It looks like fictional Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev’s trip to America was, indeed, a great success.
Real life Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov is now crediting the 2006 comedy “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” for boosting tourism to the region, Eurasianet reports.
“It was a great triumph for us and I am grateful to Borat for helping to attract tourists to Kazakhstan,” Kazykhanov told Kazakh lawmakers in Astana, the country’s capital, on April 23.
“Borat” was originally banned in Kazakhstan when it was released, and the Kazakh government threatened to sue Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen. The Kazakh government also took out an unintentionally funny four-page ad in The New York Times touting, among other things, the nation’s large population of wolves.
Now, Kazakh officials credit the film with putting the Central Asian country on the map.
In the film, Borat is portrayed as a dim journalist who travels to America and is then involved in dozens of ridiculous situations, including a naked wrestling match and a failed kidnap attempt on Pamela Anderson.