CTTN Research Grants: Prospects of Tourism Sector Development in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic Including Almaty-Bishkek Economic Corridor
The paper under the CAREC Think Tanks Research Grants Program focuses on the potential of tourism along the Almaty–Bishkek Economic Corridor (ABEC) given post-COVID development scenarios. The study finds that the gross value added in tourism in Kazakhstan will decline in the range of 31.1-49.6 percent in 2020, and in the Kyrgyz Republic between 35.8-42.7 percent. Authors assume that recovery will be protracted due to lasting impacts on consumers and firms as travelers remain risk averse and consumers have less disposable income amid widespread job losses. Assuming that restrictions related to COVID-19 are lifted by the end of the third quarter of 2020, the number of tourists and gross value added in the tourism sector is expected to return to the pre-crisis level after 2025. In view of difficult financial situation and high debt burden, tourism in the Kyrgyz Republic is expected to grow at a modest rate of 3 percent for 2025-2030 period, while the growth rate in Kazakhstan is projects at 6.3 percent annually for the same period. To expedite recovery, the tourism industry will require special support measures and ABEC would require vigorous implementation of reforms and planned investment projects.