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Gift Certificate - to return

Tourism in Primorye - from the first person

Gift Certificate - to return
Photo: primorsky.ru
About how much Chinese tourists leave in Primorsky Krai and how to sell the gift certificates of seaside shops to determine the degree of satisfaction of the guests of Vladivostok, the correspondent of EastRussia spoke with the director of the Department of Tourism of Primorsky Krai Konstantin Shestakov

- Konstantin Vladimirovich, how do you assess the current year in terms of the development of tourism in the Primorsky Territory?
- The Primorye Territory is the undisputed leader of the entire Far East in terms of tourist flow, both inland and inland. Suffice it to say that today we are entering the top 3 regions of Russia in terms of the number of tourists from China, yielding only to Moscow and St. Petersburg. And if we evaluate the year, according to forecasts, the number of visits by foreign citizens to Primorsky Krai this year will exceed the figure of half a million people for the first time. This is a good achievement.

- Tourists from which countries come to Primorye?
- These are mainly tourists from Asia. Key countries are China, South Korea and Japan. Of course, tourists from China most of all - from the beginning of the year their number exceeded 350 thousand people. Compared to the same period last year, this flow increased by a third. At the same time, the growth in the number of tourists from China visiting our region as part of the visa-free exchange agreement was even greater - on the order of 65-70% from last year’s figures. There is a well-defined dynamic over the past two years.

The second largest inbound tourist flow is provided by South Korea. These indicators are far from Chinese, but their dynamics are higher. Korean tourists often began to visit our region. So growth, compared with last year, according to the results of 9 months 2016, is more than 62%. In total, over 9 months, more than 41 thousand people from the Republic of Korea visited Primorye. Close the top three tourists from Japan.

- China, Japan, South Korea - the nearest neighbors of the Primorsky Territory. Are there those who come from afar?
- European flow has pleased us, it is already estimated in thousands of people. The growth of the tourist flow, for example, from Germany amounted to 184%. Even greater distance has to be overcome by tourists from Australia, but here we see a good growth: 154% compared to the same period of 2015. For us, this is very important and significant: this shows that the regional and federal policy of promoting tourism products of the region does work. There is a certainty that the dynamics of growth will continue in the future.

- How much does the average tourist from China leave in Primorye? How can you characterize their social portrait, status?
- Based on the monitoring, we derived an average tourist check from China. They can be divided conditionally into two classes. The first - let's call it economy class - the trip itself in Primorye will cost such a tourist from 350 to 500 yuan. In our region, for three days and two nights, he spends on average from 150 to 200 dollars during his stay.

The second “class” has been growing quite dynamically recently, and the growth is associated with the development of air travel destinations. These are more solvent and wealthy tourists, as a rule they represent the central and southern parts of China. For them, taking into account the flight, the entire amount of the tourist product is already 5000 yuan - that's about 740 dollars. And the average check of such a tourist for the same three days two nights is already 4000-5000 dollars. Such tourists is growing, and it is secured and wealthy people. Their preferences - rather expensive hotel with class restaurants, they prefer to air tours. Such tourists order boat trips on yachts, can afford to buy jewelry, visit cosmetics and clothing stores, and also prefer expensive cuisine. In such a beauty salon, the average tourist check is about 12-13 thousand rubles per visit. By the way, lately there has been a characteristic detail: tourists increasingly began to buy to buy gift cards from our seaside stores. For us, this is a very good sign, meaning that the arrival of such a guest is not an isolated one.

- And the Japanese and the Koreans?
- Tourists from Japan, the Republic of Korea - as a rule, are individual tourists with their own special wishes. Among them there are big fans of gastronomic tours, connoisseurs of the wild nature of the region, who are increasingly interested in tours to the North of the region, there are art connoisseurs who specially come to the performances of our Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theater. Such tourists form interest groups, specialized tours are already ready for them, the average cost of which without flights can be, depending on the tour, from 2 to 3 thousand dollars. Of course, as in the case of tourists from the PRC, these are average values.

