according to the forecasts of the UN, under the standard scenario of tourism development by 2050, energy consumption will increase by 154%, greenhouse gas emissions by 131%, water consumption by 152% and solid waste disposal by 251% 

The speaker also noted the importance of cooperation between tourism and agriculture, as both areas have a high potential for development in the country and the possibility of moving to a system of circular economy.

The conference was also addressed by the Vice Minister of Culture and Sports Yerzhan Erkinbayev, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to the RK Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Project Manager of "ECOTEC" Juan Gascon, Project Manager "ECOTEC" Pello Alfonso, representative of the Latvian Association of Rural Tourism Juris Smalinskis, Managing Director of JSC "Entrepreneurship Development Fund" Damu "Aliya Agybayeva, Vice Chairman of Kazakhstan National Committee for UNESCO" Man and Biosphere" Victoria Ilina, the head of the project to develop ecological tourism in the national parks "Charyn" and "Altyn Emel" Zhanibek Alkeyev, Managing Director - Director of the Department of Tourism of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan "Atameken" Damila Kunanova, Director of the Kazakhstan Association of Regional Environmental Initiatives ECOJER Yuri Tleumuratov, expert on ecotourism and eco-education UNDP Irina Kovshar, Dr. of Economics, Aizhan Tleuberdinova, Chief Researcher at the Institute of Economics, Committee of Science of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Kazakhstan; Evgeny Mukhamedjanov, founder of the ECONETWORK project; and others.

Roundtable participants

 

Vice-Minister of Culture and Sports Yerzhan Yerkinbayev, opening the round table, told about the work carried out by the Government of Kazakhstan to support the tourism industry within the framework of state programs. So, there is a lot of work on bilateral agreements of Kazakhstan on mutual visa-free travels. Now in Kazakhstan visa-free regime is established for 74 countries of the world, it is planned to increase the coverage up to 100 countries.

 

Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, head of cooperation at the EU Delegation to the Republic of Korea, noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector was the hardest hit and now it is necessary to work on greening the tourism sector and shifting to sustainable use of limited resources.

   

Juris Smalinskis, a representative of the Latvian Association of Rural Tourism, shared Latvia's experience in promoting ecotourism and its relationship to the Latvian Sustainable Development Strategy until 2030.

 

Zhanibek Alkeev, head of the project to develop ecotourism in the national parks "Charyn" and "Altyn Emel" talked about the development of ecotourism in the national parks "Charyn" and "Altyn Emel" and the importance of involving the younger generation in this area.

  



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