A profitable business idea for the village: ecotourism

Rural tourism in Russia: where to relax

The travel business in Russia has always been a profitable business. The profitability of this direction remains high, despite the emerging crises or difficult economic situations in the country.

Recently, rural tourism as a business has become entrenched in the service market, and is of interest to residents of large cities. Agritourism allows a person to plunge into the everyday life of the Russian hinterland. For sophisticated townspeople, such a vacation is exotic, and for this they are ready to give a lot of money. It is not difficult to organize rural tourism, but there are some nuances that a novice entrepreneur should be aware of.

Ecotourism in the countryside: where to start

Ecotourism as a business is attractive for rural residents who have limited funds. A small start-up

capital will be sufficient for:

  • Purchase or construction of a small house on a personal plot;
  • Purchase of a vehicle that is necessary for the transportation of tourists.

In addition, you will need to purchase pets and set up a small vegetable garden where food will be grown. It is allowed to use a private house of an entrepreneur as a place for tourists. It is necessary to divide or allocate part of the room for the dining room, since food must be prepared in a special equipped room.

When drawing up a business plan, an entrepreneur must choose the type of ecotourism that he will offer to clients. There may be several options:

  • Camping on weekends;
  • Accommodation of guests in the countryside from 1 week to a month;
  • Comfortable rest in comfortable cottages ...

If circumstances allow a person to invest a large sum of money in the organization of rural tourism, careful planning is necessary. Before turning a business idea into reality, an entrepreneur must decide on the scope of the project and correctly assess his financial capabilities. These factors affect how the infrastructure of the enterprise will look like. It includes places for vacationers to stay, food and entertainment.

Any kind of activity, including rural recreation as a business, has its pros and cons. The benefits of ecotourism include:

  • Opportunity to get a stable income from usual and accessible activities;
  • Creation of new jobs for villagers;
  • Improvement of the territory;
  • Meeting new people, culture.

Residents of large metropolitan areas who have managed to visit all kinds of Asian and European resorts in their lives are becoming more and more interested in a rare type of recreation - rural tourism. Traveling through settlements and estates gives the city dweller the feeling of returning to his roots, healing and self-education. So, this time the tourist chose rural tourism in Russia, where to relax and gain new experience in the vastness of his homeland?


In Russia, rural tourism first began to gain momentum back in the XIX. At a time when civilized Europe was increasingly moving to a bourgeois way of life, in Russia the people were still living at the expense of farming with all the attendant village entertainments.

Foreigners came to the provinces to ride horses and in sleds, visit ancient monasteries, go fishing and hunt for various game in the forests of Russia. Basically, noble people stayed with local nobles who had their own land, which, along with entertainment, could provide comfortable accommodation.

What modern rural tourism includes

Today, rural tourism is built from several components, which are decisive in terms of ensuring the competitiveness of those who provide it. First, the owner must provide a full level of comfort to visitors, city dwellers who are used to having a bathroom, hot shower, security, communication with the outside world and round-the-clock access to food in the apartment.

Houses should be as comfortable as possible, while not losing their pristine, rural beauty. The interior should not be European or modern. This city dweller has enough at home. The tourist wants to plunge into rural life without losing the quality of living.

As far as entertainment is concerned, there is no problem with this in villages offering rural tourism. The host will provide a complete variety of activities including:

local excursions;

horse sledding or horseback riding;

If at the word "rest" pictures of a calm, measured village life pop up before your eyes - fresh cow's milk, wet freshly cut grass, spending the night in the hayloft, etc., etc. - then these are obvious signs of manifestation of craving for rural tourism. This type of recreation has a lot of synonyms, here are just a few of them: green, rural, ethnographic, agritourism. Simply put, this is a vacation in the countryside, which has cultural and educational tourist sites. So - what is rural green tourism?

Usually, this type of tourism attracts people who are tired of the bustle of the city, especially in megacities, with their frantic rhythm of life, and simply who want to plunge into a new atmosphere for themselves, learn something unusual, get acquainted with another culture or perhaps even master a new profession.

How much does rural tourism cost?

The pragmatic and sensible are always not the least interested in the question: how much will a fascinating trip to the provinces turn out to be? Since the price range is very wide, the cost of the rest in general will depend on the following factors:

  • Seasonality. The price fluctuates depending on the season, New Year, Christmas and Easter; the cheapest period is the off-season. So, you can stay in an agriturismo for 50 UAH/day or more.
  • Infrastructure. The remoteness of the village from the roads, the river-lake-sea, the presence of a shop, a first-aid post, etc.
  • Gen. The presence of a refrigerator, TV, bath/shower, toilet, gas or electric stove.
  • Additional points of interest. Excursions, transfer to the place, master classes on making jugs, embroidery, boating, horse riding, milking a cow, etc. On average, a master class will cost 70–150 UAH.
  • Attractions surrounding the area. Man-made and natural, landscape features, ecological situation. As a rule, visiting national parks is free. Money can be taken for additional services, for example, accompanying a guide along ecological trails, learning the basics of horse riding, survival in the forest. It can cost from 50 UAH/person.

In a word, there is an option just to go where the eyes are looking in an effort to "touch the origins", and there is an opportunity to go to one of the many specially built estates (in the same Transcarpathia), but this is for tourists who do not want sacrifice the usual benefits of civilization. But in general, we can confidently say that in terms of prices, rural tourism in Ukraine is very attractive in view of the flexible system.

