The first meeting of tour operators and cultural and art institutions was held with the aim of creating new opportunities for the development and growth of business.
Today, February 8, 2017, in Almaty, the fund «Cultural Dialogue», with the partnership of the tourist Information Center Visit Almaty, organized a discussion meeting of art managers of cultural institutions (state and independent theaters, museums, private galleries, concert organizations and festivals) tour operators and agencies. The main topic of discussion was cooperation with the aim of developing cultural tourism in Almaty.
According to the World Tourism Organization World Travel & Tourism, cultural tourism is 37% or more than 800 billion dollars in the share of world tourism, with annual growth forecasts of 15%. Cultural tourism is a form of tourism, the purpose of which is to get acquainted with the culture and cultural environment of the place of visit. The main directions of cultural tourism are visits to architectural monuments, museums, historical routes; acquaintance with the traditions of local residents and participation in ethnic festivals; Visiting cultural performances: music, theater and film festivals with the goal of understanding the modern way of life of local residents.
About 50 participants of the meeting expressed solidary opinion on the importance of communications and cooperation between the two industries to create new opportunities for development and growth of business. As it turned out, the tourism sector has a poor idea of what cultural products are available in Almaty. In their turn, specialists in the field of culture and art often have no idea about the mechanisms of tourist flows and the peculiarities of the work of tour operators.
The meeting participants discussed various topical issues and made the following joint conclusions:
— while Kazakhstan does not have sufficient connections with the outside world and does not use the majority of communication tools that would allow to pay tourists’ attention;
— involvement in the joint work of airlines and hotels in the distribution of maps and guides;
— At present, the majority of tourists arriving in Kazakhstan, first of all, are interested in places of cultural heritage connected with the history and traditions of the nomadic life. In order to develop this direction, it is necessary to introduce interactive and digital technologies;
— institutions of culture and art can offer different product options for different categories: tourists; people coming to business trips; transit passengers; domestic tourists.
— the sector of culture and art, should communicate closely with tour operators. At least a month they must provide information so that cultural events can be included in offers for tourists.
— the professional work of guides and interpreters is necessary. The cultural sector is ready to contribute to the transfer of quality knowledge through trainings for guides.
For example, one of the participants in the discussion Aizhan Bekkulova, chairman of the Union of Craftsmen of Kazakhstan, notes: «Today the development of traditional crafts is important all over the world, which are the hallmark of each people, its history, visit card. And in this regard, it is important to cooperate with organizations that support the development of Kazakhstan’s arts and crafts. One of the most important areas of tourism is souvenir products, through the development of handicrafts; it is possible to create whole cartels for the production of quality products. »
According to Zhanna Mambetova, Director of Cultural Dialogue Foundation: «International festivals and tourist campaigns, where culture is a central element based on our rich cultural heritage, is important both for the development of the audience and for attracting tourists. The authorities responsible for the development of the tourist cluster urgently need to include cultural tourism, involving other stakeholders. »
After the discussion the participants agreed to organize information tours for tour operators and agencies to theaters, and then to the museums of Almaty. And also the organizers agreed to hold a discussion meeting with representatives of hotels.