The Director of the National Congress Bureau Told us About the Prospective Further Development of the Territory
The National Congress Bureau Association (NCBA) will be responsible for the promotion of the event potential and infrastructural opportunities of Kamchatka Territory at the international level, and attracting foreign events to the Territory. The respective agreement with the region's government was signed during the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September 2018. The Director of NCBA, Alexey Kalachev, tells us about the benefits this cooperation brings to the region, the place where international events are to be held, how they will influence the formation of the Kamchatka brand and the development of business tourism in the region, and the difficulties connected to the expansion of event tourism in the Russian Far East.
– Mr Kalachev, what are the principal objectives of NCBA's work in Kamchatka Territory?
– NCBA was created in late 2017 as a unified marketing organisation for Russia that pursues two major objectives: the promotion of the infrastructure potential of Russian regions and their brands at the international level, and the attraction of international events and activities to Russian regions, which we support.
Kamchatka Territory is one of 13 constituent entities of the Russian Federation, with which the Bureau has signed a collaboration agreement. The agreement includes a roadmap that specifies actions the parties shall take to organise events and attract partners, as well as promote the territory as a whole at the international level.
– Would it be correct to speak of Kamchatka Territory as a priority for NCBA, and what, in your opinion, is the main potential of the region?
– Kamchatka Territory is undoubtedly one of our priorities, which is mostly due to its geographic position, natural and cultural features, and opportunities to create infrastructure there.
Event tourism is considered one of the promising directions for the region's development, and at present it is one of the industries actively supported by the territory's government.
NCBA, jointly with the Government of Kamchatka Territory, will undertake to attract international events to the region, employing the necessary segments of the local market and engaging Kamchatka Exhibition and Investment Centre (KEIC) as the main platform for them. This will help increase the Territory's attractiveness among prospective business partners and tourists. We believe that the development of event industry on the peninsula may become a fundamentally new avenue for the establishment of year-round demand for all types of tourist services.
– Why is this particular site a priority for holding events?
– The reason is that KEIC is the Territory's only site that possesses the necessary facilities and physical infrastructure; it is one of the principal assets of the region's infrastructure potential. The centre was the first entity in the region to become a member of our Association, and at present it has the greatest potential in Kamchatka Territory for hosting international events, both in terms of number of attendants and the equipment the conference centre has at its disposal. Moreover, KEIC can host open-air events. Thanks to the aforementioned advantages, the site has already become one of the driving forces behind Kamchatka's promotion at the international level.
However, we won't limit ourselves to using the KEIC alone; all players on the events market in the region are important to us.
– What events does NCBA propose to organise and hold at KEIC?
– We intend to select the most relevant and in-demand events for the sectors that are important to the development of Kamchatka Territory. This primarily means tourism, economy, and science.
– One of NCBA's objectives is the promotion of the territory's brand on international platforms. What does this process entail and what are its steps?
– The region's brand promotion is a complex task that involves representing Kamchatka on various international platforms, and disseminating information about the territory among event promoters. An important part of the work also involves cooperating with foreign media.
When arranging any international event, it is vital to align the event with the region's industrial features that we intend to specifically promote to the professional audience –
representatives of international associations invited to Russia that arrange international events. As a rule, these events are rotated – they are held annually, and each country and region is represented by their own congress bureau and they compete to host them in a particular region.
– Will the work carried out by the NCBA assist in attracting tourists to Kamchatka?
– Certainly, our work on arranging and hosting international events should result in the growth of numbers of business tourists. The number of participants arriving at any event may vary from a hundred to several thousand people. Incidentally, according to statistics, a business tourist spends four times as much on meals, accommodation, cultural and entertainment activities, etc. than a regular one. All in all, it can be said that business events bring in both tax income to the region's budget as well as improve its investment climate thanks to the promotion and development of infrastructure. They assist in the development of branches of industry and the economy while increasing the business activity in the area, expanding international business connections and promoting the region's export potential abroad.
– In your opinion, what is the principal difficulty in developing the exhibition and congress business and business tourism in Kamchatka Territory?
– For Kamchatka Territory, just as for the Russian Far East in general, the main difficulty is related to the lack of sufficient sites that can offer the appropriate quality of event hosting.
The situation is gradually changing, however: Kamchatka has been developing at a tremendous rate recently, and its potential in the sphere of business tourism has been increasing as well. Every year, the number of events that attract tourists from around the world has been growing. Moreover, these events include a business program and help guests view the territory's economic and cultural opportunities for the development of event tourism with a new perspective.