Development of tourism in Russia
The prospects for the development of domestic tourism in Russia were evaluated at the sessions of SPIEF 2023. Experts noted that domestic tourism has become not only a fast-growing but also a high-tech sector of the economy over the past few years, and the number of tourists has significantly increased. Currently, the contribution of tourism to the GDP is estimated at 4%, but clearly, this is not enough. During the plenary session of the Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed to accelerate the development of tourism infrastructure in the regions.
Investment is needed to meet the target. Dmitry Chernyshenko, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, said that Tourism.RF is engaged in attracting investors to the industry. At present, its investment portfolio includes 53 projects. He emphasized that the collective task of Tourism.RF and the regions is to "jointly create world-class, all-year-round resorts in collaboration with investors, providing accessible and comfortable accommodation options for our fellow citizens and guests of Russia.”
The discussion on the prospects of domestic tourist flow, priorities, and key directions of development took place during the session entitled Tourism in Russia: A Focus on People, Sustainable Development, and Investment Attractiveness. The session was organized by the Saint Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. "We predict and we will strive to attract more visitors in order to increase the number of tourist trips. Now we have set a target to increase the tourist flow to 140 million people by 2030. I would like to remind you that in 2022, we had 73 million people accommodated in hotels," said Dmitry Vakhrukov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.
Tourist infrastructure needs to be developed in order to increase tourist flows. "If today we are talking about the development of automotive tourism, it will be followed by the development of transportation infrastructure. Today we are discussing the development of business tourism infrastructure, and this will be followed by the development of restaurants, hotels, and everything else," said Alexander Stuglev, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Roscongress Foundation.
Tourism projects that involve a significant increase in tourist flow were presented by regions at the SPIEF Investment and Business Expo exhibition. When developing key tourist destinations, existing resources were taken into account, and the profitability and return on investment in new accommodation facilities were calculated. The development of tourism in the regions is supported within the framework of the national project "Tourism and Hospitality Industry."
According to Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Chernyshenko, approximately 40 agreements were signed with regions at the Forum for the development of domestic tourism (the total investment volume was estimated at RUB 200 billion). The agreements entail the creation of tourist complexes, modern and affordable accommodations, as well as the launch of new interregional routes throughout the country.
Among the top priority measures to support the tourism industry, Dmitry Chernyshenko mentioned preferential loans, grants for beach improvement and the creation of campsites, zero VAT for all hotels, cashback programmes, co-financing of investment projects by Tourism.RF, and others.
During the sessions of the Forum, participants also discussed issues related to increasing international export of services in the hospitality industry, as well as topics such as automotive, medical, and eco-tourism, and the possibilities for travelling in the Arctic region.
The participants of the discussions noted the potential of developing automotive tourism in Russia and said that high-speed roads as an infrastructure service for planning a comfortable and safe journey would allow for more effective cooperation with car brands. For example, at the open platform of the Forum, vehicles from the Forum's national partner AvtoVAZ, campers, glamping facilities, and transportation vehicles for extreme tourism were presented.