Primorye ranked third among Russian regions in terms of tourism development
Every year Primorye demonstrates increasingly striking successes in the direction of the development of the tourism industry, approaching its main goal – the transformation into a tourist Mecca. Konstantin Shestakov, director of the tourism department of the Primorsky Territory, told Argumenty i Fakty about the most striking achievements of the region in the past year and about what contributes to increasing the region’s popularity among Russian and foreign guests.
– Konstantin Vladimirovich, tell us about the most important, in your opinion, industry achievements this year?
– Let’s start with the fact that there are three main areas that directly affect the development of the tourism sector and which are key in our work: the first is assistance in developing the tourist infrastructure of the Primorsky Territory, the second is improving the quality of services and the third is promoting tourism regional resources in international specialized markets.
For all of them, we, together with the Tourist Information Center of Primorye and the tourist community of the region, did a great job. For example, this year we presented the region at more than 80 specialized Russian and foreign sites. Participation in such events directly affects the recognition of the region in international tourism markets and, as a consequence, the growth of tourist flows to the region.
We also paid great attention to the development of tourist infrastructure: for example, this year we installed a series of tourist navigation signs, developed several colorful guides to Primorye, placed special maps on municipal buses indicating the places of interest located on the route.
This year a record number of calls to the region took place – cruise liners from Japan, Korea and other countries visited us 15 times
In addition, we have focused on improving the quality of services provided. Indeed, despite the fact that tourists are coming to us, and we see that this dynamics is very bright, it is necessary to ensure that these trips are not unique, so that our guests want to return to the Primorsky Territory again and again.
I would like to emphasize that the results of our work in all three areas did not go unnoticed at the federal level – in mid-November Primorye was recognized as one of the best regions of Russia in terms of tourism development. According to the results of the All-Russian rating held by the Ministry of Culture of Russia in 2017, we took third place, losing only to Moscow and the Moscow Region.
As for the specific results of all this activity, the main indicator of its effectiveness is the growth of inbound and outbound tourist flows. The exact information will appear in our country around mid-late January, but now we can confidently say that Primorye has much to be proud of: the total volume of tourist inbound and outbound traffic amounted to about 3.6 million people, which is about 600 thousand more than in 2016. We also achieved an increase in the internal tourist flow – about 3 million guests, while last year we received 2.5 million compatriots on our land. By the number of foreign tourists in 2017, Primorye managed to exceed the line of 600 thousand (last year it was 570).
In addition to the traditional flow of tourists from the People’s Republic of China, destinations from the Republic of Korea and Japan began to steadily gain weight in Primorye. The most striking and dynamic increase in the incoming tourist flow – 123% – was shown by tourists from Japan. The Republic of Korea also showed a significant increase in guests – approximately 78%. This is a great and very important achievement of the Primorsky Territory, because these two areas are traditionally strategically important for us.
– What caused the increase in tourist flow from Japan and Korea?
– Firstly, the dialogue between the top officials of our states and the list of areas of cooperation, which was determined in the framework of the Eastern Economic Forum. One of these areas is humanitarian cooperation, and tourism is the quintessence of this cooperation. Speaking about the development of interaction between our countries, we understand that it will entail a serious increase in sports and cultural events that will necessarily be involved in tourism products.
By the way, it was thanks to one of these events that we had the idea to develop gastronomic tourism in the region, focusing not only on seafood, but also on the unique Far Eastern gastronomic wealth: wild plants, berries, game, nuts, honey and much more.
Another reason for the increase in tourist flows from Japan and South Korea is the development of logistics – an increase in the number of regular and direct flights and the development of cruise traffic between the territories. Here we also have significant successes.
This year, a record number of calls to the region took place – cruise liners from Japan, Korea and other countries visited us 15 times.