Schönenberg (Switzerland) – May 6, 2019 (travelindex.com) – Central Asia is one of the fastest growing tourism regions in the world right now. Visa reform, improved flight connections, reduced bureaucracy, and investment in infrastructure have all contributed to the countries’ increase in popularity with adventurous travelers and tour operators alike.
But how much do we actually know about tourism trends in the region?
For the first time, Indy Guide has published the Insight Tourism Report on Central Asia and Mongolia. Detailed data has been drawn from thousands of website visitors, conversations, and transactions to shed light on both regional trends and national variations. The findings are significant for domestic and international travel trade planning and development and highlight future areas for growth.
Indy Guide data shows that 52% of all visitors using the site to plan a visit to Central Asia and Mongolia are from Europe. North America (14%) is relatively underrepresented, probably due to the shortage of direct flight connections.The proportion of male:female visitors is 61:39, a ratio which is consistent with competing destinations such as Georgia and India. Indy Guide’s recommendations for redressing the balance include training more female guides and emphasising the safety of travel in the region. The average visitor is in their mid 40s to early 50s; those visiting Tajikistan and Uzbekistan tend to be slightly older than those travelling elsewhere in the region.
The top 20 keywords for searches (excluding proper nouns) highlight that travelers see Central Asia primarily as an adventure destination geared to budget/mid range tourism.
The vast majority of tourists are planning to travel on their own (25%) or in a small group (64%); just 11% will visit in a group of five or more people. There is a strong preference to visit more than one country on a trip. Mongolia is the regional exception, due to its physical separation from other Central Asian countries, and the cost and limited number of flight connections.
This findings emphasizes the attraction of increased cross-border cooperation and the likely demand for the proposed Silk Road visa. Visitors typically start planning their trip 90 days before traveling, booking at the 45 day point. There is strong seasonal variation, however, and lead times may be cut to less than half in high season (June-September). The modal length of trip varies from destination to destination. Visitors spend the least amount of time in Kazakhstan (70% of trips are 1-2 days), and the most time in Mongolia and Tajikistan, where the most common trip length exceeds 10 days. This is partially accounted for by the fact that Astana and Almaty can be stopovers on long haul flights, and visitors may add a tour onto a business trip, but also demonstrate Kazakhstan has a lot to do in terms of better promoting the breadth of its tourism offering and encouraging longer stays.
About Indy Guide
Indy Guide is the first peer-to-peer travel marketplace in Central Asia, connecting travellers with thousands of service providers in the ‘stans, Mongolia, the Caucasus, and beyond. The site is independent — Indy Guide is not a tour operator — and transparent: users can browse a wide range of fixed price offers, plus honest feedback from previous guests.
Indy Guide was founded by husband and wife team Ati and Alexandra Tosun, who hail from
Kazakhstan and Austria respectively but met whilst living in Switzerland. They honeymooned in Central Asia, and for the past three years have steadily built up their regional network of independent guides, drivers, and tour operators, enabling others to enjoy authentic local experiences at reasonable prices.
Indy Guide supports regional tourism development by creating a platform for local services
providers, offering them training, and promoting underrated destinations.