Russian regional leaders and heads of small towns, Russian and foreign experts, managers of travel agencies, trade unions and associations, developers and investors took part in the International Tourism Forum “Visit Russia”, which was held on October 20-21, 2011 in Yaroslavl.
More than 530 delegates from 30 Russian regions, as well as distinguished experts and skilled practitioners from Germany, the USA, China, Italy, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, India, Australia, Turkey, Slovenia and other countries discussed opportunities for the growth of tourist flow and integration of Russia into the global tourism industry. The Forum was held on the initiative of the Government of the Yaroslavl region, the “Golden Ring” Development Corporation and was supported by the Ministry of Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy of Russia, the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism, under the auspices of Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian President in the Central Federal District. “Polylog” Consulting Group, GHH Consult (Germany) and “Volga-tour” Company were the operators of the Forum.
Giving a welcome address to the participants of the Forum, the Governor of the Yaroslavl region S. A. Vakhrukov noted that the Yaroslavl region had everything to attract a big tourist flow, namely, rich historical and cultural heritage, favorable natural environment and resources, geographical proximity to the capital, transport accessibility and of course, traditions. “Tourism is an important sector which provides further development of our territory. But today we not only create a comfortable environment for visitors from other cities and states. Meeting the needs of regional residents is of crucial importance to us. So the tourism industry should follow this path”, said Sergey Vakhrukov.
More than 80 Russian and international speakers took part in the Forum. The program of the International Tourism Forum consisted of 7 expert panels:
Using the unique resources of the Russian regions for tourism development;
Tourist cluster as a tool for innovative development of the industry;
Creating conditions for the development of tourist destinations, the legislative regulation;
The priority actions for incoming tourism increase in Russia;
Effective branding, marketing and promotion of sightseeing areas;
The development of internal (interregional) tourism;
Financing of projects in the tourism industry. Private investors, government support, public private partnership.
The reports were filled with facts. They aroused considerable interest and triggered the discussion on sensitive issues of tourism. This Forum became the starting point for some large-scale projects that could change the perception of public-private partnership in tourism.
On the first day of the Forum two major agreements with the Government of the Yaroslavl region and Special Economic Zones OJSC were signed at the exhibition booth of the “Golden Ring” Development Corporation, General Partner of the Forum. The parties officially agreed to continue the construction of the resort area in Pereslavl-Zalessky which would become one of the main stopping points in the Golden Ring route. Besides, they signed a cooperation agreement between Special Economic Zones OJSC and Bull Mountain LLC (subsidiary of Rusresorts). The subject of the agreement was the implementation of an investment project on the construction of a year-round ski resort “Baikal”.
The managers of “Polylog” Consulting Group prepared a business program and agenda of the Forum, made a selection of foreign experts and speakers. They developed a scheme of exhibition area and halls, venue design, souvenirs. They worked with partners and sponsors of the Forum, regional and federal Media. Thanks to “Polylog” Consulting Group, a full-scale press center was built and operated. Dozens of articles were translated into in Russian, English and German and published in leading travel magazines.
The International Tourism Forum “Visit Russia” turned out to be interesting and useful from a practical point of view. I believe that such events should be held on a regular basis to strengthen cooperation and exchange of experience between different countries.