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"Twenty years - about toilets"
Problems in the tourism industry remain the same
During the recent Third Pacific Tourism Forum in Vladivostok, industry experts discussed the prospects for the development of cross-border routes in the international tourist markets of Northeast Asia.
Photo: Photo by Shanti Hesse / Shutterstock.com
Particular attention was paid to the issue of increasing the flow of inflows to Primorye. So, according to the Department of Tourism Primorsky Territory, the overall tourist flow to the region in 2016 overcame the mark of three million people. This is at 45% and 1 million people more than in 2015 year. Most of the interest in the Primorsky Territory is shown by Russians from other regions of the country: 2016 million people came to Primorye in 2,5, which is 48% more than in 2015. From other countries in Primorye in the same period entered 570 thousand tourists, of which 420 thousand people - guests from China.
On the second place in terms of the number of incoming tourists from abroad in the Maritime Territory is the Republic of Korea, the inbound tourism from which is mostly individual: from here in Primorye in 2016 came about 46,5 thousand tourists. North Koreans also show interest in Primorye: in 2016, 17,5 thousand tourists arrived from the DPRK in Primorye, which is one thousand more than in 2015.
According to the head of the Department of Tourism of Primorye Konstantin Shestakov, a consistently high tourist flow is maintained between Primorje and Japan: in 2016, the region was visited by slightly less than nine thousand Japanese.
According to official data of the department, the entry flows showed growth in the first quarter of 2017: the increase in the number of guests from China during this period was 36%, and from the Republic of Korea - 73%.
“The main part of the inbound tourist flow of Russia from the countries of Northeast Asia, and this is 90%, is divided into four points: Moscow, Primorsky Krai, Amur Region and St. Petersburg,” said Alexey Konyushkov, deputy head of the Federal Agency for Tourism. - As we see, the Primorsky Territory occupies an important strategic position in the development of inbound tourism in Russia. That is why we face major challenges in shaping the image of Primorye in the tourist market of different countries: at the moment we are working on developing a single tourist product - the Eastern Ring of Russia, which will unite 12 territories of the Far East and Siberia, including Primorsky, in one round edge In addition, the tourist infrastructure of the region, as well as service, always need to be improved.
Not by China alone
Despite the favorable data provided by the administration of Primorye, during the first day of the forum at the sessions devoted to the discussion of cooperation in the sphere of tourism with the PRC, the Republic of Korea and Japan, it became clear that the seaside tourism industry still depends on China.
- Unfortunately, the incoming flows to Primorye from Japan are on a decline, "Kirill Potapenko, Director General of DV-Region, said during the forum. - If we want to reduce the dependence of the tourism industry of Primorye from China, we should do the formation of a favorable image of the region in the tourism products market of Japan. Alas, the idea of Japan in Russia is much more positive than the idea of Russia in Japan. We do not resist this and do not inform the Japanese. To think: the majority of the citizens surveyed in Japan do not even know that Vladivostok is only two hours away from them. They are sure that Primorye is a distant northern neighbor.
According to Potapenko, with the current positioning policy, Primorye can count only on elderly tourists from non-central areas of Japan.
"If we want to change this trend, then we need to pay attention to the target audience from the mega-cities of Japan," Potapenko added. - To interest these tourists, you need to change the strategy. On the need to create a qualitative infrastructure in the province - toilets, pointers and so on - we have been talking for 20 years, so I will not even raise this issue. It is necessary, for example, to create suitable tourist products. I'm talking about the so-called "skeleton tours," which we are sorely lacking. Our tourist products are designed for groups of tourists, while individual tours also need to pay attention.
Japanese experts advise Primorye to position itself as a safe region.
"Citizens of Japan, when choosing a trip, pay great attention to its safety," said Mitsuhashi Ikuo, Vice-Chairman of NEANET (Organization of the Transport Corridor of Northeast Asia). - Unfortunately, not so long ago in St. Petersburg there was a terrorist attack, but in general, Russia is still on the list of leaders among the safe countries for our tourists.
The potential for the development of tourist relations between the Far East of Russia and South Korea during the forum was discussed from the perspective of the upcoming winter Olympiad in 2018, which will be held in South Korean Phenchhane. According to experts, the growth of tourist flows from South Korea to Primorye does not count much on 2018.
"Nevertheless, Vladivostok can take the advantageous position of the main transit point for travelers-guests of the Olympics," said Olga Gurevich, executive director of the Primorsky regional union of the tourism industry, chairman of the regional Public Expert Council for Tourism Development. - A large number of tourists will pass through Vladivostok International Airport. Our tour companies will have the opportunity to interest transit tourists with short two- and three-day programs in Primorye.
Industry experts from China are enthusiastically considering the possibility of further development of tourist relations with Primorye. According to Chinese experts, much attention should be paid to the development of the Chinese-Mongolian-Russian economic corridor.
"All three countries have great tourist potential," said Zhang Xiuze, a junior researcher at the Chinese Institute for Northeast Asian Studies. - China has a developed tourist infrastructure, but the degree of its "openness" is average; Mongolia, in turn, is open to tourism, but its tourist infrastructure needs to be developed; Finally, the Russian Far East has a huge tourist potential: its history, culture and nature are unique. But judging by the fact that Russia's GDP is still formed only by 1,5%, tourism does not count so on tourism in the country.
Sport inbound tourism could become a "golden dwelling" for Primorye, if the sports organizations of the region interacted more actively with interested countries, experts are sure.
"If we are talking about sports event tourism, tourism of fans and sportsmen, the main problem in this area is the isolation of our individual sports organizations that hold championships, tournaments and championships," said the candidate of economic sciences, the director of VSUES Galina Gomelevskaya. - But in addition to the most famous sporting events (PrimRing, Annual International rally raid on aquabikes and others), we could advertise to tourists and a large number of other sporting events.
"We are ready to become intermediaries between the sports organizations of Primorye and tourists from foreign countries," said Konstantin Shestakov. - This applies to absolutely all sports organizations, many of which are "brewed in their own juice."