Sergey Ivanov: “When game rules aren’t clear, investors try not to go in”
The chairman of the State Committee for Tourism raised the problem of restrictions on businesses’ operation in protected areas
Benchmarks of the Future international tourism forum will take place in Kazan from 23 to 25 October. Its programme as well as key themes — territorial identity, ecotourism and digital technologies — were discussed at Tatar-inform News Agency during a press conference on 16 October. More is in Realnoe Vremya’s report.
With routes but without infrastructure
Benchmarks of the Future tourism forum will take place in Korston hotel and shopping mall next week already. As Director General of the Tourism Development Centre of the Republic of Tatarstan ANO Dilbar Sadykova said at the press conference, the organisers have already received over a thousand applications, though the deadline hasn’t passed. About 40 regions have applied for the forum: from Moscow and Saint Petersburg to Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and Bashkiria. Kazakhstan, Turkey and Lithuania are among foreign participants. Invited experts will discuss the specifics of territorial identity, possible scenarios of its development and prospects of ecotourism and present new digital technology in tourism and share marketing cases. Chairman of the Tatarstan State Committee for Tourism Sergey Ivanov talked about the programme in detail.
“Territorial identity and development of highly protected areas as their core will become the topic of the first day of the forum. Now the global trend is ecotourism development. Cities and their population grow, and the necessity to leave urbanised spaces to nature grows more year after year,” Sergey Ivanov said. “I will remind that Tatarstan has two federal reserves: Volga-Kama and the Lower Kama River. They have tourist routes, some infrastructure was created, but in any case our republic has much more areas. It is the sites whose potential we will have to discover.”
For instance, the State Committee is now actively improving the Yuryev Cave. According to the chairman of the committee, a lot of tourists annually visit this site, however, there is no infrastructure there.
Sergey Ivanov went on talking about the insufficient development of infrastructure and mentioned the sector’s important problem of legislation’s restrictions on highly protected areas.
“A lot of federal norms in nature protection have been created. They often contradict each other or impose very serious restrictions on procedures. This is necessary, but clear game rules are needed on such territories, which, first of all, will be clear for not only authorities but also investors,” the chairman of the State Committee for Tourism said. “Today it turns out that an investor who enters a highly protected area goes into a very long cycle of agreements and restrictions, and the exit from it is not always obvious. If a person runs a business, not charity, time is money. When game rules aren’t completely clear, investors try not to go into such territories.”
According to the speaker, one of the key tasks of the upcoming forum is precisely to discuss the existing legal framework and successful experiences of the development of such territories.
“Nowadays traffic is huge, but ecotourism’s turnover in Tatarstan and Russia in general isn’t very big. The problem is to organise high-quality services on such territories so that not only citizens of our country but also people from other countries could come and see some unique sites, spend time in silence, eat eco-products and so on,” Sergey Ivanov conсluded.
Digitalisation and analysis of tourists’ behaviour
The second day of the forum will be completely dedicated to digital technologies and the tourism industry. As the chairman of the State Committee for Tourism noted, “the number of potential users and travels around the world is just very high”, while technologies help travellers to “find their bearings, choose destinations, make decisions and save time and money.
“When we set the agenda to promote and interact with tourists, we choose separate big data blocks: we see how a person behaves, where he comes from, what places he visits, the average bill, what he likes and dislikes and so on,” Sergey Ivanov said.
The speaker is sure that such an analysis of consumer behaviour facilitates the successful implementation of projects and draws attention to them.
“Here our goal is to get the latest experience in this sphere so that both Tatarstan and guests of the forum could become more competitive in interaction with potential tourists. I will remind you that the tourist market is very competitive, and entire countries, regions and separate resorts fight for the client,” the chairman of the State Committee for Tourism concluded.