Organized with the support of Rixos Hotels, the Prime Ministry of Kazakhstan, and the Ministry of Tourism of Kazakhstan, the second Kazakhstan International Tourism Forum was held in the city of Aktau, Kazakhstan. Fettah Tamince and Neşet Koçkar, who attended the forum, shared their tourism experiences and provided important insights on what needs to be done.

Tourism stakeholders participated

The International Tourism Forum, hosted by Rixos Water World Aktau in the city of Aktau, Kazakhstan, was attended by officials from tourism stakeholders such as the Prime Ministry, Ministry of Tourism, Kazakhstan Investment Agency, tour operators, travel agencies, and airlines.

The International Tourism Forum, with opening speeches by Kazakhstan's Minister of Tourism Yermek Marzhykpayev and Chairman of the Board of Rixos Hotels Fettah Tamince, aims to make a significant contribution to the region's efforts to become a tourism hub.

Tourism professionals from Türkiye

In addition to participants from Kazakhstan, the forum also included representatives from Türkiye, including Neşet Koçkar, Chairman of the Board of Anex Tourism Group, Vural Karasu, CEO of Anex Tour, Okay Yıldırım, CEO of Meeting Point Türkiye, Suat Özbek, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Etstur, and Sezgin Özer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TimeServices Global. During the forum, panels were held to discuss the tourism assets of the country and the region, as well as the necessary efforts to become a tourism hub.

Prime Minister Alihan İsmailov also attended the session, during which Fettah Tamince, Chairman of the Board of Rixos Hotels, and Neşet Koçkar, Chairman of the Board of Anex Tourism Group, shared their knowledge and experiences for the growth and development of tourism in Kazakhstan.

"I saw the potential"

Fettah Tamince, Chairman of the Board of Rixos Hotels, emphasized the investment and tourism potential in Kazakhstan, saying, "We have made significant investments in various regions of Kazakhstan. We thank the Kazakhstan government for giving us this opportunity. Kazakhstan offers very good opportunities. It has advantages compared to many other countries. I have been in the tourism industry for 37 years. Tour operators used to love Swedish tourists because they spent a lot of money. But now, Kazakh tourists are in the first place. Many people think I'm crazy, but I invested in Kazakhstan because I saw the potential. The trust we received from the Kazakhstan government was very important. Just having the potential of the market and money is not enough. All institutions need to work together in harmony. In addition, without flight and hotel investments, you cannot attract tourists."

kazakistan tourism forum

"Money and culture alone are not enough"

Tamince, who pointed out that 99% of their investments are in the tourism sector, said, "We are very experienced in this sector. You may have a beautiful nature, but if you cannot offer tourism that integrates with nature, it will be very difficult to reach people. When you say 'come' to people, you also need to explain how they will come. Countries like Spain, Türkiye, and France do not do tourism alone. These countries are also supported by airlines. In Spain and Greece, governments also support hotel investments. Just having money and culture does not mean you can do tourism. Tour operators play a crucial role in a destination. Among the groups in the tourism sector, tour operators take the biggest risks. They receive the least support. These people risk $500 to make $5. If we find ways to support tour operators, it will open up more opportunities for the destination."

"We are at the forefront in Kazakhstan"

Neşet Koçkar, Chairman of the Board of Anex Tourism Group, said, "I am not only here as a guest in Kazakhstan. We also have investments here. We are at the forefront in mass tourism in Kazakhstan. We made our investments here to take tourists from Kazakhstan abroad. We have sent a lot of tourists on vacation from here. I would like to mention that if Rixos Hotels were not here, we would not operate.

"Reliable tourism policies"

Highlighting the importance of tour operators for a destination, Koçkar said, "Tour operators take big risks. Aktau is not yet a destination. We need to feel that we should operate. We need to be convinced for operations. We need to make this country and destination attractive to tour operators. Without tour operators and airlines, you cannot turn this place into a destination. Even if you say 'operate from here and support us,' it is not enough. We also need reliable tourism policies."

"You can benefit from our experiences"

Neşet Koçkar continued his speech: "Countries around Kazakhstan promote themselves with their nature and culture. Your advantage is that you are by the sea. Gas and oil may run out, but the sea, sand, and sun will never run out. Dubai could have invested in different areas, but they chose tourism. Saudi Arabia is also making significant investments. Everyone knows the importance of tourism. We are ready to help you, and you can benefit from our experiences."