The Central Asian Tourism Association, CATA, is the regional umbrella association of the national tourism associations from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. CATA is group of national travel agents’ , tour operators’ and community based tourism associations within the Central Asian region uniting the following associations:
- Kazakhstan Tourist Association (KTA)
- Ecotourism Information Resource Centre (EIRC)
- Kyrgyz Association of Tour Operators (KATO)
- Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism (KCBTA)
- Tajik Association of Tourism Organisations (TATO)
- Tajik Community Based Tourism (TCBTA)
- Association of Private Tourism Agencies of Uzbekistan (APTA)
CATA actively cooperates with international institutions and organizations to ensure that their interests and special requirements are taken into consideration. CATA was launched at the ITB Berlin tourism fair (March 2012).The initiative is welcomed and supported by ECTAA, the European Union umbrella association of national tour operators and travel agencies associations.
Ecotourism Information Resource Centre (EIRC)
EIRC is a KTA-initiative that started in 2005 with the support of The Eurasia Foundation. EIRC is a one-stop service for eco- and community based tourism in Kazakhstan.
Main activities of EIRC are:
• (inter)national popularization of eco – and community based tourism;
• provision of information to tourists and visitors of the center;
• booking of tours and advertising support to project regions.
Kazakhstan Tourist Association (KTA)
KTA was founded in May 1999 with the support of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The association has been established with the aim to protect the interests of its 270+ members. KTA members include the Kazakhstan Association of Hotels and Restaurants (KAGIR); tourism-, insurance- and airline companies as well as universities and media representatives.
Following are the objectives of the KTA:
- association on a voluntary basis enterprises and organizations, entrepreneurs, operating in the hospitality and tourism sector, interested in improving the level of professionalism and quality of services;
- coordinating the activities of the Association;
- It protects the rights and legitimate interests of the Association members;
- representation of the interests of the Association members in government and non-governmental institutions and organizations;
- promotion of tourist product on the world stage;
- promotion of ecotourism as the main tourism products in Kazakhstan;
- forming a positive image of the national tourist industry and separate regions in foreign countries;
- Preparation and publication of information, analytical and expert materials on tourism issues;
- creating clubs of tourists with theme nights and a variety of bonus programs;
- expansion and updating of information services for tourists through the Information Center of the KTA;
- organization of participation in international tourism exhibitions, including by creating a single regional information boards that perform the functions of advertising and information offices for presentations of tourist regions, through the participation of the authorities and all interested companies and organizations;
- creation of a modern system of retraining and advanced training of tourist and hotel business promotion services CTA Training Center;
- facilitating the creation of conditions for effective functioning of the enterprises of hotel and tourism infrastructure in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
- participate in the development of tourism development programs and small business;
- rewarding the best industry experts.
An EU supported Central Asia Invest project
Tourism, particularly rural community-tourism, represents an important opportunity for Uzbekistan as well as other Central Asian countries in their efforts to diversify the tourism product portfolio, reduce poverty, preserve local cultures and the environment, generate employment, income, foreign currency, and expand and diversify economies. For the sector to flourish improved cooperation, diversification and upgrading of products and services complying with international quality standards is a prerequisite. Within the framework of the current EU funded project ‘Strengthening rural and community tourism Business Intermediary Organisations for Inclusive Economic Development in Central Asia’ (2017-2020, Central Asia Invest IV, support will be provided to local Business Intermediary Organisations (BIOs) and tourism SMEs in the rural areas of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. This support includes job creation and training for micro enterprises working in the community and ecotourism field. The aim is to improve competitiveness in domestic and foreign markets by increasing the capacity of local tourism service providers, introduction of quality standards and by creating marketing linkages. The project will contribute to strengthened regional economic integration of the Central Asian countries, the awareness of Central Asia as a common tourism destination and the expansion of trade relations with the European Union both B2B and B2C markets.