You can't feed a brand

Holidaymakers

In recent years, many events of federal and even international scale have been held in Altai: the APR management forum, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization forum, as well as major industry events like the Winter Grain Conference and others. Participants in such events fall under the category of business travelers. Business travelers are those who travel for business purposes. But not only: after business meetings and seminars, the business traveler also wants to relax and see the local beauty. That is why Altai is in demand for various events. However, experts note that the direction of business tourism in our region is still poorly developed: it will receive an impetus in development only when solving problems common to the industry related to infrastructure.

“Business tourism includes two components: organizing business trips and conducting all sorts of 'events' (forums, seminars, incentive trips for distributors, team building events, etc.). etc.) ", - explained to" VD "Vadim Zelensky, Chairman of the Russian Association of Business Tourism. To designate business tourism in international practice, they use the abbreviation MICE (M - meetings (meetings), I - incentives (incentive trips), С - conferences or congress (conferences, congresses), E - exhibitions or events (exhibitions, events)./P >

In Russia, this industry is still quite young, it is no more than 15 years old. It does not yet have its own standards or legal framework. However, according to analysts' forecasts, in the coming years the business travel market will grow in our country faster than in the USA and Europe. Today its volume is estimated at no less than $ 7 billion.

The MICE segment is also beginning to form in Altai. Local tour operators have been providing this kind of services to companies for several years. “However, we do not have specialized firms organizing such events,” says Irina Slesareva, vice president of the Altai Regional Tourism Association. - Often the organization of meetings and conferences is carried out by the same structures that collect and finance the event, including state ones. In my opinion, this is a promising development market ”.

Belokurikha vs Barnaul

To increase the business tourist flow, the region needs, first of all, sites where large-scale business forums could be held. Conference rooms in Barnaul are located at many hotels. However, all of them are designed for no more than 100 people. Accordingly, the city cannot count on high-profile business events. “Once we received an order to hold a conference for 400 people. But we could not find worthy accommodation facilities, interesting to the customer: in this regard, it was Gorny Altai that was very interesting to him. We wanted to hold a conference in Barnaul, using the premises of the Mir cinema, and then go to Gorny. But the customer did not agree to go far, ”said Olga Guseva, manager of the Altaytourist company.

When it is required to organize an event with a large number of participants in the regional center, the organizers are forced to turn to the rental of premises that are not intended for that, for example, in a drama theater or a musical comedy theater. As noted by tour operators, today there are specialized sites of the required level only at the resorts of Belokurikha. Therefore, it is she who is popular all year round with both Altai officials and business representatives. This year, there is going to "move", in particular, the international youth management forum "APR", designed for 1.5 thousand participants. Last year it took place at Turquoise Katun.

“Every year we host 30-40 events of various levels,” says Oleg Akimov, director of strategic development at Resort Belokurikha. - Last year there were two major ones: the first international forum "Rural tourism in Russia" in June and the forum of the "Shanghai Cooperation Organization" in November (more than 500 people took part in each). The latter took place in the hall of the Belokurikha sanatorium, designed for 360 people. But the most in demand is the hall in the sanatorium "Siberia", it can accommodate up to 300 participants of the event. Designed specifically for conferences, equipped with a broadcast system: central screen plus six additional screens in the hall; there are systems of simultaneous translation, video and audio protocols, the walls are covered with special sound-absorbing material. Events in Siberia are held every week. "

According to experts, Altai should rely on such objects, and the fact that the center of business tourism in our country does not coincide with the regional one is logical in our case. In cities with a population of one million, the business tourist flow has been and will be greater than in Barnaul; but in Altai it can be increased using the "natural advantage" - the unique natural beauty in the mountainous regions. “In business tourism, the natural factor is important,” says Alexander Smirnov, director of the Plot travel agency. - The same Novosibirsk does not have such a recreational potential, coupled with a sufficiently developed infrastructure, as we do. I believe that on the scale of the entire Siberian Federal District, the potential for the development of business tourism is greatest in our country. Even in Irkutsk, where there is such a gorgeous natural object as Lake Baikal, it will not work to do something large-scale: a very weak hotel base. "

Following up on business

Rest on; business

Last year, the tourism industry of the Altai Territory rejoiced: the region was visited by more than 2 million tourists. It was assumed that today the increase will be 3-5%, but in the summer it will be high! - only 880 thousand guests came to the region during the season.

Obviously, there will be no growth. Let's not break our spears about the methods and reliability of the calculation. We will not make excuses with Turkey, which has again come off for the Russians. Let's talk about our own, paradoxical: why Altai attracts tourists, but not enough?

