Travel Industry News at TravelNewsAsia.com since 1997
Thu, 24 August 2023

Almaty Marathon 2023 - 4K Video Interview with CEO, Saltanat Kazybayeva

(07/09/23)  When it comes to destination marketing, there are few tools as powerful as major sporting events.

Whether it is the Hong Kong Sevens; the London, Boston and New York marathons; the Tour de France; Singapore F1 Grand Prix; Royal Ascot in England; or the Thailand Grand Prix in Buriram; each attracts tens of thousands of visitors from around the world and gains enormous press coverage across almost every type of media outlet, covering not only the event itself but all that the destination has to offer as well.

In 2023, for example, the London Marathon attracted over 48,000 participants, a considerable increase on the 40,643 who took part in 2022 as well as the 42,000 who took part in 2019, pre-COVID19.

At the New York Marathon in November 2022, 131 countries were represented by over 50,000 people taking part, with 47,839 of them managing to finish. In November 2019, 53,629 people from 141 countries managed to finish the race with only 576 unable to finish.

Saltanat Kazybayeva, CEO, Almaty Marathon. Click to enlarge.
Saltanat Kazybayeva, CEO, Almaty Marathon

Whilst numbers like that may seem like a distant dream to newer events, there is one marathon, already the largest in Central Asia, that is rapidly gaining momentum and each year attracts more and more participants from outside the country - the Almaty Marathon.

The first Almaty Marathon took place in 2012 and attracted 2,500 participants, ten years later and the event welcomed 12,000 people from 40 countries and raised about US$100,000 for children in need.

This year, with the Almaty Marathon 2023 taking place on 1 October and registration opening in April, organisers have set their sights on even greater numbers - both in terms of participation and also the amount raised for children in need in Kazakhstan.

To learn more about the Almaty Marathon, Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com sat down with Saltanat Kazybayeva, CEO of the event, at her office in Almaty on 21 August 2023.

In this interview, Saltanat tells us how it makes her and the team feel when they look at how successful the event has become and the lives that it has touched and changed for the better.

We discuss how the Almaty Marathon 2023 will be different from previous years, how many participants they are targeting, what new tech will enhance the race experience and when registration is expected to close.

Saltanat also shares her thoughts on the expo that takes place alongside the marathon, how she hopes that will grow in the future and what challenges they face doing that.

We also discuss the charitable side of the Almaty Marathon, how much they are hoping to raise and what the money is used for.

Saltanat tells us what challenges the company faces in terms of logistics, whether there are sufficient hotel rooms in the city and if hotels in Almaty provide sufficient support to the event, as well as how Air Astana is helping to promote the marathon and encourage people to fly in to participate as it expands its fleet with brand new planes flying to new destinations.

We also discuss Almaty Marathon's growth plans and how they are working to increase the number of participants from outside Kazakhstan, especially from South East Asia, and whether the company has partnered with any marathons in that region to launch cross marketing initiatives.

Runners can choose between the full distance of 42.2 kilometers, a half marathon (21 kilometers), a ten-kilometer run or the Nordic Walking version, which is also 10 kilometers. Alternatively, it is possible to take part in a marathon relay, where six participants per team jointly complete the full marathon distance.

Those wanting to register for the event can do so on the Almaty Marathon website here.

Air Astana Offers Special Discounts to Those Participating in Almaty Marathon 2023

Air Astana is offering a 10 percent discount on all available international and domestic flights in Economy and Business Class for participants of the Almaty Marathon 2023.

The promotion is valid for flights to Almaty between 28 and 30 September, with return flights between 1 and 4 October. Flights can be booked on Air Astana's website here.

Air Astana, excluding its low cost subsidiary FlyArystan, operates an average of 38 flights per day to/from Almaty Airport.

The airline currently operates international services from Almaty to Antalya, Baku, Bangkok, Batumi, Beijing, Bishkek, Bodrum, Delhi, Dubai, Dushanbe, Heraklion, Istanbul, London (via Aktau), Phuket, Podgorica, Seoul, Tashkent, Tbilisi and Tel Aviv.

Air Astana will also launch flights from Almaty to Jeddah on 1 October, as well as to Urumqi and Male on 29 October 2023.

Air Astana's domestic services from Almaty include: Aktau, Aktobe, Astana, Atyrau, Kyzylorda, Oskemen, Shymkent and Uralsk.

FlyArystan, the low cost airline subsidiary of Air Astana, currently offers services from bases in Almaty, Astana, Atyrau, Aktau and Shymkent, Kazakhstan to destinations in Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Turkey, UAE and Uzbekistan. The LCC will launch flights between Almaty and Delhi in late-September 2023.

See also: Electric Taxis at Almaty Airport in Kazakhstan - Video Interview with Co-Founder, Auez Tulegenov.

Almaty Marathon 2023 - 4K Video Interview with CEO, Saltanat Kazybayeva

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