Borat Gives Kazakhstan’s Tourism Industry an Uncanny Boost

He may have angered many Arab nations with his antics, but the country that Borat supposedly came from is now welcoming him with open arms. While Borat’s role as tourism ambassador may be questionable, his popularity the world over is garnering interest in Kazakhstan.

The hilarious mockumentary Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan stars popular comedian-actor Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat Sagdiyev, a Kazakh reporter and television personality who sets out on a journey to the “US and A,” accompanied by his producer Azamat Bagatov, under the mandate of the fictional Kazakh Ministry of Information. Borat’s pilgrimage to the United States soon proves to be a comedic mix of crazy events that is fuelled by his desire to marry Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson. The mockumentary features snippets of fictional Kazakh communities and traditions and also Borat’s interactions with Americans who are led to believe that Cohen’s character is truly a foreign journalist on a pilgrimage to learn more about American culture.

Although the film has sexist, racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic overtones, it’s clear that it’s doing at least some good: it’s effectively boosting Kazakh tourism. The number of visas issued by Borat’s glorious nation has increased by tenfold ever since the mockumentary’s release in 2006. Kazakh foreign minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov is seeing this as a very welcome change for the nation. The film has been so effective in gathering tourists from around the world that one tour company has even created specialized, Borat-themed tours. One such tour is named “Cultural Learnings of Kazakhstan for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of America & EU.”

Although Borat may still be a pain in the backside for the nation (the film’s version of the Kazakh national anthem was accidentally played at an athletic event in Kuwait recently), the boost in popularity that it caused for Kazakhstan in the world of travel and tourism is unparalleled.

Given this very good news for the glorious nation of Kazakhstan’s travel and tourism industry, we here at AMOG.com are inclined to say “very nice,” Borat style.


[Image from www.flowtv.org]

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