Welcome Letters 2018

On behalf of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), I commend Iteca and the ITE Group for the continued success of the Kazakhstan International Tourism Exhibition in its 14th year. Astana Leisure 2018 has become one of Kazakhstan’s and the region’s primary showcases for innovation, marketing and networking opportunities in travel and tourism.

Assisted by the unstoppable forces of digitalization and connectivity, tourism has come of age globally over the past decade. International tourism has grown strongly for eight straight years, with arrivals surpassing 1.3 million in 2017. At the same time, it has provided jobs, empowered communities and improved livelihoods.

Europe is the world’s most popular tourism region, welcoming half of the world’s international tourists in 2017. Central and Eastern Europe – including Kazakhstan – saw a 5% year-on-year increase in arrivals. This is proof that the impact of tourism in the region is huge. All tourism stakeholders must efficiently work together to translate this growth into more jobs, more competitive economies, better lives for citizens and a more sustainable future.

Innovation in technology will play a big part in reaching these goals. UNWTO has made it a priority to scale up innovation and digitalization in tourism, with Europe naturally at the forefront of these efforts as a mature and technologically advanced tourism region.

I am pleased to see Kazakhstan making decisive efforts to seize the transformative potential of tourism, coupled with innovation and technological advances, to create lasting, sustainable economic prosperity across the country. We look forward to the opening of the international innovation centre for tourism, which will be the first of its kind in Central Asia and built on the site of the Astana EXPO 2017.

As part of the Astana EXPO 2017, Kazakhstan cooperated with UNWTO to host the first World Conference on Tourism and Future Energy. This global conference undoubtedly gave Astana a platform for harnessing increasing tourism flows for sustainable socio-economic growth, and for a greater role for Kazakhstan on the global stage.

I trust that this 15th edition of Astana Leisure will be an opportune occasion for productive and meaningful exchanges of ideas, initiatives and good practices that can further contributions to innovative, sustainable and responsible tourism development in Kazakhstan and in the region. I encourage participants to enhance collaboration to this end, in line with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Zurab Pololikashvili
Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Congratulations on the opening of the 15th Astana Leisure exhibition, as well as thanks to the exhibition organizers for the opportunity to greet the participants from all over the world.

Under the wise leadership of President Nazarbayev and after gaining Independence in 1991, Kazakhstan shows amazing development. In particular, the transfer of the capital to the city of Astana has become a very important course in the strategy for the development of the country and society. Astana, having hosted EXPO last year and celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has become an international city.

Today's exhibition will also make a great contribution to the enhancement of the status of the capital. Kazakhstan, emphasizing on the natural environment and traditions in all regions, including Astana, is a country with a huge touristic potential. In this context, the policy of the Government of Kazakhstan on the development of the tourism industry is timely and of great importance.

According to the UN World Tourism Organization, the number of tourists traveling abroad in 2017 increased by 7% compared to the previous year, totaling to 1 billion 323 million people. And it is expected that this figure will reach 1.8 billion people towards 2030. Such a positive growth trend of tourists around the world makes the tourism industry one of the most promising sectors of the future with a high level of employment in comparison to other branches of economy.

In connection with the growing number of reciprocal visits, after the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, Kazakhstan and South Korea signed an agreement on the abolition of visa requirements between the two states in November of 2014. After which, during the last three years in the period of 2015 to 2017, the number of visits to the Republic of Korea by Kazakhstan citizens increased by 24% and in 2017 the number of visitors from Kazakhstan has reached 44 thousand people. While the number of visits to Kazakhstan by Korean citizens increased by 18%, totaling to 30 thousand people.

Given the sharp increase in the number of mutual visits, the Korean Government highly appreciates the potential cooperation between the two countries in the field of tourism, and based on its experience with Kazakhstan, Korea is planning to expand cooperation in the field of tourism with the countries of the Central Asian region. In this regard, the office of the Korean Tourism Organization was opened in Almaty in July of last year. The Korean Tourism Organization will represent the Korean stand at the Astana Leisure exhibition today.

The Korean stand will demonstrate not only information about Korea, but also about culture and medicine of Korea. I invite you all to visit our stand during the exhibition.

I wish Astana Leisure to develop and become the main international tourist exhibition of the Central Asian region. And to all visitors and participants of the exhibition, I wish favorable and mutually beneficial pastime!

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the
Republic of Korea to the Republic of Kazakhstan
Kim Daesik

Ladies and gentlemen!

On behalf of Trade Representation of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Kazakhstan, I welcome all participants and guests of the 15th Kazakhstan International Tourism Exhibition-Astana Leisure 2018!

Tourism is becoming a key branch of economy and one of priority areas of the program of forced industrial and innovative development of the country. Development of tourism industry contributes to improvement of socio-economic situation of our countries, improvement of their transport, cultural, recreational and recreational opportunities. These are dozens of thousands of new jobs and development of local infrastructure.

The Russian Federation is an amazing country, combining the most beautiful natural landscapes, unique objects of national and world cultural and historical heritage, unique monuments of history and architecture, diversity of peoples and cultures, all this is a huge resource that we are obliged to preserve, develop and demonstrate to the guests of our immense Homeland. To achieve this goal, tourism in all its diversity is an extremely effective tool.

Holding of such exhibitions helps to acquire new knowledge and opportunities to promote our country's image in the world, and also to learn and adopt best practices in development of tourism, which contributes to expansion of cooperation and international contacts between our countries.

Presence of Russian companies at the exhibition - it is embodiment of close historical ties connecting Russia and Kazakhstan.

I wish all participants, organizers and guests of the exhibition fruitful work, effective interaction, sustainable partnerships, luck, prosperity and success in achievement of the goals!

Sales Representative of
the Russian Federation in
the Republic of Kazakhstan
А.V. Yakovlev