Kazakhstan reports increased inflow of Chinese tourists after visa-free takes effect

Kazakhstan reported a 115% increase in tourist inflow from China / Collage by Kursiv.media

As Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Tourism reported, the number of Chinese tourists has risen by 115% since 2023, when a visa-free regime was introduced. In some ways, this increase has been driven by affordable vacation packages and winter entertainment.

According to a consumer sentiment survey in China by Dragon Trail International, Kazakhstan is the second most popular destination for Chinese tourists after Iceland.

«Thanks to softening visa requirements, Kazakhstan has become a more attractive place for Chinese tourists. Since 2023, when a visa-free regime was introduced, the number of tours in Kazakhstan by Chinese tourists has increased by 115%,» the ministry said in a statement.

According to Nancy Dai, an analyst from ForwardKeys, Kazakhstan’s achievements in the sphere of tourism have also been driven by a 23% increase in hotel room supply. At the same time, affordable vacation packages and attractive winter entertainment have also boosted Kazakhstan as an interesting destination for Chinese tourists, the expert added.

In November 2023, the governments of China and Kazakhstan effectively lifted visa requirements for their citizens. As a result, people can stay up to 30 days in either country or 90 days combined within 180 calendar days.

This arrangement followed the official visit of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to China in May 2023, where he and his Chinese counterpart agreed to introduce a visa-free regime and signed a corresponding agreement. President Tokayev said at the time that a visa-free regime with China would make Kazakhstan one of the more attractive tourist destinations for the Chinese.

As of today, Kazakhstanis can travel to 34 countries with no visa.

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