Future Benchmarks in tourism chosen in Tatarstan
A tourism forum will be hosted in Kazan from 5 to 7 December. On the threshold of the summit, the Tatarstan State Committee for Tourism presented its programme and talked about key themes. Read more about what national hiking trails are, the way culinary tourism will develop and how the sector is going through digital transformation in Realnoe Vremya’s report.
Forum in “sports shoes”
This year, Future Benchmarks tourism forum will be held for the sixth time. As its organisers promise, over 500 participants from more than 30 regions have signed up today. It is specialists in tourism development as well as representatives of small and mid-sized businesses. Due to the pandemic, the forum will be hosted not only offline but also will be transmitted online.
The theme of the sixth tourism forum is Current Trends and Digital Transformation in Tourism. According to Sergey Ivanov, this year, the organisers decided to do an experiment on the forum’s format.
“For people, the quality and comfort of communications go to the forefront. And we want to create an as comfortable environment as possible that could allow people from different spheres, businesses, state structures, public organisations to freely discuss all existing trends,” Chairman of the Tatarstan State Committee for Tourism Sergey Ivanov shared.
Several sites will be used by the organisers to hold the forum: the Tatarstan National Library, Uram Extreme Park, Ak Bars Retro Cars exhibition hall, the Contemporary Art Gallery and others. The second day of the forum will be devoted to digitalisation and be located in Innopolis.
“We see that the possibilities for this are really big”
The forum will consist of several sessions, each of which will be dedicated to a separate topic. The attendees will discuss tourism development in remote territories, the creation of national hiking trails, culinary tourism, they will talk about pioneer entrepreneurs who were the first to create tourism facilities in a certain place.
Talking about national hiking trails, Sergey Ivanov shared the idea of creating a similar tourist site in Tatarstan too.
“Analysing the potential of our and neighbouring regions, we see that the possibilities for this are really big. We have very interesting landscapes, nature and terrain. Most importantly, if we take traditional traffic arteries such as the Volga and Kama Rivers, there is a big concentration of interesting, cultural sites, agricultural tourism and active holiday accommodation places along their riverbanks. Our task is to collect this and unite in such global projects as national trails,” Sergey Ivanov offered.
Food as region’s trademark
Speaking of tourism development, author and coordinator of the Culinary Map of Russia federal project Yekaterina Shapovalova noted that every region must be present in all segments of tourism infrastructure, including regional cuisine.
The first mobile guide of the project Culinary Map of Russia will be launched in December. According to Shapovalova, today our country has about 130,000 food companies, however, less than 1% participate in the culinary map’s guide that is launched. The expert said that this theme should certainly be raised during the forum.
“It is necessary to talk about Russian regional cuisine and how to make it a part of tourism infrastructure. We should talk about food as a basic aspect of tourism,” Yekaterina Shapovalova shared.
Participants in the press conference also said that at the moment food and hospitality became separate sectors for tourism. And of course, as the gastronomic capital of Russia Kazan cannot help but make forum participants happy with its treat. During the session about culinary tourism, a Tatar tea ceremony with national sweets is scheduled.