Tourist Potential of Russia
At present, tourist potential of Russia is implemented in an extremely ineffective way, according to the Head of the State, only to the extent of 30% of the possible one. Taking into account the multiplication effect of adjacent industries, contribution of tourism to the country’s economy is assessed at 6.5%, while the world’s rate achieves 10%.
The country has unique recreational resources, however, only their tenth part is favourable for tourism development. The rest of resources either disappear gradually or are depleted and require restoration. Tourism and recreational resources have a much bigger potential. They are defined as a combination of natural and artificial, human-made objects that can be used for creating the tourist product. The examples are the Golden and Silver Circles, Baikal, Great Volga, Altai Mountains and others. Opportunities and directions of tourism development are determined based on these objects.
According to authors of “Russian and World Tourism Market” by Intesco Research Group, it is necessary to develop tourism around existing tourist and recreational resources in the country. The state, on its part, tries to create conditions for attracting investors. Special economic zones are created, infrastructure for special international events is developed. However, investors’ activity is still rather low. Main factors impeding growth of investors’ interest are the following:
- Weak development, low quality of infrastructure.
- Low level of service culture, which often predetermines successful operation of infrastructural objects.
- Absence of long-term credits with reduced interest rates and other factors.
Since 2014 several new amendments, which also aim at arousing interest both of tourists and investors to the tourist industry in RF, have come into force.
Since January 1, 2014 visa formalities between Russia and South Korea have been abolished. Besides, it is planned to have cross-years of tourism in both countries (supposedly, they will take place in 2014-2015). According to market participants, mutual visa abolition will lead to growth of Russian inbound tourism: even now tour operators can observe increasing interest of Korea citizens to Russian cities, and with visa abolition this trend will only get stable.
An important event for Russia and Italy is the beginning of the cross year of tourism. Italian party has already started taking measures on attracting Russian tourists to the country. One of the solid arguments for taking a trip to Italy is simplification of the visa regime. For example, for those Russian citizens who already have Schengen visa stamps in their passports, it is planned to open a multi-visa for 1-2 years.
Besides, new rules start to come in force in Russian airports. Since January 6, 2014 it is forbidden to take onboard the plane any liquids and aerosols, including medicine.
The latest measures should not reflect on the flow of tourists and are rather connected with security measures. On the whole, Russian tourist industry is developing linearly, and measures taken by the state should lead to changes in the situation both for inbound and domestic tourism.
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The given values were calculated by analysts of Intesco Research Group on the basis of official statistics.