Beijing Convenes China- Kazakhstan Tourism Cooperation Forum
On June 5, China- Kazakhstan Tourism Cooperation Forum, co-organized by CNTA and Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Culture and Sport, was staged in Beijing. CNTA vice chairman Li Shihong, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Culture and Sport Askar Batalov and Ambassador to China Shakhrat Nuryshev attended and addressed the opening ceremony.
Li began by remembering CNTA chairman Li Jinzao to the audience and congratulating on the opening of the forum. According to him, China and Kazakhstan were connected by the ancient Silk Road more than 2,000 years ago. It was in Kazakhstan that Chinese president Xi Jinping proposed the New Silk Road Economic Belt initiative in September 2013, directing the world’s attention once again to and injecting new vitality into the ancient Silk Road. State heads of both countries also agreed to host the Chinese Tourism Year in Kazakhstan, aiming to bolster bilateral relations and tourism cooperation in the long run.
Then Li Shihong shared his thoughts on how to strengthen win-win tourism cooperation. First, to construct a pragmatic, efficient tourism cooperation mechanism. Both sides should make the best of the Tourism Year platform, adopt innovative modes of cooperation, enhance mutual understanding and increase the number of mutual visits. Second, to advance multi-tiered tourism cooperation by serving tourists. Both sides should improve the connectivity of their transport network, simplify the entry/exit policy, reinforce cooperation in market exploration, personnel training and infrastructure construction, and create a safe, comfortable travel environment. Third, to advance cooperation in key projects by serving enterprises. CNTA actively supports Chinese tourism companies to go global and invest in Kazakhstan for industrial integration, and welcomes Kazakhstan’s tourism companies to do business in China.
According to Mr. Batalov, China is a key strategic partner for Kazakhstan and has become one of the biggest outbound tourist sources in the world. Kazakhstan has been developing folklore tours, eco tours and hunting tours to attract Chinese visitors. The year of 2017 has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and by China, the Silk Road Tourism Year. In this year, Kazakhstan will host the Expo 2017 in Astana and the Chinese Tourism Year. All this means opportunities for tourism cooperation. Kazakhstan has been working to simplify the visa policy for Chinese tourists. This forum serves as a perfect exchange and cooperation platform, and will help bond tourism companies from both countries and expand their two-way tourism exchange.
According to Ambassador Nuryshev, the sound political and economic ties between Kazakhstan and China have laid a solid foundation for tourism cooperation. Both governments attach great importance to tourism development and their tourism cooperation has huge potentials. Thanks to ongoing efforts to simplify the visa policy and make transport and payment services easier, their two-way tourism exchange will continue to expand.
As one of the key activities for the Chinese Tourism Year of 2017, this forum featured thematic speeches and discussions. Under the theme of “Mutual Benefits through Tourism”, ideas were exchanged on the current status and prospects of China-Kazakhstan tourism cooperation. in particular, at the tourism promotional event and the business matchup event, tourism authorities and businesses from Beijing, Anhui, Hainan and Xinjiang in China and from Almaty, Akmola Region, South Kaz, and Zhambyl in Kazakhstan displayed their unique tourism resources and products, and over 100 Chinese tour operators had face-to-face communication with Kazakhstan’s 30-plus tourism companies, reaching several cooperation intents. The forum gathered a total of more than 300 participants, including business insiders and journalists from both countries.
Li Shihong held a meeting with the Kazakhstan delegation headed by Mr. Batalov before the opening ceremony.