[Analytics] How Russia proposes to enter the top 10 tourism countries

Since the plenary session at the Russian regional economic forum 'Tochka Rosta'. Sochi, Russia. Photo: event's press service.

Prospects for cooperation between govt and business for the development of the tourism industry were the focus of attention at the Russian Regional Economic Forum ‘Tochka Rosta. Tourism. Sport. Investment’, which held in Sochi from October 30 to November 1. Leaders of the business, society, federal and regional authorities for a three days confered, what Russian tourism industry needs for growth. Pan Pacific Agency summarized the opinions.

According to the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, a tourism provides 3.5% of the country’s GDP. Now Russia is in 16th place in the ranking of tourist destinations of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. 24.6 million foreign tourists came to the country in 2018. By 2035, Russia should enter the top 10 ranking, officials formulate the task. But how it will be achieve such indicators, if even those who additionally arrived on the FIFA World Cup 2018 increased tourist flow by only 0.66% compared to the previous year?

The development of sports and tourism in Russia will be helped by public-private partnerships, participants at the Russian Regional Economic Forum ‘Tochka Rosta’ declared. The Krasnodar Territory, where this forum is being held for the first time, “has made a quantum leap over the past 10 years, turning from just a beach holiday to a winter holiday in Russia,” Vasily Shvets, deputy head of the regional administration, said. In 2014, Sochi hosted the Winter Olympics. The venue has become a year-round resort. Therefore, it is probably difficult to come up with a better place to discuss tourism development mechanisms.

Dmitry Svishchev, a deputy of the State Duma, at the Russian regional economic forum ‘Tochka Rosta’. Sochi, Russia. Photo: event’s press service.

Dmitry Svishchev, a deputy of the State Duma, believes that the main problem in the development of public-private partnerships in tourism and sports is “a lack of information on the operation of mechanisms that exist”. His colleague in the State Duma, Sergey Krivonosov, adds: business needs a convenient mechanism for attracting credit for the construction of tourism facilities.

Budget subsidies for the implementation of sports projects can reach 300 million rubles, Svetlana Balaeva, Minister of Resorts, Tourism and Olympic Heritage of the Krasnodar Territory, said. Govt is ready to help with the construction of infrastructure and reduce tax rates, as it was during the preparations for the Sochi 2014 Olympics, she added.

Sergey Krivonosov believes that it is necessary to develop ecological tourism in Russia (“Russia ranks first in the world in the area of ​​reserves and national parks,” he stated), car tourism (“There are good roads in Russia, but roadside service leaves much to be desired. There is a need for equipped campsites”), and to improve the mechanisms for protecting tourists through the electronic tickets using, the press service of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs told Pan Pacific Agency.

Sergey Krivonosov, a deputy of the State Duma, at the Russian regional economic forum ‘Tochka Rosta’. Sochi, Russia. Photo: event’s press service.

According to Sergey Krivonosov, the growth point of the tourism industry in Russia are the promotion of Russian tourism products in the domestic and international markets, the transport accessibility of regions, the competitive price-quality ratio of tourism products. Among the priorities, the deputy highlighted indirect regulation in the tourism industry, following the example of pricing during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

“So far, the pricing policy of airlines does not contribute to the development of tourism in the regions. We had the best FIFA World Cup. The government decided to introduce limits on the cost of transport services and accommodation facilities. Thanks to this, the level of hospitality was noted by tourists. This tool really works,” the deputy said.

Every season at Russian resorts the cost of tourist products becomes higher than the average market price, especially this affects the cost of air tickets, he added. But govt and business could agree on pricing, as in Egypt and Turkey, Sergey Krivonosov said.

A few days earlier, Zarina Doguzova, the head of the Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturism), spoke at the meeting of G-20 tourism ministers in Japan. Strategy for the Development of Tourism until 2035 determined that the export of tourism services in Russia would grow from $8.9B to $28.6B, the number of domestic trips per inhabitant would double, the investment in the Russian tourism industry would increased for a three times, she said. “We want millions of people from all over the world to see Russia with their own eyes and experience first-hand that Russia today is a modern, welcoming, safe and forward-looking optimism country,” Zarina Doguzova said.

Zarina Doguzova, the head of the Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturism), at the meeting of G-20 tourism ministers in Japan. Photo: Rosturism

The priorities for the development of tourism in Russia are the introduction of an electronic visa from January 1, 2021 throughout the country and a “smart” marketing and promotion. Govt to increase quality of service, to improve transport accessibility, to support investors, Zarina Doguzova listed.

Russian Regional Economic Forum ‘Tochka Rosta’ is organized by Krasnodar Region administration and ‘Rosa Khutor’ Resort and supported by the Russian authorities: Ministry of Economic Development, Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade and Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturism). Pan Pacific Agency covers this event as a media partner. More information about forum is available on the event’s page.

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