Future Benchmarks in tourism chosen in Tatarstan

Future Benchmarks in tourism chosen in Tatarstan
Photo: Maxim Platonov

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 goal of this forum is to make sure the leading, active and strong market players exchange knowledge and information. We could examine and consider the most unusual cases that exist in our country and the world so that the tourism sector of the Russian Federation and the tourism sector of Tatarstan get the latest, the best and topical knowledge about tourism development around the world,” said Chairman of the Tatarstan State Committee for Tourism Sergey Ivanov.

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.

This year, the organisers decided to do an experiment on the forum’s format. Photo: Anna Seytumerova

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.

“Of course, any sectoral forum, on the one hand, should be dedicated not only to the discussion of current issues and challenges but also should be a place where new global national trends of the sector are brought up. And the forum Future Benchmarks fully meets the demand,” stressed Director of Tourism, Environment and Climate Initiative Development at Agency for Strategic Initiatives in New Project Promotion Olga Zakharova.

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.

Talking about national hiking trails, Sergey Ivanov shared the idea of creating a similar tourist site in Tatarstan too. Photo: realnoevremya.ru

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 guest of a region should have the possibility of tasting local products and national dishes from the arrival in the airport to breakfast at the hotel. It is necessary to introduce Russian national cuisine in tourism infrastructure,” said Yekaterina Shapovalova.

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.

Yekaterina Shapovalova noted that every region must be present in all segments of tourism infrastructure, including regional cuisine. Photo: Vasily Ivanov

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.

Emil Ziyangirov
Tatarstan