There is no getting away from the fact that people go out into the country. It is not so much the latest craze as a trend, which is especially pronounced around large cities — Alexander Drozdenko, Governor of Leningrad Region.
Travellers around the world are becoming more and more sensitive to the topic of ensuring that the world remains a place that is worth experiencing — Andrea D’Amico, Vice President, Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Booking.com B.V..
In terms of whether we need nature reserves and national ecotourist parks, of course we do. I must say that it is the only correct option here. Clearly, if we do not develop ecotourism and earn revenue from it, we will not be able to preserve important natural specimens — Sergey Aramilev, General Director, Amur Tiger Centre Autonomous Non-Profit Organization.
We are a country boasting inexhaustible natural riches. If I am not mistaken, Russia accounts for 10% of the world’s natural resources. Of course, we are a country with enormous potential for tourism, including nature tourism. And of course, there is work to do in order to make tourism a substantial segment of the economy — Zarina Doguzova, Head, Russian Federal Agency for Tourism.
The trend [for ecotourism] is a fashionable one, but there is a feeling that in Russia it is still in the embryonic stage. However, our wild landscapes offer huge opportunities to develop ecotourism — Maria Morgun, Chief Editor, Live Planet TV; Anchor, Correspondent, FSUE "All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company" (FSUE "VGTRK").
In all honesty, there is a great deal of doubt in my mind that these projects are of interest to business. That is because again, the challenge is twofold: on the one hand, it is about preservation, on the other hand, it is about bringing in the crowds. It can often be the case that one task precludes the other. Either that, or visitor restrictions need to be applied. Naturally, business cannot be run by such approaches. If a loan is taken out, then there is the question of breaking even, of a company fulfilling its obligations to the bank — Konstantin Chuychenko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation – Chief of the Government Staff.
In total, we have 12,000 specially protected natural areas, and we know that access to them is restricted. The legislative measures are indeed very tough. So, it is virtually impossible under the current circumstances to involve business and attract private investment — Zarina Doguzova, Head, Russian Federal Agency for Tourism.
We do not have cadastral land. We do not have a plan to develop areas, and park directors assume huge risks when it comes to business development. Therefore, I think we must start with the rules, which could be clearer for business. Our parks will only flourish when this is done — Olga Zakharova, Deputy General Director, Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects.
The infrastructure is insufficiently developed. Yes, ecotourism and other original forms of tourism may be interesting, but people nevertheless want to be safe when they travel — Anna Tsivileva, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kolmar Group.
There are things which restrict us: the frequent lack of infrastructure, logistics, and accessibility by transport — Zarina Doguzova, Head, Russian Federal Agency for Tourism.
We need to work together with the government, non-profit organizations, and environmental organizations to allow businesses to access specially protected natural areas, to access the natural environment. However, this needs to be done while following a special set of rules. Similarly, these rules should apply when granting access to tourists. The Russian Federal Agency for Tourism needs to help us draw up a single set of rules so that we do not keep encountering the same pitfalls in each and every region — Alexander Drozdenko, Governor of Leningrad Region.
When considering the involvement of business – some kind of public-private partnership – then of course we need to first think about ways to remove the restrictions set out in law — Zarina Doguzova, Head, Russian Federal Agency for Tourism.
The topic is very complex. That is why I think that it is a shared responsibility of everybody who plays a role in tourism. It is the responsibility of global companies like Booking.com, it is the responsibility of the government, it is the responsibility of local institutions, it is the responsibility of the destinations, of the accommodation, transportation, attraction providers. In the end, it is also the responsibility of the travellers themselves — Andrea D’Amico, Vice President, Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Booking.com B.V..
We must raise this issue. We must work on it, and do so together with business, the government, and regional government bodies, who together could make equal contributions to this area on a steady basis — Anna Tsivileva, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kolmar Group.
We need to think about developing public-private partnership, to make it our objective. That is because whenever you build, maintain, and support some form of infrastructure, you will always need to bring additional organizations on board. You also need experienced specialists and organizations to attract the actual tourists. And of course, a national park needs to think about its regulations to a large extent — Aleksey Kudryavtsev, Director, Bikin National Park.
One of the main areas is probably to make people aware of their environmental responsibilities, because it we do not do that today, then the next generation will environmentally illiterate — Vyacheslav Shcherbakov, Director, Stolby Nature Reserve.
Make films and show them on National Geographic. Organize photo exhibitions and have them tour the world. Give the media a task, and let them complete the process, because sorry, but there are people living here who do not know whether Khakassia is part of Russia or not — Ruslan Novikov, General Director of Argumenty I Facty Ltd.