Somehow it didn't go well

"The Altai Territory has a great historical and cultural potential: almost all epochs of human development are represented here," says Viktor Isaev, candidate of historical sciences, lecturer at Altai State Technical University.

A lot of interesting things will be revealed in the themes of the Altai Old Believers and the Altai Cossacks. For example, few people know that it was the Cossacks who laid the foundation for cheese making. And in the Cossack villages, the first dairies appeared.

"In order for some objects and some topics to" work ", of course, support is needed - both financial and organizational," the scientist-historian is convinced.

An illustrative example is the project of the Beloyarsk fortress, which is considered one of the most ancient Russian settlements in Altai. By the way, this year marks the 300th anniversary of its construction. The enthusiasts who developed the project handed it over to the Heritage Scientific and Production Center, which has now been liquidated. He still lies somewhere.

“Meanwhile, it is very interesting in terms of the development of suburban tourism,” says Viktor Viktorovich. - It seems that they have chosen a suitable place, and the object itself would have looked very beautiful. It could be used in a variety of activities. But somehow it didn’t work ... ”.

Why is the tourist coming?

Offering interesting services to tourists is an initiative of an entrepreneur who builds, sells vouchers, and comes up with new tours. What, in the opinion of entrepreneurs, is still lacking for the development of the industry in the region? What kind of help is waiting for the tourist business?

First of all, the solution of issues related to air tickets. The topic of discount flights for tourists from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg has been raised more than once. After all, tickets for 20 thousand rubles (the average cost "round trip") beats even a wealthy Moscow tourist.

“You stand at an exhibition in the capital, talk about the region, show brochures, brochures. People have an eye on both our nature and our cultural wealth. But the price of the ticket scares them away, ”admits Natalya Grebennikova, member of the ARAT board, tourism director of one of the Barnaul tour operators.

In recent years, many events of federal and even international scale have been held in Altai: the management forum

Altai Territory in mid-March entered the top 8 places where you can escape from the coronavirus. It would seem that a stream of tourists is about to pour in. But on March 27, it became clear that the pandemic hit Altai directly. Governor Viktor Tomenko signed a decree on the suspension from March 28 to June 1 of the activities of ski slopes, public recreation facilities located in Belokurikha, as well as other sanatorium and resort organizations and sanatorium and health camps for children. The regional tourist business, already affected by COVID-19, received another blow in the stomach in the form of a two-month forced downtime.

First strike

Local travel agencies - about 200 travel companies acting on behalf of or on behalf of Russian tour operators - were the first to feel the blow to the industry. The troubles began at the end of February, when the Russian border with China was closed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19.

For more than a month they have been at the forefront, dealing with interaction with tourists: cancellations, rebookings, refunds and non-refunds, and in the future they will also begin to deal with litigation. The situation is complicated by the quarantine, which will last until April 30. All the while, companies have to work with customers remotely.

Tatiana Sazhaeva, an independent travel market expert, spoke about this. She has been tracking the development of the situation with the coronavirus literally from the first days.

The expert added: “At the same time, we have 54 domestic tourism tour operators. Of course, they also suffered from the situation, especially the organizers of the children's tours. The peak of travel bans for organized groups in Russia and abroad fell on March 15-25. A real rush began with cancellations, receiving compensations for the railway and air tickets bought by the parents. If you remember, then museums and other places of mass visits were gradually closed all over Russia (especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg). "

Two months of downtime

The crisis has not passed and the owners of collective accommodation facilities: hotels, hotels, tourist centers, sanatoriums (there are about 50 sanatoriums and more than 700 accommodation facilities in the region). The peak came at the time of the issuance of the decree of the governor of the Altai Territory.

In an emergency mode, the restructuring of all involved services began, rebooking or cancellation of reservations for tourists who had not yet arrived. Tatyana Sazhaeva noted that the situation was quite predictable. By that time, such restrictions had already affected most regions of Russia.

“Moscow and the Moscow region began to live in this 10 days before the Altai Territory. To the above, we must also add the influx of people who want to relax in Gorny Altai on the last day before the closing date, on weekends. Many owners of hotels, especially small ones, still publish information that they are closed only until April 5th. And some small guest houses and estates do not consider it necessary to comply with the decree at all, although, like everyone else, they are obliged to refuse booking and settling guests before June 1. The guides and organizers of the author's tours have not yet realized the gravity of the situation - at the weekend, colleagues shared information that buses with excursionists ride along the Chuisky tract, they go out en masse at stops, admire nature, "Tatiana Sazhaeva comments on the situation.

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