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Onsen + detox. Euro-Asian approach to tourism

Sakhalin has the potential to attract habitual to the comfort and "spoiled" tourists

Onsen + detox. Euro-Asian approach to tourism
Photo: shutterstock
The main record holders for the growth of tourist traffic in 2016 in the Far East are the Kamchatka Territory and Primorye. At the same time, the Sakhalin Region declares very serious ambitions for the development of tourism. EastRussia decided to ask how not a theoretician, but a practitioner sees the development of the Sakhalin tourism industry - Deputy Director General of Mega Palace Hotel Yuri Im answers the relevant questions.

- In the present Present time Kamchatka demonstrates a number of records within the framework of development of its tourist sphere. Tell me, if there is a chance that Sakhalin will also show some records in this area in the future?
- Despite how you say the record figures that the Kamchatka Krai demonstrates today in its tourist sphere, this region for people accustomed to hotel comfort in most cases does not meet such requirements. Those people who today visit Kamchatka for tourist purposes, including sports - this is not otherwise than extreme. Sakhalin, in turn, has the potential to attract those who are accustomed to comfort. And there is no doubt that in the near future, after a new stage in the development of the tourism sector of Sakhalin, there will be a completely opposite situation - when Sakhalin is set as an example of the dynamics of tourism development. By the way, at the present time the tourist sphere of the Sakhalin region has its own records - namely, the share of business tourism. In the region for business purposes, foreigners and Russian representatives of the oil and gas industry, whose activities are in one way or another connected with the Sakhalin hydrocarbon production and processing projects, whose geographic scope is very extensive: Americans, Japanese, Dutch, Hindus, etc., come in large numbers.

- You said about those tourists who are able to attract Sakhalin. And who is the so-called "Sakhalin tourist" for today?
- A large number of tourists, including foreign ones, began to come to Sakhalin due to the active development of the mountain air resort “Mountain Air”. But if you do not take only this direction, then the “Sakhalin tourist” is a person who has flown in to see the unique beauties of the Sakhalin nature, go fishing from the heart and try fresh seafood. These are peculiar "enthusiasts", ready to sacrifice many usual kinds of rest for the sake of new and bright impressions. To attract such "enthusiasts" and tourists aimed at a more comfortable and familiar rest, we are doing everything possible. We also do our best for the development of such types of tourism as health and gastronomic.

- Please tell us in general about new types of tourism, the development of which is possible on Sakhalin.
- This is just about those types of tourism that we are trying to raise to a new level through the development of the Mega Palace hotel in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk - gastronomic, health and business tourism. This is in addition to the traditional Sakhalin types of tourism, which we already support, trying to provide our guests with the maximum possible comfort.

I note that gastronomic tourism now has quite clear outlines and is even widely distributed. In fact, each of us, one way or another, as part of our trips, including this is doing just that - trying to fully try the unusual and sometimes very delicious delights of local cooking. On Sakhalin, gastronomic tourism can develop on a very large scale, given its fish richness, as well as the opportunity to familiarize all those who want to the kitchen of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Separately, I will say about seafood from the Sea of ​​Okhotsk - they have a huge variety. So, for example, some crabs have seven species, not to mention clams and fish.

Health tourism is perhaps the most common type of tourism in the world, as a rule, it is based on the unique natural opportunities of the region or SPA. We see our contribution to the development of health tourism on Sakhalin in the creation of a thermal resort based on the extraction of geothermal mineral water, where the centuries-old tradition of Japanese Onsen and the very popular direction of balneology, detox, are compatible. And we consider this to be logical, because Sakhalin is geographically located at the crossroads of two cultures - European and Asian.

As for business tourism, which is, in fact, visiting the region as top managers and ordinary employees of Russian and foreign companies, its development now is the increasing business activity in the region, which is projected to be in the next five years Will only increase.

Of course, the development of these areas of tourism on Sakhalin is not a simple matter. And if we talk about such a component of it as the dissemination of relevant information, then the media plays a huge and irreplaceable role in this.

Please tell us about your new ventures, which will later contribute to the development of business tourism in Sakhalin, as well as its traditional forms of tourism.
- The first is a serious reconstruction of our hotel in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, which includes, in particular, a major overhaul, a complete reorganization of catering facilities, and, most importantly, the construction of a water and health center - a base for creating the first civilized thermal resort on Sakhalin. After its implementation, the Mega Palace Hotel, one might say, will turn from a pumpkin into a gilded and comfortable carriage.

Another area of ​​our efforts in the development of sports tourism on Sakhalin is the organization of accessible tours for professionals and fans of skiing. At the initiative of the Ministry of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Government of the Sakhalin Region, together with the airline "Aziana", we plan to organize special tours this year for Sakhalin for South Korean, and possibly Japanese fans of mountain skiing and snowboarding. Due to the maximum possible discounts from all participants of the program, tourist groups will have unlimited access to the magnificent "Mountain Air" routes with a high level of comfortable accommodation and at an affordable price. As far as I know at present, the administration of the governor is not only interested, but also making efforts to organize a similar scheme, but with the participation of Aeroflot in the person of the airline Aurora and with a reference to Vladivostok and Khabarovsk. We are also ready to participate and support this idea in every possible way.

It should be especially noted that our plans are directly related to state support in the form of the creation of ASEZs. Less than two years ago, the Russian government adopted a relevant law, which really gave a powerful impetus and incentive for business to invest, an example of which is our project - the reconstruction of the Mega Palace Hotel in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
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