The tourism sector in Russia is developing dynamically and has great potential
“This country has enormous potential. As for tourism, we have been developing the Silver Necklace of Russia brand for 10 years, all 11 subjects of the North-West are included in this project. Everybody knows this brand. Today, we understand that 45% of the population has already heard or know what the "Silver Necklace of Russia" is. Moreover, 44% of the respondents want to visit, walk along the routes,” Lyubov Sovershaeva, Deputy Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Central Federal District.
“We are now very consistently moving towards the integrated development of tourism in our large tourist macro-region in the North-West and the integrated development of interregional tourism. Much has been done in the North-West to develop tourism. Each region dealt with this problem in its own way. A unified logistics system has been created. There has never been such a convenient, comfortable logistics in the North-West of Russia. Lastochka trains connect St. Petersburg with Pskov, Novgorod, Petrozavodsk, Tikhvin, Vyborg; it is very fast and comfortable. Today, the North-West is a big tourist trend. It is a massive tourist flow, a developed tourist infrastructure,” Sergey Korneev, Chairman, Saint Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development.
The regions of Russia are developing unified tourist routes and creating new offers for tourists
“Interregional routes are the future development of tourism. Why should regions unite to create a trend for interregional routes? This is definitely a platform to bring businesses together in order to create new products. We have the opportunity to understand, study the needs of the market; and we understand what the needs of the tourist are,” Ekaterina Pronicheva, Chairperson, Moscow Tourism Committee.
“On the vast macro-territory of Moscow and St. Petersburg, cities began to appear that have tourism as the anchor employer. We understand that the role and function of tourism as an employer should be strengthened, especially since tourism, first of all, is an industry with a large number of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs involved in business; and they need to find favourable conditions for their development,” Elena Lysenkova, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for Tourism.
“We presented the idea of creating the world's largest naval park, a new tourist and recreational location, I would say, an educational location. We talked about the complex development of the territory, about the construction of more than 30 different modern infrastructure facilities: a museum, a modern embankment, a large number of sports grounds, hotels. Three years ago, there was nothing but an idea and enthusiasm. This year, for the May holidays, we registered more than 100,000 visitors for the first time,” Marika Korotaeva, Co-Organizer, Project “Land of Forts”.
There is an imbalance of types of tourism; people are trying to save on tourism infrastructure services
“According to the results of the first half of 2022, hotels in St. Petersburg accommodated 6% more tourists than in the same period last year. But at the same time, one should understand that only 38% of the internal flow of tourists stay at hotels. And only 16% are accommodated three-, four- and five-star hotels. The largest share of tourists (44%) prefer to stay with friends and relatives. One of the reasons for this is saving money,” Julia Kislova, Director, Market Guide Agency.
“Today we have a slightly inverted marketing pyramid. Cultural tourism [has a share] three times that of business tourism. Moreover, the season for cultural tourism is three times shorter than the season for business tourism: four months against eight months. At the same time, business tourism brings in three to four times more money than cultural tourism, and has a capacity four times that of cultural tourism. I mean, this proportion must be changed from all points of view. Business tourism should be a priority,” Sergey Voronkov, General Director, ExpoForum International; President, Russian Union of Exhibitions & Fairs.
External factors hindering the increase in tourist flow
“We broke the record for passenger traffic, then COVID started. During the pandemic, passenger traffic fell by almost half. When we compared the charts of how passenger traffic works with what is going on, it turned out that they coincide with the charts of the rouble and the dollar, and oil prices. But the attractiveness of the city [St. Petersburg. – Ed.], allowed to return to the figure of 18 million passengers. The number of airlines has almost halved. Now what happened, we checked, for example, the Turkish companies are not given additional frequencies. As a result, the ticket that cost 30 thousand, now costs 150,” Leonid Sergeev, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Capital Gateway.
“If we look at the structure of the flow [of tourists – Ed.], the share of foreigners today is insignificant and does not exceed 3%. <...> The flow of tourists from friendly countries may decrease. And there are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, flight programmes are being reduced due to sanctions pressure. This leads to an increase in prices and, therefore, to a reduction in demand. Foreign tourists are concerned about their safety,” Julia Kislova, Director, Market Guide Agency.
Increasing investment in tourism
“We need to invest in tourism. A comprehensive work is underway on the large tourist corridor Moscow – St. Petersburg. And these are specific solutions that will be offered to investors as part of a unified planning of this common macro-territory, this common global macro-tourist corridor linking the two capitals. It is more profitable to build a hotel here, we need green parking spaces, we need to improve the catering infrastructure. These recommendations will now be consolidated into a single integrated approach,” Sergey Korneev, Chairman, Saint Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development.
“The last three years have been full of challenges for our industry. Of course, now both demand and investment are located within the country. The work of all market participants should be focused on the development of investment, which should form the basis for improving the supply within the country. One of the components in stimulating investment is the general integration of investments. This means that each investor must understand its position in this tourist environment,” Elena Lysenkova, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for Tourism.
Development of unique regional offers in tourism
“Tourism and transport go hand in hand... with the infrastructure that needs to be created for all facilities to exist. A very important question that we all face when creating a strategy for the territorial development of tourism in a macroregion is the answer to the question: how each region should emphasize its uniqueness, how to create tourist demand and supply, how to satisfy it in such a way that it would be interesting for tourists to travel, again and again, choosing new locations for their holidays,” Elena Lysenkova, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for Tourism.
“We want to create a unique guide through the eyes of journalists. The media expedition travelled to all 11 subjects of the Federation and this guide is almost ready; it will be of interest to each subject of the Federation. We are developing the project, we are creating new routes, you can take tours on these routes. <...> There is an idea to create new routes called the “Imperial Ring” as part of the “Silver Necklace”. These routes are scientific and educational, and are associated with cultural and educational activities,” Lyubov Sovershaeva, Deputy Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Central Federal District.
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