UNWTO and EXPO-2017 agree to cooperate on sustainable tourism promotion


MADRID, Spain – The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and National Company Astana EXPO-2017 have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation.

The document was signed at an official ceremony at the Madrid headquarter of the organization by Akhmetzhan Yessimov, Chairman of the Board of NC Astana EXPO-2017, and Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of UNWTO.

“We expect that EXPO-2017 will bring a large number of visitors to Kazakhstan. Therefore, we have focused our efforts on training personnel in the service industry,” reported Mr. Yessimov following the signing of the memorandum. “We are counting on UNWTO’s support and assistance in holding training sessions for Kazakhstan tour operators.”

The parties agreed to join forces to promote sustainable tourism within the framework of EXPO-2017. The memorandum provides for participation of NC Astana EXPO-2017 representatives in the UNWTO task force meetings under the Silk Road program, education of instructors who will be training EXPO-2017 guides and arrangement of training sessions for tour operators.

“We discussed many issues related to the EXPO. I believe that the signing of this memorandum will be the translation of what we agreed. It is a great honor to have you with us,” said Taleb Rifai at the ceremony.

The parties are also working on the organization of a joint conference on “Tourism and Future Energy”, which will take place in late June 2017 and will be attended by the ministers of tourism of UNWTO member states. Within the framework of the Exhibition, “We hope that all member states of UNWTO will take part in the event and showcase innovative solutions in sustainable tourism,” emphasized Mr. Yessimov.

EXPO-2017 is expected to include about 3 thousand themed and entertainment events. It will become a new fascinating destination for tourists from all over the world.

The Astana EXPO-2017 tourism product encompasses visits to the exposition, the country’s natural and cultural attractions, including 12 nature parks, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. It also has special destinations, such as the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The sale of package tours including tickets for the exhibition is due to start in July 2016.