June 17. Paris – The delegation from Kazakhstan took part in the 159th General Assembly of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris.
Akhmetzhan Yessimov, Chairman of the Board of National Company “Astana EXPO-2017”, and Rapil Zhoshybayev, Commissioner for EXPO-2017, delivered a report on the progress of preparations for the event.
“To create favorable conditions for foreign tourists, last year Kazakhstan abolished the visa regime with 20 developed countries. This was done unilaterally. Starting from January 1, 2017, countries with visa-free access will include the OECD members, Malaysia, Monaco, the UAE and Singapore,” said Mr. Zhoshybayev in his Paris report.
“We also signed an ADS agreement, which will enable Chinese tourists to travel to Kazakhstan in guided groups. The agreement makes it easier for tourist groups from China to obtain visas: applicants will not be required to attend an interview. Starting from July 1, 2016, the first tourist groups from China are expected to arrive,” said the Commissioner for EXPO-2017.
In his turn, Akhmetzhan Yessimov, Chairman of the Board of National Company Astana EXPO-2017, reported that “the construction of facilities for EXPO-2017 is going according to schedule.” “Over 10 thousand people are engaged in the process and 500 units of equipment are being used. The current construction rate allows the completion of works by November 2016. The official participants in the exhibition have already started sending in their themed concepts for decoration of the pavilions,” he said.
Together with state authorities, the organizers of EXPO-2017 are working hard to ensure that tourists have a comfortable experience during their visit to the exhibition and their stay in Astana. Their efforts are focused on improving the transport infrastructure, building a network of restaurants and food courts, and actively promoting the event abroad. In addition, the organizers have already launched ticket sales and enlisted the cooperation of over a hundred tour operators both in Kazakhstan and abroad.
First retail outlets (including online stores) selling official EXPO-2017 merchandise are to appear early next year.