Oleg Safonov: "Our tourists transferred abroad about $50 billion a year"

The head of the Federal Tourism Agency explains why Russia needs a brand and why the domestic market grew by 20%.
Origin source
Rosturizm announced the beginning of the second stage of the competition "Russian tourist brand." First, with the participation of everyone, it took place in 2015 and gathered more than 10 000 offers. As they say in the Russian Association of branding companies, organizing a new stage, these works "will be used by professionals as a reference." Now the creation of concepts and logos will be engaged in creative directors, planners and designers branding agencies. The Federal Tourism Agency emphasize that the right to collective creativity of the state will give for free. The options selected by the jury, will be tested, and in December 2016 the three best will be put to a public vote. The head of the Federal Tourism Agency Oleg Safonov told Forbes, as the Russian tourism industry is ready for the emergence of an international brand.

- Why did you decide to create a brand for the Russian?

- Travel brand, are known to be necessary for the promotion of the country's capacity in the field of leisure travel. Of the 195 countries in the world have 146 such brands are available. Russia is in tenth place in the world according to claimoseschaemosti foreign tourists, and we set ourselves the goal to enter the top three. This tourist brand in our country still does not have, and it is fraught with missed opportunities. By the way, the brand contributes to the development and domestic tourism. We want to create all the conditions for our citizens as often as possible to travel in their own country. This is important in the cultural and educational, and economic terms. Our tourists were taken abroad about $ 50 billion until recently a year. Imagine how huge amounts of money to invest in other countries?

- How many foreign tourists were brought to Russia?

- $ 12 billion a year.

- Between the third and Tenth place a considerable gap. Is it possible to overcome it?

- It is. Russia has such a wide range of travel options, what is perhaps no other country in the world. We have yet to fully realize and achieve their potential. Tourism can be developed in each region of our country - and in the Arctic, and in the Caucasus, and in Siberia and the European part. And almost any tourism & mdash; historical, agricultural, ecological, beach, extreme, and so on.

Let's look to the Far East: a year three million tourists from South Korea, China and Japan are traveling by ship to the shores of Alaska. And do not come to us.

Would they like to visit Kamchatka? Yes. Can? No. In Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky no suitable quay walls, and insufficient depth in the port for cruise liners. Develop the port city is not in the competence of the Federal Tourism Agency, but we always remind everyone: do not neglect tourism potential. There are statistics, one new job in tourism gives rise to five jobs in related industries. The synergistic effect of the development of tourism is just incredible! Take caravanning - in Europe, this market at € 16-19 billion per year. Only Germany for a year visit the 5.5 million-sleeper. For us to go as? Two thousand. Why? Because we have the whole of Russia, only five full-fledged camping. In the western regions where they do not exist. We started with the highway Brest - Moscow. There M1 operator - "Avtodor", there is "Caravanners League", wetied, we agreed with our Belarusian friends. Hopefully, we will make camping chain. Then we get down to the direction of Moscow - Peter, Peter - Pskov, Golden Ring, Moscow - South.

- Is enough money? The federal program for tourism development with an allocation for the years 2011-2018 133.5 billion rubles ...

- This is the beginning. But in 2014, the program allocations have been reduced five times. In the past year have reduced budget sequester 10%. This year - even minus 10%. We have on a reduced volume in 2016 was supposed to receive 4 billion rubles.

- And initially 24.8 billion rubles?

- Yeah, right. But now allocated 3.6 billion rubles for all events of the year. What do you think, whether this amount is sufficient to create a high-quality, competitive, highly tourist infrastructure on the whole territory of our country? The question is rhetorical. However, we solve the challenges we face, based on the opportunities that are available. We strive to maximize efficiency. Remove as much as possible for the benefit of industry and consumers of each budget ruble.
<br /> - Register of investment projects of the program includes 72 tourist cluster. All of them will be realized?

- At the present time it is tourist-recreational clusters in 26 regions. Another 15 regions want to connect - projects have to be co-financed from the regional budget. But we, unfortunately, can not provide them with the federal budget allocations: not enough available limits. But what is remarkable: under the terms of inclusion in the federal program for one ruble from the federal budget should be involved in at least three rubles of private financing. We have at the end of 2015 came almost four rubles. That is the part of the business is not just an interest - a great desire to partnership. Public money is used for the creation of engineering infrastructure: gasification, construction of sewage treatment plants and water supply. Somewhere we can do the driveway, but small, because we are not the road fund. A business that fills the cluster of life through the construction of hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities.

