Kazakhstan won the most trending excursion destination for travelers from India at the Versatile Excellence Travel Awards (VETA), QazMonitor reports.
VETA is a major annual event in the Indian tourism industry where awards are given to companies and travel destinations that have shown significant growth in tourism development.
The awards is hosted by TravelScapes, a B2B monthly travel trade magazine in India.
Before the pandemic, India was Kazakhstan's sixth largest market after the U.S. for arrivals from outside the country. According to official statistics in 2019, there were 32,500 arrivals from India with an average stay of 2.4 nights.
Despite a significant drop in arrivals in 2020 and 2021, inbound tourism from India is recovering at a rapid pace. Last year, inbound arrivals from India totaled 28,300.
According to the information system eQonaq, from January 1 to February 5 this year, more than 2,000 tourists from India stayed at hotels in Kazakhstan. For comparison, last year only 159 tourists from India came to Kazakhstan during the same period.
Kazakhstan has been developing its tourism industry in a variety of directions from leisure to business tourism.
In 2020, Kazakhstan negotiated with representatives of the Travel Agencies Association of India (TAAI) to host the next convention.
At the beginning of 2022, the country held B2B meetings with 300 representatives of the Indian tourism business. In November, Almaty held a TAAI convention with the participation of more than 200 representatives of tourism businesses and mass media from both countries.
Dastan Ryspekov, chairman of the MCC Tourism Industry Committee, who attended the award ceremony cited one of the main reasons for such positive growth.
"Since the introduction of the 14-day visa-free regime for Indian citizens, we have seen a significant increase in the number of Indian travelers to Kazakhstan, and we are proud to be recognized as a popular tourist destination,” said Ryspekov.
“This success is the result of a concerted effort to promote Kazakhstan as a destination for urban, environmental, adventure, cultural, and MICE tourism.”