The Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan is getting ready to welcome the world as its hosts Expo 2017 (Future Energy) from June 10 to Sept. 10 of next year.
For those unfamiliar with Kazakhstan, it is the ninth largest country in the world (about the size of Ontario and Quebec) with a population of 17 million – bordered by Russia to the north and China to the east.
Rapil Zhoshybayev, commissioner of Expo 2017, was in Toronto yesterday (Sept. 21) to promote the upcoming World Expo, which is expected to attract around five million visitors. The big news for Canadians is that starting Jan. 1. 2017, Kazakhstan is waiving its visa requirements for a year.
The show itself, which will feature more than 3,000 special events, is located on the outskirts of Kazakhstan’s capital city, Astana, a modern city described as having a very good infrastructure and accommodation options that include numerous five-star hotels.
Along with Expo 2017, Zhoshybayev said officials are promoting tourism around the region, highlighted by cultural, eco- and casino-tours. Kazakhstan is home to part of the Silk Road and boasts numerous cities with a 1,000 years of history. Like Canada, it is mountainous and has many lakes.
Getting there is easy with a connection in Europe, or through China from the west. Air Astana is considering the possibility of direct US service.
Pictured are Zhoshybayev (l) and Konstantin Zhigalov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Canada.