Mangystau offering tourist routes
February 14. Kazpravda. Aktau
By Olga Zolotyh
In Madrid an annual International Tourism Exhibition FITUR 2014 took place, in which Kazakhstan, among 160 countries, showcased its projects, Mangystau region in particular. It is the region’s first appearance in this exhibition, which will hopefully attract tourists from Spain to it.
Already on the first day, the stand with Magystau landscapes had attracted a record number of visitors, both tourists who visited the exhibition and foreign travel agencies. Kazakhstan delegation availed of the opportunity to talk with potential foreign partners. In Madrid, advertising agencies who want to collaborate in promoting Kazakhstan as a promising region for tourism, came up with the offers.
In the result of the talks, already this April, a 15-member group is arriving in Aktau from Spain, wishing to visit historical and natural sights of the Caspian region and take pictures of them for an international travel magazine.
To European travelers Kazakhstan, and especially Magystau oblast, is an entirely new, unexplored route. They took interest in Kazakh delegation’s stories about the beauty of the land, through which many centuries ago lay the routes for streams of laden caravans. The Spaniards were surprised to learn that in the middle ages, Magystau and Usturt were the main gateway between the East and the West, and many of them were particularly interested in The Great Silk Road. But similar routes were offered by our neighbors – Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, which is why it was necessary to offer something that the Europeans would fall for. Therefore the offer of eco-tourism – seeing the pristine nature, learning local customs and culture, was just the thing.
– We told them about the Ustyurt Nature Reserve, Kendirli-Kayasan state conservation area and other reserves with their landscapes, flora, fauna, historical and architectural sights and monuments. It appears that European tourists are of late getting increasingly interested in medieval monasteries and castles, national features, flora and fauna of the pristine nature, – said the head of the regional tourism department Gulzhan Bayzhaunova.
They were impressed by photos and videos of Magystau with its desert landscapes , magnificent rock formations, canyons, sand dunes, underground mosques, necropolis, settlements of the Stone Age , Bronze Age burial mounds, shrines and temples of early nomads , the ruins of medieval towns and fortresses.
– We have offered 14 educational routes in Magystau, like the Karatuu mountains, holy shrines in the desert, the Karagiye depression, the Usturt natural park, underground mosques Shopan- Ata and Bekket-Ata, Kayasan Plateau , the Saura canyon and in the natural park of the Kulaly island, Bayzhaunova said.
-We are thinking of organizing jeep safari, living in a yurt to get the feel of the local customs, taste beshbarmak. For this end an ethnic village is abuilding in Zhyngyldy district. Souvenir magnets and other articles will be made on the tourism agency’s order.
She says Spanish tourism and advertising agencies keep e-mailing to her, offering cooperation. This spring the oblast will hopefully be welcoming first guests.
* * *
Five pearls of the homeland
February 14. Kazpravda
By Nurlan BAPANOV
The Tourism Committee of RK Ministry of Industry and New Technologies identified five clusters of historical and cultural tourism in Kazakhstan.
Chairman of the committee Marat Igaliyev informed at the meeting in the lower chamber of the Parliament that the ministry of industry and new technologies had drafted the Concept for the development of tourism industry in the Republic of Kazakhstan up to 2020.
The concept contains a set of measures aimed at the development of industry and its components. One of the main tourist products identified in the document is “Cultural tourism and tours” , i.e. organized tours and tours without guides to the places of cultural monuments and historical heritage, as well as “Short rest- weekend tours”, which provide travel to the sights and attractions in the cities and locations of historical monuments and cultural heritage.
Key places of tourism clusters’ development
Thus, the cluster “Astana” includes the city of Astana, Akmola oblast, south- western part of the North Kazakhstan region, western part of the Pavlodar oblast and north -eastern part of Karaganda oblast. The key places of tourist interest are the monuments of history, culture and nature – the state national natural parks “Burabai”, “Kokshetau”, “Buiratau”, “Karkaraly, “Bayan-Aul”, Karaganda city, places of tourist interest included in the tentative list of UNESCO: mounds with shaded boulders of Tasmolinsk culture, tombs of Begazy – Dandybay culture dating back to the megalithic period and the objects included in the serial transnational nomination “Silk Road” (settlement Bozok).
The cluster “Almaty” includes the city of Almaty and part of Almaty region. The key places of tourist interest are the archaeological landscape of Tamgaly with petroglyphs ( UNESCO object ); the natural park “Altyn Emel” included in the tentative list of UNESCO; Charyn Canyon; the Kapshagay water reservoir; the ski area near the city of Almaty with Ile- Alatau natural park; the tourism center “Jana Ile”, the petroglyphs of Eshkiolmes included in the tentative list of UNESCO, Issyk mounds and the objects comprising the transnational serial nomination “Silk Road” ( settlement Talgar, Boraldaysk Saki mounds).
The cluster “East Kazakhstan” consists of the northern and eastern part of the East Kazakhstan region. Key places of tourist interest are the Bukhtarma water reservoir; the river Irtysh, the lake Zhaisan; Katon-Karagay national natural park; the lake Markakol and canyon Kalzhir; Ridder – Anatai and Ivanovskiye mountains, the city of Semey.
It is planned that this cluster will expand its borders to the East Kazakhstan region and will include the state historical and cultural reserve “Berel” and the Alakol state nature reserve.
The cluster “South Kazakhstan” is represented by central and eastern parts of the Kyzylorda region, southern part of the South Kazakhstan region and the south- western part of Zhambyl oblast. Key places of tourist interest are the city Turkestan with the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassavi ( UNESCO object ); archaeological sights of the medieval Otrar and Otrar oasis included in the tentative list of UNESCO, an archaeological complex Sauran; the Karatau state natural reserve with the Paleolithic sections and geomorphology; the petroglyphs of Arpa- Uzen included in the tentative list of UNESCO; Aksu Zhabagly nature reserve included in the tentative list of UNESCO; Sairam- Ugamsk state natural park; the cosmodrome Baikonur; the cities Kyzylorda, Saryagash, Taraz.
In the future, this cluster also will be expanded. The rest part of all three regions will be added to it with new places of tourist interest: Turkic sanctuary Merke included in the tentative list of UNESCO and the state nature rserve Barsakelmes, objects and monuments of Jetyasar oasis and settlement Siganak.
The cluster “Western Kazakhstan” – Mangystau region and part of the West Kazakhstan oblast includes such key places of tourist interest as the underground mosques Becket -Ata, Shopan Ata and Karaman -Ata, the mausoleum of Omar and Tur; necropolis of the Mangyshlak peninsula, the monuments “Bokeyev Horde”, the Sherkal mountain; protected areas of Karagiye -Karakol ; Usturt state nature reserve and resort Kenderli.
As informed the Committee of tourism industry, the tourist routes to the places of history and culture were developed in each region of the country for internal cultural, educational, and pilgrimage tourism.