- Could lead pokazatelny example of such a cluster?

- Yes. Altai region, Belokurikha mountain resort. Now it is filled with 100% all year round: there is a very good infrastructure. Together with the leadership of the Altai Territory will implement the project "Belokurikha-2." The total expenditures of the federal budget - about 5 billion rubles. Build roads, communications are carried out, it is actively involved business: to build hotels and restaurants. The project will double the possibilities Belokuriha for receiving tourists. There are similar projects in Buryatia, in the Urals, in central Russia - Tver, Yaroslavl, Pskov regions.

Initially wary regions to participate in the program, and the business is not particularly trust. The first years were very difficult. Where projects are completed, there is already a significant increase in tourist traffic. In general, in Russia as a whole the number of tourists - 50 million Whereas in the federal target program target by 2018 - -. 40 million, both foreign and its - increased by 20% last year.

- But how to separate real interest among the causes of domestic tourism growth from what ZagrayItza became expensive, while Egypt and Turkey - not available?

- And you do not need to be separated. There is a Chinese proverb: it does not matter what color the cat is, the main thing that catches mice. Yes, one of the growth factors - a rise in overseas travel. The fall of the ruble against the major currencies, unfortunately, affected the whole - and to business, and purchasing power. But while reducing the purchasing power of people still began to travel around the country more. Hence, the interest is there.

- According to statistics from 2015 almost 70% of the guests to Russia as tourists, or 18.7 million people - citizens of the former Soviet Union. If you look at the number of visitors from Western Europe, for example, the Germans have visited 553 000. Poland adopted in 2015, ten times more German tourists. How to awaken the interest of wealthy European travelers?

- Over the past two years, we did note reduction in the number of tourists from Europe. It is due to the fact that against our country introduced sanctions have negative background information, and this affects the flow of tourists. Although tourism - is a politician. But statistics in different countries is different. For example, the number of tourists from Spain or Greece is growing in Germany and the UK - is reduced. Of course, we need to try more actively and vigorously to promote our country as a comfortable, fun and safe tourist destination.

Last year we began to open marketing offices Rostourism abroad under the brand Visit Russia. Now there are ten. We started with Germany, Finland, Italy, opened two offices in China - in Beijing and Shanghai, Vietnam, the Middle East - in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. This year opened an office in Iran. The Iranians, by the way, is very active to us go. This wealthy tourists interested in the history and modernity of our country. The increase in tourist flow from Iran over the past year - a two-time (33 to 600 people for the first 9 months of 2015 -. Forbes). Offices opened in partnership with local businesses. On the rent and salaries, we do not spend money. Only in specific programs and activities to promote our country.

- Each of these offices their marketing approach?

- course. Tourists from different countries have different needs and ideas about Russia. Muslims, for example, it is important to show that we are a country with deep Islamic traditions, history, holy things. In general, we need to constantly think about the fact that the Russian guests feel comfortable. We are in the Federal Tourism Agency, together with the Association of Restaurateurs and hoteliers are implementing Halal Friendly program. A similar project has for the Chinese tourists - China Friendly. The Chinese are very active in going to Russia (1.12 million persons in 2015 -. Forbes). What, above all, it is necessary for them? Translated and adapted information. Ads in all the capital's airports have doubled in the Chinese language. And our marketing offices we promote this idea: come to us, you will communicate in your language, you can get what you want. We need to make our country comfortable in all respects. I think that there is progress and we are on the right track. We have created a national travel guide Russia Travel. It presents all 85 subjects of the Federation with verified information for travelers.

- In social networks you criticized for the fact that you call otdyhatin Russia, and they declared themselves two villas in the Seychelles. Villas you sold when headed Rosturizm. Since then, not a rest abroad?

- Yes, not rested, went on business trips only, and they have some swift - just for one day. And, frankly, within the country due to lack of time it is not very possible to have a rest. Days went by five in the Altai region, in the winter for a week in the Crimea. Since 1990, I have quite a lot and actively traveled abroad. Maybe it's the transition from quantity to quality and usually worked "everything is relative", but I had more interest to know their country. I still, when I fly somewhere on business, amazed at what we have is a huge country and how little we know it.

- If you suddenly will leave, the Minister will say: "Here's your month, go wherever you want", where would you go?

- I would have pulled on the Baikal, or to Kamchatka. Or even to Chukotka.