Import substitution in tourism: uniting regions and states

The Import substitution in tourism’ Forum ended its work in Moscow on 15 September 2016. The event was dedicated to the development of inbound tourism, establishment of well-developed tourist areas, and the role of social entrepreneurship as an amplifier for the development of inbound tourism.

Almost all speakers were concerned about new approaches to the tourism issue in Russia. On the first day of the Forum, the head of the Commission for Tourism and Cultural Heritage of the Social Platform party ‘United Russia’ Svetlana Anufrienko noted, that the time has come to eradicate the fragmentation of regions’ actions. According to her, it is necessary to combine regions’ efforts, thus strengthening their advantages on the international scene. ‘The Tourism Association of Russian regions, that was recently created, will help to implement decisions for the benefit of each member of the project’ – she added.

Continuing this theme, the director general of the Union Agency for development of professional communities and skilled workers ‘WorldSkills Russia’ Robert Urazov noted that nowadays job market is transforming. Thus, the only professions left in the near future will be those, related to art and ‘people-to-people’ relationships.

‘To create tourist product, we need people, who are able to create it. We do not have enough people who can compile that product using the resources’ – he said.

On the present day various historic sites and types of tourism exist in many Russian regions, including ethnic and gastronomic tourism. However, we lack the tourist product that would attract Russian and foreign tourists to that area. It is highly relevant, especially now, as the soccer World Cup, that will become an incentive for tourist attraction to our regions, is about to begin in two years.

International project ‘Experience Russia’, that was mentioned within the framework of the panel session ‘how to stimulate tourism in Russia. Tourist’s portrait’ by CEO of the CESIR Olga Biryukova, takes all abovementioned needs into account. According to the creator of ‘Experience Russia’ project Olga Biryukova, in order to attract tourists we need to create such a tourist product that would consider the specificity of the future tourist.

On the present day multiple projects aimed at tourists of retirement age exist, whereas we need to attract a younger generation – she noted, – for example, in the framework of our project we attract young people aged 10 to 18 and take them to the regions.

The expert also said, that tourist-educational project is aimed at joint completion of the programmes by Russian and foreign children. Thereby, our Russian students are getting involved in these tourist programmes, they start to discover the country, and at the same time the infrastructure of the regions is being developed, joint leisure programmes are being created.

This topic caused a heated discussion among the guests and participants of the Forum. The CEO of CESIR, in her answer to the question of colleagues, drew the attention to tourist’s portrait: to whom they want to sell their product, who is their client, for whom they want to create something. As a result, at the request of the Forum’s organizers, this topic was continued on the following section, where Olga Valeryevna explained new approaches in child tourism, which are being implemented within the framework of ‘Experience Russia’ project.

Thus, the ‘Import substitution in tourism’ Forum has become a great platform for the discussion of relevant issues and challenges in tourism and service sphere. It was noted, that now it is highly significant to create a new system of development of the Russian regions, emphasizing the creation of completely new tourist routes, that would reinvigorate the tourist cluster of regions and would attract as much as possible Russian and foreign tourists there.

Text: Anna Maksimova

Photo: the press service of the Forum

View photos