- How difficult is it to please foreigners?
- In order to determine the points of growth of tourist flows as efficiently as possible, one must clearly try to understand their interests, their mentality, and often their predilections, up to gastronomic preferences. And they are many-sided and complex. But based on the recent experience of working with our Asian neighbors, we already have a lot of information and an understanding of which direction to move further. And the experience accumulated by our tourist companies working for the guests of the region is great.

Probably nothing promotes the regions in terms of tourism as the communication field formed by the tourists themselves. That is, the richness of information provided by tourists themselves visiting Primorye: sharing their impressions of travel on social network pages, sharing the information received with their friends, colleagues, relatives, they form an additional favorable image of our region. All this creates a certain effect of a snowball: the more we are visited, the more actively is the dissemination of such information about Primorye as a favorable tourist destination. Such communication brings, of course, great benefits.

- What objects do tourists choose?
- Traditionally these are objects well known to our colleagues and tour operators from Asia: starting from the sites and historical part of Vladivostok, memorials and museums, and ending with new objects built for the APN Summit 2012 - the Far Eastern Federal University, the Opera and Ballet Theater, and Etc. Invariably popular are the integrated entertainment resort Primorje, the sports and technical complex Primorskoye Koltso, the Historical and Cultural Park Izumrudnaya Dolina, the seaside Safari Park and the Oceanarium. Within the framework of the regional state program "Tourism Development in Primorsky Krai" at 2013-2020, the specialists of the Tourist Information Center presented new routes adapted for the cold season. They include original programs: Primorsky Confectioner, Asiatic Vladivostok, European Vladivostok, Orthodox Primorye, climbing - walking tours to the city of Pidan and the hill of Olkhova. But let's not forget about the desire of our guests to visit our shopping centers. The purchasing power of our guests is now extremely high.

Event tourism is also an excellent method of attracting tourist flows. So, in the region there are already traditionally competitions of the highest international level in water sports: sailing, aquabike, rowing. This year the region is one of the main leaders of the regional stage of the All-Russian competition of the Russian Event Awards - 2016, in which all regions of Russia represent developments in the development of the tourism industry, and, first of all, new opportunities for domestic tourism. Primorye has been hosting the regional stage of the national award for several years, but for the first time firmly holds the leading positions in the categories "Tourist Information Center" and "Tourist business event". Holding such events of event tourism is a colossal magnet for increasing tourist flows.

In general, I would like to separately note that this year, our Tourist Information Center has achieved great success in promoting the region on the markets that are strategically important for us. This year, his work was highly noted at specialized congress and exhibition events and competitions. The team there has developed a very active and most result-oriented.

- The next year is planned a multiple increase in the number of ship calls of cruise ships to Vladivostok. What is the reason for this?
- Sea cruises in recent years have become an increasingly popular and more affordable option for tourist trips, both in the world and in the Asia-Pacific Region. Cruise tourism is a separate direction in our work, which also achieved good results. Frequent calls of Korean and Japanese passenger ships. For the first time, the region was visited by the Chinese Taishan operator liner, with which certain agreements were reached for the future - on the inclusion of the port of Vladivostok in its itinerary. In addition, agreements have been signed with Korean colleagues from the Marine Tourism Center of Kwangon Province: a regular cruise line will link Primorye, Japan and South Korea.

Prospects for the development of cruise tourism between Primorye and Asia were discussed at the XXI Summit on the international exchange and cooperation of regional administrations of the countries of North-East Asia. Most recently, meetings with our colleagues in Shanghai were completed, where, within the framework of international congress and exhibition events devoted to the tourist industry - Sea ITM, the city and port of Vladivostok was presented as an objectively interesting point for cruise tourism on the Russian coast. We had talks with the leaders of the largest Asian carrier companies and shipowners, whose headquarters and offices are located in Shanghai - this is the management of the Royal Carribean, Costa, and SKY Sea Cruise companies. Operators have indicated interest in working with Primorye and have demonstrated a fairly clear understanding of our capabilities and advantages. Following the meetings, Costa officially announced 6 ship calls to Vladivostok. Thus, the number of ship calls of cruise liners in Primorye will double next year and amount to 12 ships.

