ASTANA -- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged Kazakhstan to offer "cheap and high-quality air transport" to develop its tourism potential, Kazinform reported Tuesday (December 5).
"If air transport does not support the development of tourism, whether it is inbound, outbound or domestic, this huge potential will not develop," said Karamalakov Jordan, the IATA area manager for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
He made his remarks at a news conference in Astana.
"There is no other sector of the economy where small capital investments can get a good return and create so many jobs," he said. "This is tourism's role as the driver of the economy."
The government has to subsidise airports to help them maintain low fares, as well as restoring general aviation and making it safer to permit the development of tourism in the provinces, he said.
With the 'Islamic State' on the verge of defeat, Kazakhstanis who joined the group are likely to begin returning home, where they will face anti-terrorism measures.
Popular support in Central Asia for Islamist insurgencies in the Middle East and beyond is waning.