ASTANA, December 28 (EFE) – Kazakhstan, the world’s ninth largest country, is relying on Spanish aid to strengthen its tourism industry and turn it into an important source of income for the Central Asian country. During its history, it will be visited by more than 1 million tourists.
According to official figures, the local tourism sector attracted investments worth $880 million in the first nine months of this year.
“All this creates great potential for Spanish companies, large and small, with experience in the tourism sector,” Kazakhstan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vasilenko said in an interview with EFE.
“We therefore rely on the support and mutually beneficial participation of Spanish companies, which are one of our important partners in Europe.”
Vasilenko said that cooperation in the tourism sector is expected to be one of the main topics on the official visit of Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Álvarez to Kazakhstan next year.
“Currently, the embassy in Madrid has contacted the Spanish Institute of Tourism Quality (ICTE), which will help Kazakhs create a system to evaluate the quality of tourism services,” he said.
He also noted the recent agreement between Kazakhstan’s Boshalak International Program Center and the Swiss company Les Roches Global Hospitality Education to enable Kazakh students and tourism professionals to improve their skills in Spain. also mentioned.
The Deputy Minister said that next year Kazakhstan will host the second forum of university presidents from Kazakhstan and Spain, the first of which was held eight years ago in Madrid. Higher education institutions also plan to participate, he said.
He added that in addition to developing human resources for the tourism industry, Kazakhstan is taking other measures to promote tourism.
“Currently, citizens of 80 countries can stay in Kazakhstan for up to 30 days without a visa, while citizens of 109 other countries can obtain an electronic visa,” Vasilenko explained.
The senior diplomat emphasized that Kazakhstan’s image as a country with an attractive investment climate is supported by prestigious international institutions.
The Deputy Minister said that Kazakhstan and Spain will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership Agreement next year.
According to Astana data, trade between Kazakhstan and Spain in 2022 increased by 42% year-on-year to $2.6 billion, while trade in the first 11 months of 2023 amounted to $1.72 billion.
“If we objectively assess the potential of our two countries, we believe that we have all the conditions to reach a new qualitative level of cooperation,” Vasilenko summed up. EFE