Department of Recreational Geography and Tourism (up to 2011 – the Department of Tourism) was founded on December 1, 1996 by Doctor of Geographical Sciences, Professor Stanislav R. Erdavletov, the first Head of the Department. Since 2009, Candidate of technical sciences, Associate Professor, Honorary instructor of tourism of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Alexandr M. Artemyev has become the Head of the department. Since 2011 academic year the following staff positions such as Deputy Head of the department for science and innovation and international relations (A. Aktymbaeva, PhD, 2011-2013) and Deputy Head of the department on methodical and educational work (A. Zhakupova, PhD) have been introduced. Currently, these duties are assigned, respectively, Z. Abisheva, PhD and A. Shaken, senior teacher. Senior Adviser of the Department is Sh. Abdreyeva, PhD.
The graduates work at scientific and research institutes, higher education institutions, planning organizations, government and management departments, at international and regional centers of tourism industry development, management and marketing centers, tourist companies and other enterprises of tourism industry including Committee of Tourism Industry of the Ministry of Information Technology of the Republic of Kazakhstan and its regional centers, Ministry of Education and Science RK, Natural Parks, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, etc. Our graduate students work as managers and directors of the tourist agencies such as «Kompas», «KazUnicom», «Asia Discovery», «Caspian Travel», «KazTour» and so on. A considerable part of undergraduates continue studying on Graduate Programs in our country and abroad. Top flight professionalism of lecturers shows High Competitiveness of the Department in the educational market.
For 25 years, the department has produced 1555 specialists for the tourism sector of Kazakhstan. As of October 1, 2020, 630 students were studying at the department, including 24 undergraduates, 6 PhD students.
Notable alumni of the Department:
* Zh. G. Alchimbayeva-Head of the Department of the State Institution "Tourism Department of Almaty region".
* Podvalov A. YU. - Candidate of Historical Sciences, in 2007-2010. He was assistant in the office of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament, in 2007-2012 honorary Consul of the Republic of Cyprus in the Republic of Kazakhstan, currently Director of LLP "Caspian Travel Company".
* Akaev A.M.-2014-2017 – RSU "Ile - Alatau State National Natural Park". Position: Head of the Department of Environmental Education, Tourism and Nature Management. 2019-present, Chief Specialist of the Department of Protected Areas, RSE "PO Okhotzooprom" of the Committee of Forestry and Wildlife of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
* Eshchanova A.-Akimat of Almaty
* Nurgozhin D.-General Director of the restaurant chain "Rumi".
* Abzhanov A. - founder of the leadership school "Zhana urpak".
* D. Serzhanuly-Chief Manager of the Department of Promotion and Tourism of JSC NC "Astana EXPO-2017", Director of the Department of Event Organization of JSC NC "Kazakh Tourism".
* Kim A.-General Director of "ProHospitality Group" LLP.