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Departure District

Tourists promised to talk about the benefits of tourism in the Far East

Departure District
Photo: Tass / VEF Photobank
Over the past year, the tourist flow to the Far Eastern Federal District has increased by 35%. At the thematic session "Tourism. Economy of unique impressions "within the framework of the WEF officials and industry representatives analyzed what the Far East can attract travelers and what prevents them from taking them.

The growth rate of the tourist flow in the Far Eastern Federal District has been increasing for the second year in a row, the head of Rosturizm Oleg Safonov stated. In 2015, 2,7 million tourists came to the macroregion, that is a quarter more than the year before. In 2016, the increase was already 35% - the Far East accepted a total of 3,6 million people.

There is every reason for such an increase, the participants agreed to the session at the WEF. To discuss the current tourism agenda, the event brought together all interested parties - representatives of Russian and foreign ministries and departments, lawmakers and heads of industry companies. They all agreed that the Far East is undervalued as a resort, and the tourist potential of the district is far from being fully realized.

The macro-region has a lot of advantages, stressed at the session. Unlike most Russian resorts, in the Far Eastern regions there are classes for tourists in any season: "The unique advantage of the Far East is that year-round tourism is possible here. If in the summer it is primarily fishing, hunting, beach rest and ecotourism, then in the winter it is mountain skiing ", - Roman Semensov from the Agency of the Far East on attracting investments and supporting exports stressed.

However, few people know about the numerous advantages of visiting the Far Eastern regions, both local officials and their foreign colleagues admit. "For example, I greatly admire the Far East, I was in the Valley of Geysers, but it all goes now through" word of mouth ". That is, to learn about the Far East, about its services and the possibility to come here in principle - all this is very difficult because, firstly, no one knows what is here, and, secondly, there is not one place where you can get all this information, "Leonid Altukhov, president of the Netkom-IPC group of companies, said at the session.

In turn, the general director of the Moscow office of the National Tourism Organization of the Republic of Korea Namgyu Kang added that many of his compatriots still perceive Russia as the USSR and do not have reliable information about the opportunities here. “Unfortunately, we do not know the attractive aspects of Russian tourism. Many Koreans still believe that Russia is the Soviet Union. This is a barrier, this is a problem. But a pleasant surprise awaits them, they still have to see how Russia opens up, "Namgyu Kang said, stressing that he considers the Russian Federation a country" which is very pleasant to know. "

To solve the problem of awareness of Russian tourism are going to take into account the general trend on the digitization of the economy. “We believe that this trend will increase more and more. Therefore, we believe it is necessary to create a single integrator of the tourism industry, ”said Oleg Safonov. According to the head of the Federal Tourism Agency, such a resource can be created on the basis of the national portal Russia Travel, integrating information and various digital services for tourists. The set of these services has yet to be determined, but the need for such a resource does not cause doubts in the relevant department.

This position coincides with the opinion of the potential tourists themselves. In August, the website of the Ministry for the Development of the Far East conducted a survey on what is necessary for the development of tourism in the region. Almost half of the respondents said that a special tourist portal should be developed and launched to inform about the possibilities of the DFO.

Speaking about the benefits of recreation in the Far East, attention should be paid to balneology, which has been unfairly forgotten, says State Duma Deputy Speaker Irina Yarovaya. In her opinion, it is necessary to create a “single map of the medical and recreational opportunities of the Far East.” “Unfortunately, we have completely forgotten the topic of balneological resources, the topic of restoration, preservation of health,” she said, speaking at a session at the WEF.

Outbound flows from the Asia-Pacific region, as noted in Rosturizm, are growing faster than the world outbound tourism in general. Taking into account the potential of the neighboring countries, the head of the agency, Oleg Safonov, proposed organizing cross-border routes that would be interesting for both Russian citizens and guests from China, Japan, and South Korea.

However, the success of such routes may require amendments to the legislation. From the beginning of August 2017 citizens of 18 countries have the right to receive an electronic visa to enter the territory of the RF subjects through the checkpoints included in the Free Port of Vladivostok for a period of up to 30 calendar days. This visa allows you to stay no more than eight days in the region through which the tourist entered the territory of the Russian Federation. "An electronic visa, which assumes the possibility of staying in the territory of the Russian Federation in only one subject, must be developed. I propose that the government form standard tourist routes. This will allow the purchaser of the tourist package, receiving an electronic visa, to visit different subjects of Russia within eight days on this standard route, "Irina Yarovaya, the Duma deputy speaker, said.

So far, however, foreign guests are more concerned about the lack of infrastructure, said Pin Wang, chairman of the Tourist Chamber of China. “In many tourist places, in many hotels there is no opportunity for a large number of tourists. Roads, airplanes, transport - there is actually no good transport accessibility, ”she complained. The head of the Tourist Chamber also drew attention to the shortcomings of the service, although she praised the Russian cuisine.

The Russian colleagues of Mrs. Ping Wang do not doubt that the problems will be gradually solved. Especially in fact, work on the development of the tourist industry in the Far Eastern Federal District is just beginning, believes Oleg Safonov. "Tourism in our Far East has not even begun to develop, that is, we have just come to this most serious task," the head of Rosturizm said at the session. But at the same time he stressed that tourism can become a locomotive of social and economic development of the entire Far East.

Published in the journal "Economy of the Far East."
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