Tourism may become an area of economic breakthrough
This was the statement put forward by the Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin at the 15th Cross-Regional Russia and Kazakhstan Cooperation Forum. The main topic of the forum was the development of tour industry.
Maxim Oreshkin believes in presence of thoughtful regulation and financial support, in 6 years, the tourism will turn into a “breakthrough area”.
There are grounds to believe so. Let us look at the figures. In 2017, spending of Russians abroad increased by 30% reaching over 31 bln. USD. In the territory of Russia, visitors spent 9 bln. USD. According to World Tourist and Travel Council (WTTC), tourists spent 5.4 bln. USD in Moscow. If the country creates tourism infrastructure comparable in quality with other countries, there is a strong chance that our fellow citizens will start spending more on vacations in Russia. If we look at the contribution of the tourism industry into the global GDP, it will amount to 10.9%. Contribution of tourism into Russia’s GDP currently amounts to 5%. There is plenty of room for growth.
Maxim Oreshkin believes that in 5 or 6 years, foreigners will spend over 20 bln. USD in the RF. Experts from WTTC do not provide such optimistic forecast. Based on their assessment, Moscow’s income on tourism will grow by 19% by 2027, and reach 6.3 bln. USD. In terms of Russia overall, experts of the organization withdraw from any forecast.
Previously, representative of WTTC said that the need to get incoming visitor visas is a significant barrier preventing tourist flow growth from the USA, EU and Canada. Experts believes that travelers from these countries are not used to the difficulties of getting a visa. This year, officials have raised the issue of visa regime reform, referring to the experience of football championship in the country, when numerous visitors from other countries visited Russia with a fan’s passport.
Beyond doubt, the government views tour industry as one of the growth drivers. Figures describing the increase of contribution of this industry into the country’s GDP are spelled out in the federal special-purpose program “Development of internal and external tourism in the Russian Federation (2019-2025)”. In addition, also in September 2018, Federal Tourism Agency was subordinated to Ministry of Economic Development. Before that, Rosturism was administrated by the Ministry of Culture.