Who to Develop Tourism in Russia?

Who to Develop Tourism in Russia?

Photo: http://tourdom.ru

In 2023, 11 Russian regions will receive subsidies from the Ministry of Construction for the development of tourist infrastructure under the Tourism and hospitality industry national project. The projects are implemented by constituent entities of the Russian Federation jointly with the Tourism.RF corporation.

Tourism.RF Corporation

The structure was created by order of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to attract investment in the construction of tourist facilities by reducing the investment and credit burden on projects implemented in the tourism sector.

The Tourism.RF Corporation works as a start-up gas pedal of investment projects and carries out their methodological support and controls the timing of implementation. Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed us to accelerate the creation of tourism infrastructure. Governors are at the forefront of this work. The state supports and will support them.

Each of the regions that have joined the work with Tourism.RF has a rich history. This is the Caucasian Mineral Waters, Solovetsky monastery in the Arkhangelsk Region, Mamaev Kurgan and Lake Elton in Volgograd, thermal springs of Tyumen and the highest mountain lake of the Southern Urals - Lake Zyuratkul in the Chelyabinsk Region and many others,” said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko.

According to Sergey Sukhanov, CEO of the Tourism.RF corporation, within the framework of concluded agreements regions offer tourist territories for complex development.

“We analyze the potential of each of them and if there are undeniable advantages, prospects for increasing the flow of tourists, opportunities for engineering infrastructure, we start work on them,” Sukhanov said.

It is planned that by 2030, tourists will make 140 million trips to Russia every year. For comparison, now the tourist flow is about 60 million trips.

Astrakhan, Volgograd, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod and Chelyabinsk Regions, as well as the Perm and Stavropol Territories, the Republic of Tyva, and other regions have already signed a cooperation agreement with the Tourism.ru corporation. Cooperation with the corporation involves multi-billion dollar investments into the regions and opens up great prospects for their development.

Chelyabinsk Region

The project for the construction of the balneological resort Sapfir of the Urals in the Etkulsky district and the creation of the all-season multifunctional Adzhigardak resort in the Ashinsk district will be the first territories where Tourism.RF will operate.

The total volume of investments by 2026 will amount to 12.8 billion rubles ($186.41 mln.) About 900 hotel rooms will be put into operation in 2024-2027.

According to Alexander Bogashov, the Vice-Governor of the region, the Chelyabinsk Region will get 476.6 million rubles ($6.94 mln) from the federal budget in 2023-2025. The subsidies will be allocated for the construction of roads, heat, gas, electricity and water supply networks, as well as water disposal. By the fall of 2023 the tourist flow in the South Urals is expected to be brought back to the pre-crisis level.

Stavropol Territory

The resorts of the Caucasian Mineralnye Vody Region this year were favored by the fact that the airport of Minvody worked all year round, in contrast to the six other southern airports whose flights were restricted starting in February.

In addition, an increase in demand for health and medical tourism, which experts recorded in 2022, was the incentive for the development of healing resorts in the Stavropol Territory.

Even major market players made a bet on health improvement. For example, one of the largest Russian hotel operators Azimut Hotels has launched the Azimut Zdorovye brand and began to modernize the health resorts in Essentuki and Kislovodsk.

Now Tourism.RF will expand resort infrastructure in the region. According to Sukhanov, it is planned to create the Sun Valley international medical cluster in Kislovodsk and to realize three investment projects in Yessentuki and Zheleznovodsk.

Volgograd Region

A strategic project of Tourism.RF in the Volgograd Region will be complex development of the tourist zone of the biggest river island in Europe - Sarpinsky Island.

Sarpinsky Island, located on the Volga, is more than 110 sq. km. of land surrounded by water, where about 800 people permanently live. However, this territory is not landscaped for the development of tourism in the modern sense. But it is a part of a unique ecosystem.

As noted by the Governor of the Volgograd region Andrei Bocharov, the project will combine two types of tourism: recreational and cultural and educational.

However, there are big problems with transport communication now. It is a car ferry in summer and ice crossing in winter. It is assumed that with the help of the corporation there will be built bridges and roads, created an educational cluster and public spaces.

The realization of the project is planned till 2030. At this point, the investors of the project are not named, from which we can conclude that they do not exist.

The development of tourist infrastructure of the system of islands in the Volgograd Region has been discussed for many years. Thus, in 2020, two such projects were submitted to the All-Russian contest for the creation of tourist and recreational clusters and development of ecotourism in Russia. But it did not go beyond the projects.

Republic of Tuva

“We can offer many types of tourism: ethnographic, hunting and fishing, therapeutic and recreational. The whole world knows that the unique natural routes of Tuva were passed by the Russian President Vladimir Putin himself,” said the head of the Tuva Republic Vladislav Khovalyg.

Despite the fact that the Republic of Tuva was one of the first to sign an agreement with Tourism.RF, it has not yet waited for a team from the corporation to begin cooperation. Dina Oyun, a representative of the Tyva Legislative Assembly, told about this in an open dialogue with the CEO of Tourism.RF Sergey Sukhanov.

The tour industry, however, noted a lack of logistics, which reduces the chances of the region's priority attention to the Tourism.RF corporation. From Moscow to Tyva, for example, the only direct flight which is now operated by IrAero airline, flies only three times a week, and the ticket costs from 20,000 rubles ($291.26), plus 4,000 rubles ($58.25) to be paid additionally for luggage.

As for the neighboring regions, there are not many large or even relatively large cities within the standard 500 km from Kyzyl from which travelers could come.

Meanwhile, Sukhanov promised that the corporation will develop the necessary infrastructure, and then, maybe, the tourists will be attracted.

Opinions of Experts

“In the new economic realities we need different approaches. When the region has an opportunity to attract investors for the development of its territories, it's the beginning of “a long way to set competent goals and long-term objectives for the entire regional tourist sector,” said Marina Tarasova, the representative of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

However, travel industry professionals see in the cooperation between the corporation and the regions not only positive aspects, but also certain risks.

“Any large-scale construction, infrastructure development story should have a master, the regulator. Now we see this regulator in the Tourism.RF corporation.

“As an entrepreneur and a public figure who has been working with this for a long time, I believe that Tourism.RF was and still is aimed at big business. There is a fear that small and micro businesses will be left behind,” said Marina Nenarokova, a member of the State Duma working group on rural tourism and head of the Natural Code consulting company.

Experts believe that domestic tourism potential more than doubling is justified. The demand for domestic tourism is very high and will only grow. The challenge is to create opportunities for its development: to build infrastructure and develop logistics.

Drug Mafia Carry out Massacre in Mexico Sberbank Raises Mortgage Rates Again