- How long does it take for the port services, official bodies, border control authorities to design a cruise ship, from the moment of entering the port to the exit of passengers?
- Modern cruise ships are the most real floating hotels, with a full set of all related services, capable of hosting thousands of passengers. And in order for the population of such a floating town, traveling on the seas and oceans, even for a day to come to our seaside shore, much has already been done and is to be done. Let me remind you that to date, two ports of Primorye have already been included in the list of seaports through which tourists can arrive to the territory of the region without a visa and stay up to 72 hours. These ports are Vladivostok and Zarubino. Today, thanks to the active position of the border services of the region, passengers of cruise ships entering the port of Vladivostok in the early morning can go to the city without hindrance by 8 - 9.

In general, the development of cruise tourism in the province was approved by the Governor of the region Vladimir Miklushevsky as one of the priority directions for the development of the tourist industry in the region. In this regard, a set of measures to ensure the dynamic development of this direction. This is work to improve the quality of service, the promotion of the territory as a favorable cruise destination, and of course the work carried out by the owners of the coastal infrastructure facilities for its modernization.

In this vein, I would like to remind you that Rosmorport announced a tender a month ago for dredging works on passenger berths of the VICP. Rosmorport has already allocated 8,8 million rubles to carry out design works on dredging.

Another direction in which we are moving is filling the program of cruise ship passengers stay in Vladivostok with interesting events and events. For example, this year our seaside scene of the Mariinsky Opera Theater, joining forces with cruise and tourism operators, presented a special program for the next arrival of the liner - special performances were arranged, docked with the cruise schedule. This approach has caused a lot of positive emotions both for tourists-passengers of the liner, and for its operator. And the fact that Vladivostok and Primorye can and is ready, and most importantly - has enough opportunities for the formation of interesting tourist products, performed at a high professional level, no one doubts.

"It's understandable with large vessels." And how to be a small-sized fleet? Vladivostok is a port city, on the part of tourists there is a stable demand for boat trips on boats and yachts.
- The sea is one of our main strengths in attracting tourists to the region. And with this resource we should be able to use it competently. Now in the Primorsky Territory 38 thousands of small vessels are registered. But a few months ago, their owners did not have the opportunity to obtain a license for the organization of transportation. At our request, this year the government issued a Government Decree, thanks to which such an opportunity appeared, and already the first interested persons received such a license. These changes will become a serious additional incentive for the development of the tourism industry. We expect that the adoption of such a decision will allow us to step out of the shadow to the whole sector of small private entrepreneurship in the field of tourism, in particular, marine excursions.

- What are your goals for the future?
- Tourism is a unique sector of the economy, which is a powerful catalyst for the development of more than 53 different economic areas. The tasks set by the Governor of the region and enshrined in the tourism development program in the Primorye Territory are ambitious, but fully justified: the development of the region as an Eastern tourist hub of Russia, and in concrete terms this is an increase in the total tourist flow (inbound and outward) to 10 million year to 2020 year. This means an approximately 3-fold increase in current performance.

We are faced with very important, but at the same time extremely interesting tasks. Personally for me it is very important, the work you are doing should be interesting and loved. I know for sure that thanks to clearly defined tasks, clear ways to achieve them and, of course, to the team of professionals that currently works in the industry, tourism as a branch of the economy will become one of the locomotives of its development.

EastRussia Help
Shestakov Konstantin Vladimirovich - Director of the Primorsky Territory Tourism Department. He graduated from Far Eastern Federal University in 2004 year. Has two higher educations in the specialties "World Economy" and "Jurisprudence". Konstantin Shestakov started his career in the tourist company LLC Dialogue of Peoples-1. Since 2010, I worked in the Primorsky Territory Administration in various positions in the field of tourism.