Where to start

It's worth starting with where the soul lies to go and stay for a while. As mentioned above, you can choose to rest in the estate, of which, for example, in the regions of Western Ukraine, and especially Transcarpathia, there are dozens. Perhaps you should not immediately plunge into the village extreme in full (go into the wilderness, live in a rickety hut with amenities in the yard; although someone will like such a vacation), but first go somewhere closer to generally understand what experience do you expect from agritourism? A calm atmosphere is present in a mansion specially built for tourists, and in a simple hut, homemade fruits and pickles can also be served there and there.

Where to go for an agritourist in Ukraine

With regard to rural tourism, here Ukraine offers an immense choice. IGotoWorld. om walked from the east of the country to the west:

  • The Poltava region boasts Gogol places (Dikanka and Velyki Sorochintsy), the Kochubei estate, the Museum of Ukrainian Pottery in the village of Oposhnya, etc.

“I wish I could go to nature,” almost every inhabitant of the metropolis sighs dreamily. Silence, solitude, measured way of life - we have lost all this in the process of urbanization and are now forced to value it as a luxury. And the usual attributes of village life - harvesting, caring for livestock, making homemade cheese and wine - are perceived as exotic at all.

Agritourism has become the answer to the desire to "return to the earth", at least for a while, getting rid of stress and fuss. The fashion for it took shape relatively recently, because in the XX century "flight" from cities was typical only for hippies, downshifters and other informals. All the others, if they went for the summer “to the village, to my aunt, to the wilderness, to Saratov,” they did it more out of lack of money.

Now this kind of "escapism" has taken shape in an independent and very promising sector of the tourism industry, attracting not only by outdoor recreation, but also by gaining practical skills, familiarizing with local traditions. In addition, prices attract: in many cases, agritourism is cheaper than a voucher to the sea or a sightseeing tour of the capitals.

The definition from the dictionary is extremely broad: agritourism means any holiday in the countryside. What program is built around living in the countryside depends on the specific tour. For example, the gastronomic component can be accentuated: eating with organic products, tasting traditional dishes and drinks. Or cultural: ethnographic museums, folk holidays, the study of rituals and folklore.

But the main branch of agritourism is related to work. Yes, by the personal participation of a tourist in rural labor, by his “own hand” comprehension of the local way of life. After all, what kind of life in nature is without a peasant economy, folk crafts? Work is offered for all tastes: harvesting in orchards and vegetable gardens, looking after the stables and apiary, grazing sheep and fishing. In a word, there is something for everyone - even if you are in the village for the first time and are not used to physical labor.

There are two possibilities here. On the one hand, the program can be designed with an educational bias (coach tourism): a special mentor will tell you about the principles of organic farming, teach you how to understand berries and mushrooms, milk cows and ride a horse. You will have to pay for such master classes, and a lot.

Alternative - volunteer tourism: a tourist settles on a farm as a volunteer who helps in routine agricultural work. In return, the owners take upon themselves the organizational costs: the guests are accommodated in adjacent rooms, everyone eats at the same table. Often, such a vacation does without monetary payments at all. Considering that there is no need to work hard from dawn to dawn - I worked six hours "on the fly" and is free - the village "coachsurfing" looks very tempting for thrifty travelers.

It should be added that the fashion for agritourism did not pass unnoticed by the participants of the tourism industry, who began to organize appropriate trips. However, it is not “authentic” rural life that is generally offered, but a stylization for it: instead of a farm - a specially built park-hotel, instead of agricultural work - excursions. There is no need to talk about immersion in local life and cultural exchange with local residents.

Agritourism originated in the USA, Canada and Australia, where farms and ranches began to accept students who were passing the holidays: they got the opportunity to earn extra money and play cowboys, the owners got extra working hands. In Europe, a new kind of recreation has literally fallen on fertile soil: the agrarian regions of Spain, Italy, France do not know the end of those who want to watch the collection of olives and grapes, feel the atmosphere of old cheese factories and mills.

In the USSR, agritourism flourished long before the concept itself arose: the same students went "for potatoes", numerous "shabashniki" plyed through the villages. But agritourism in the modern sense is not widespread in Russia. When entering our market, foreign fashion undergoes amazing mutations. So, on the request of "agrotour" in the network, you are unlikely to find offers to settle and work on the farm: the choice comes down to "safari in the bison nursery" to Santa Claus ", museums of folk crafts, a wine tasting tour, or even a trip to a barbecue in a forest near Moscow.

Sometimes there are proposals for harvesting: state farm im. Lenin and the fields of the Russian Agricultural Academy in the Moscow region are called to the berry, the company "Sady Pridonya" in the Volgograd region - to harvest apples. But that's a small percentage of how agritourism could unfold in Russia, officials and industry experts say. In their opinion, many owners of private farms would not mind to earn extra money on tourism if they had information and regulatory support.

Thus, according to the AgroTourismAssociation, there are about 3 thousand objects of rural tourism in Russia, the deficit in each region is 355 objects (10 times more than there is). The head of the association, Taras Astakhov, connects this, in particular, with the excessive requirements of standards: for the organization of catering in accommodation facilities, the construction of buildings on agricultural land, and so on.

In April this year, a group of deputies submitted to the State Duma a bill on agritourism - it proposes to include this very concept in agrarian legislation. After that, according to the initiators of the document, it will be easier to think over support measures for rural hoteliers.

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