Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

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Development of regional tourism: a tool or a goal?

Tourism - an industry that, along with raw materials, infrastructure and agro-industrial projects, are considered among the "engines" of the development of the Far East. Is this really the case, analyzes the candidate of philosophical sciences, a researcher at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Moscow State University named after MV Lomonosov Alexander Petrovich Segal

Development of regional tourism: a tool or a goal?
Photo: Shutterstock.com

The mechanism of functioning of the tourism industry seems quite transparent, and the contribution to the development of the region is obvious. However, one has only to look at this mechanism in action, as things are not so obvious. Consider some of the problem points of development - both objective and subjective, that is, taking place both from the configuration of the industry and from the understanding of the development strategy of its subjects.

As you know, the strategy:

a) is determined by goals, since it is a way to achieve them;

b) assumes the presence of a subject of goal-setting and decision-making;

c) is built systematically: with a certain sequence of steps and a hierarchy (subordination) of elements.

Let's start with the last point, which is, so to speak, the structural foundation. Tourist[1] The industry in Russia has existed for a long time, it has gone a long way of development and transformations - and the newly opened areas and regions cannot but be regarded as subsystems of a large Russian industry system, which, in turn, is a subsystem, a segment of the global tourist market.

It is precisely with the structure that there is inconsistency in goal-setting and, as a result, strategy problems: each industry participant judges the overall picture from the point of view of its own market segment. An analysis of the situation shows that the problems of the industry are systemic. There is no single weak link in the structure of the industry, which can be used to achieve a magical result. The system crashes in all or almost all of the links.

This means that any actions of the subjects of the industry, to be successful, must be carried out as a single complex, in which the sequence of steps and their coordination are important. This is especially noticeable in the construction of regional tourist infrastructures from scratch. In this case, from the very beginning one should consider them as subsystems of the industry and look for system solutions.

Different directions of interests of the subjects of the industry demonstrate the necessity of the presence of the main subject - the institution of setting a common goal and making a decision. It can be a regulator or even an organ of state power and government at the level of a region or a federal district. In fact, only in this way the particular tasks of the subjects of the industry can become tasks subordinated to the main, public goal - the development of the territory.

How can this goal be realized through the development of domestic and inbound tourism? It is assumed that travelers, having arrived in the region, in one way or another will leave money there. And with these funds, the revival and development of the region will begin, but it turns out that the “New Vasyukov concept” is ineffective.

First, not all tourist money will fall into the bins of the subject. Having arrived in the region, they will be dispersed fairly quickly - and it's good, if half of them remain in the form of deductions to budgets, income taxes and FZP, salaries to employees. The other part will go to the place of "registration" of participants, to other regions and countries, often in the form of "black" and "gray" lines ... Secondly, not every tourist is going to go to places where there are not enough comfortable hotels, good roads , where there is no system of insurance, transfers, communications.

So, maybe, to do everything on the contrary: first invest in tourist infrastructure, and only then wait for the golden tourist rain? And here comes the moment when they start talking about the development of the industry itself as a self-sufficient goal. And it turns out that the regions should develop it, because "it's so necessary".

The purpose and instrument of its achievement are interchanged. Such a turn is a sign of immaturity and / or lack of development strategy. Indeed, there is no strategy without awareness of the goal and its articulation. Because the goal sets the desired result, the means to achieve it, the direction of movement towards it and motivation. This means the need to voice the interests of the territory to the parties involved - the stakeholders.[2]. In other words, we need a translation from the language of the objectives of the territory into the language of the objectives of the subjects acting on it or together with it.

In practical terms, this question looks like "What to offer?". In the minds of a significant number of citizens, including participants in the tourism business, and representatives of the authorities and the media, often takes the form of "What to sell?" - and it sounds like a question about the "territory brand".

Let's say right away: we consider the brand as a special type of brand, “expressing not only functional, but also emotional benefits ... for which the consumer is willing to pay extra. Accordingly, the nature of the brand is closely related to the sale, and the brand’s premium is the monetary expression of the brand, that is, the value of the mark-up that the consumer pays for emotional benefits. ”[3] The above approach severely divides the brand and reputation as management objects, therefore, the "territory brand" is not, in the author's opinion, a correct and exhaustive indication of the subject of communication activity. It is more correct to talk not about the brand of the territory, but about the territory as an umbrella brand, under which the tourist product is sold.

Another common approach is the orientation towards the formation of the image of the territory. At the same time, they sometimes refer to Georgia's experience in the presentation of Mikhail Saakashvili. He said that when he was president of Georgia he drove foreign VIP guests to the most beautiful corners of the country, thus forming a broad information wave. However, the former head of the Georgian Tourism Administration, Georgy Sigua, repeatedly stressed that the country was conducting "aggressive PR" of the tourist direction abroad and invested millions of dollars in advertising campaigns. Yes, the result was successful, but for the beginning of Georgia it was necessary to tell that there is such a country, and it is not the US state of Georgia. We admit that the world learned about Georgia in August 2008.

We have a starting advantage - we do not need to talk about the existence of Russia. We need to make specific proposals for specific products. To whom should they be addressed? The answer to this question depends on how to make proposals - that is, communication technologies.

Technologies associated with brand promotion are designed for communication with the direct consumer and are aimed at his emotions. Tour operators and travel agencies communicate directly with clients - and directly in the places of residence of consumers. Therefore, tour operators, including foreign ones, act as the counterparty of the territory as an aggregate receiving entity. They want not only to hear a beautiful offer, but also to receive business information about the business climate in the region: infrastructure, taxes, security, etc.

So it turns out that “branding does not add anything when working with corporate clients, for whom the purchase of goods or services means a business partnership, in which the partner’s reputation and real relationship practice is more important than the“ image ”of the product being purchased”[4].

In other words, we have moved from image-making and branding technologies to technologies of reputation profiling, in the center of which is a collective subject of an action (in our case, a territory), performing certain “actions”. Competent use of technology, operating in the category of “subject's reputation”, requires high professionalism, but at the same time gives a qualitatively different effect.

The Far East for tourism is a clean sheet. And this is a tremendous advantage: it is possible to build a modern industrial building from the very beginning with a new, technologically advanced production, and not to rebuild the shanty-workshops, enclosed by "handicraftsmen with a motor". But the new industry requires serious design, in which, without cooperation with science, it is indispensable.


[1] In the Russian literary language there are both words: "tourist" and "tourist." However, the Federal Law “On the Basics of Tourist Activities in the Russian Federation” uses the adjective “tourist”. We will use the term adopted in the regulatory documents so that there are no discrepancies.

[2] Affected party: any individual, group or organization that may be exposed to risk, exposed to, or perceived to be exposed to risk. GOST R 51897-2011. Risk Management. Terms and Definitions. P. 3.2.1.1.

[3] Michael Thaytz. A brand or a reputation? // Humanitarian technologies: information and analytical portal. URL: http://gtmarket.ru/laboratory/expertize/2007/2127.

[4] Ibid.

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