Issues of local tourism development were discussed at the RF Civic Chamber on October 28.
“We have a pretty well-development international tourism; however, when we turn to the domestic and incoming tourism, we will have to deal with many problems and resolve many issues,” RF CC Member Sergey Markov pointed out opening the hearing.
He added that the public requests that the state and business structures created tour options inside Russia. “We understand that development of such tourism will favorably affect development of the economy in the regions and help to enhancethe level of people’s lives,” Markov stressed. “And targeted federal programs are one of the instruments for the development of internal and incoming tourism: they have a pretty good potential for further working,” the CC Member believes.
Director of the Federal Tourism Agency Alexander Radkov pointed out that the Federal Target Program on the “Development of Internal and Incoming Tourism in the Russian Federation (2011 — 2016)” is quite unique by itself, because it presumes attraction of 70% of non-budgetary investments.
“It is especially hard to attract investments to regions; however, we have to tell that in many cases the percentage on non-budgetary funds exceeds the target indexes and indicators,” Radkov told. “This meaningful phenomenon tells us that the business had ultimately believed in the state and is ready to invest in the projects, often even not waiting for federal money.”
Alexander Radkov also told the people present that the first reading of the bill on the provision for foreign tourists coming through Russia by transit to stay in RF for 72 hours had taken place.
“In our opinion, this is a break-through measure which should allow to enhance the tourist attractiveness of the Russian Federation,” Radkov added. “Further on, we probably should try to expand this right for all foreign citizens, never mind if they are taking a transit fly or not.
He stressed that the international experience showed how efficient this measure is for attracting tourists, and many states go along this way.
The RF CC expert, Chairman of the Club for Protecting Tourists’ Rights Dmitry Davydenko noted that it is necessary to hook up Civic Chambers along with other public institutes in those regions where tourist projects are implemented to let them more tightly participate in investment projects, including providing certain pressure on both the Ministry of Regional Development and FAE Glavgosexpertiza of Russia in order to facilitate speeding up the document flow.
Also, Davydenko shared his opinion on additional possible sources of funding for investment projects.
“We are now working on the mechanism which we are going to ‘trial’ in one of the regions in the nearest future,” the expert told. This is attraction of citizens’ money through municipal loans for realization of tourist projects in the territory of a municipal district. To do this, it is necessary for a municipal district to issue municipal bonds, place them, and working along with Rostourism to implement a number of projects together with the investment pool.”
In addition to this, Davydenko told that several major tour operators are going to implement their programs in the territory of Russia, which should lead to attracting more tourists and reduction of the tour product costs at the account of reduction of transportation and administrative expenditures.
“Of course, this is a two-edged sword: on the one hand, slam and medium tour operator business in these directions will disappear; on the other hand, the number of tourists will grow,” he pointed out.
The participants discussed perspectives of tourism development in the Far East, Siberia, and Arctic; they also noted the increase of tourist flow from the BRIC countries, especially from China and India, where the number of cash citizens beasts off.