What are the pluses and minuses of the tourism industry due to the pandemic and the economic crisis? Will this give an impetus to the development of domestic destinations and the leisure industry? This is our conversation with Rina Grinberg, an expert and organizer in the field of tourism.
Aigul Nurgaleeva, "AiF-Bashkortostan": - Closed borders - it's time to develop domestic tourism, turn consumers to local locations. Are tour operators ready for this?
- On the one hand, everything seems to favor this. People do not have finances for overseas tours. But the factor immediately turns on: if a person is accustomed to all inclusive in Turkey, he will not exchange it for a tourist center in Bashkiria with incomprehensible conditions and amenities on the street. It is better not to go anywhere at all, to save up or take out a loan, wait until the borders open and still eventually go to Turkey.
Obviously there will be some splash. But, most likely, it will be compensated by the fact that people will not have much money to travel. Wild tourism will develop, which is not taken into account and does not bring anything to the treasury. It would seem logical that those travel agents who previously sold Turkey should now switch to Bashkiria. But these are completely different products. A travel agent must love what he offers, walk all these routes with his feet, fall in love with them. It's like the seller of a French baguette is now offered to sell crackers with the same passion. The situation forces entrepreneurs to try in this area. But not everyone can handle it. Another factor was that an agent received 15-20 thousand rubles from a tour to the Mediterranean worth 100 thousand. For a tour of the republic - from 15 thousand he will receive 1.5 thousand. Isn't it easier to go to another sphere? All while waiting and hoping for the best. We are 90% dependent on the weather - a very short season. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to the off-season. For example, we hold family camps in April and November.
- What is the forecast for this season?
- It all depends on when it will open. On the one hand, the self-isolation regime was lifted on May 12, parks and squares are working. On the other hand, the authorities do not recommend tourist trips, natural parks of regional significance are still closed. We, the organizers of tourist events, sent a letter to the head of the republic with a request to open them for visiting. And the season began a long time ago: weekends on May 1-9 "feed" about 10-15% of the year, depending on the orientation of the camp site. The first spring rafting, trips. Business did not work, camp sites did not work, excursions were not conducted. May and the first ten days of June have already been lost for domestic tourism. In general, I have no illusions. There is also the factor of "human fear". Definitely, this season will be more disastrous than the past. Despite the fact that the last two years, tourism has grown well and added 10% annually. According to Bashstat, the volume of paid services in the field of tourism in 2019 amounted to 13.52 billion rubles. The largest volume is 4.94 billion rubles. - rest in sanatoriums, which is 104.9% to the level of 2018. At the end of last year, the region was visited by 2.7 million people. Moreover, the main stream is provided by business tourism and spa treatment. Active nature tourism - to a much lesser extent. But it is less and is taken into account, because the share of an independent "wild" tourist is high. The national park "Bashkiria" was visited by 34 thousand people, "Shulgan-tash" - a little more than 30 thousand, the natural park "Iremel" - 24 thousand.
- How can our specially protected areas attract even more tourists?
- The National Park "Bashkiria" has a competent and sensible strategy, it has achieved federal funding for the development of infrastructure. It will have new toilets, parking facilities, etc., which will surely attract tourists. Therefore, I think, even taking into account the pandemic, by the end of this year, the Bashkiria National Park will grow.
- Is tourism necessary in specially protected areas or will it only harm?
- I am deeply convinced that it should develop practically only on the territory of protected areas, because this is an area with clear rules. This is a recreation area where you can relax. This is a reserved zone where you cannot go. There are people there who enforce these rules. Resting in specially protected areas, we will be more responsible for nature. Rather than go to the bank of the Inzer, set up a camp, light a fire, leave the garbage. This is a dead end road. It is in the territories of protected areas that strategically correct development of tourism is possible with an indispensable condition for the preservation of biodiversity in the environment. Because the load on nature is calculated.
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