Kazakh foreign minister thanks Borat for making benefit country’s tourism

Seven years later, Kazakhstan is still talking about Borat. They now seem to have made peace with the whole thing: "With the release of this film, the number of visas issued by Kazakhstan grew tenfold," local news agencies quoted Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov as telling a session of parliament. "I am grateful to ‘Borat’ for ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
Kristian Dowling/Getty Images
Kristian Dowling/Getty Images
Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

Seven years later, Kazakhstan is still talking about Borat. They now seem to have made peace with the whole thing:

"With the release of this film, the number of visas issued by Kazakhstan grew tenfold," local news agencies quoted Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov as telling a session of parliament.

"I am grateful to 'Borat' for helping attract tourists to Kazakhstan," the foreign minister said.

Seven years later, Kazakhstan is still talking about Borat. They now seem to have made peace with the whole thing:

"With the release of this film, the number of visas issued by Kazakhstan grew tenfold," local news agencies quoted Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov as telling a session of parliament.

"I am grateful to ‘Borat’ for helping attract tourists to Kazakhstan," the foreign minister said.

Things have certainly changed since the film came out, when the Kazakh government attempted to ban not only the film but access to Sacha Baron Cohen’s website

Kazykhanov’s statement also seems a little odd given the massive global branding campaign — including heavy advertising aimed at tourists — that the energy-rich nation has engaged in over the last few years. I’m actually not sure I buy that the increased interest in traveling to Kazakhstan is largely Borat-related. You would think they’d give themselves a little more credit.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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