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Russian Tourism Roadshow in Paris presented Russian regions

April 16, 2012. The Russian center of science and culture in Paris was a place where a number of Russian regions presented their tourism opportunities and new investment projects to the French audience.
We have already dealt with the substantive speeches during the first session. The presentations were introduced by the leaders of Smolensk, Kostroma, Vladimir, Ryazan tourism administrations, and a representative of the Moscow Department of Environment.
The second session was started by Deputy Head of the Agency for Tourism of the Republic of Dagestan, Vitaly Demchenko. After showing an image video clip he briefly spoke about the tourism potential of the republic, 70% of which is mountainous. But the remaining 30% have 534 km of sandy beaches of the Caspian Sea and it is a huge, so far virtually untapped resource. Also more than 6,000 historical and cultural monuments are  preserved in Dagestan, with a number included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. For example, the ancient Russian city of Derbent.
Like in Berlin, the first question of the audience was about safety of tourists in the region, famous now as one of the most turbulent in our country. Answering the question Vitali Demchenko drew attention to the fact that in this case there is a strong social stereotype, in no way relating to the tourism sector. "This is the question are always asked, but it's more a question of the role of media in shaping the image of the area - said Deputy Head of the Agency for Tourism of the Republic of Dagestan. – Up to now there is no one tourist or visitor who has been hurt. The same concerns any tourist object or hotel." Last year Dagestan was visited by a quarter of a million tourists, including 35,000 foreigners.
The Republican administration of Tourism regularly conducts press tours for journalists - both Russian and foreign – to make them see with their own eyes the truth of the thesis of well-known Caucasian hospitality, being the main guarantee of tourism security in the region. "We decided to create a tourist police force in the near future, basing on the experience of St. Petersburg, - said Vitaly Demchenko. - A variety of international level festivals we have each month, is also an argument in favor of safety!"
He also advertised Days of the Republic of Dagestan which start on April 20 in Moscow in the Embassy of France in Russia. Thus, we can talk about a very complex and large-scale promotion of the region on the French market. It is important to note that the Dagestan Agency for Tourism has got staff fluent in French, and this information the audience met with applause.
The moment is extremely important - virtually each speaking after speakers asked about the presence of the French version of the site and films and videos in French, as the French people are traditionally conservative on this issue and are not inclined to receive the information in other languages.
Vitali Demchenko also responded to the question of a journalist, representing one of the Iranian media in Paris: how many tourists from Iran visit Dagestan today. And it turned out, that just the other day a group of businessmen of more than 100 people from Iran had arrived in Makhachkala to discuss prospects of cooperation, including in the tourism sector. A lot of people come from Iran to Dagestan to take part in the pilgrimage tour because the Republic has the the second largest hajj facilities.
Chairman of the Tourism Committee of the Republic of Ingushetia Batyr Malsagov, speaking immediately after Vitaly Demchenko, spoke about the development of tourism in one of the youngest regions of the country. Accordingly, the Tourism Authority of Ingushetia today makes itd first steps. But it has the ability to use the experience gained in other subjects of the Russian Federation therefor. The audience was shown a video on the tourist potential not only in general but specific investment projects also - in the coming years two ski resorts will be set up in Ingushetia.
The information about the possibilities of cultural tourism development in the Republic was very interesting. Each Ingush family has the so-called tribal tower, once erected by ancestors. It crowns the patrimonial burials. Among predominantly Muslim monuments of history and culture there are preserved the Christian ones that shows the religious tolerance of the Ingush people. Respect for ancestors is sacred, as well as hospitality, raised to a special rank. Guest room is in every house of the Ingush, no matter for what purpose he came. Soft bedding, the best food. Even enemies used to hide once, using the sacred status of the guest and hospitality. But it was limited by three days.
"Yes, today we have significant problems associated with poorly developed tourist infrastructure - said Batyr Malsagov - but the traditions of hospitality remain in force, and are the main base and our overall competitive advantage to other Caucasian republics!"
Deputy Head of the Department of complex development of resorts and tourism of the Krasnodar region George Bykov began his presentation with the fact that the Kuban resorts are on the same latitude as southern France. The region does not need the detail view, because for many years it has been the undisputed leader of the Russian tourism industry. More than 11 million tourists visited the Krasnodar region last year. To the large extent due to the shoreline of the Black and Azov seas, which is 1200 km. There are 3.5 thousand accommodation facilities of all types that can take simultaneously 700 000 tourists in the region. Foreigners in the total tourist flow are few, but much is being done to attract them.
The emphasis of the presentation was placed on the newly created ethnographic complex "Ataman", consisting of 35 colorful Cossack farmsteads. They recreate the life and way of Cossack families in the 18-20 centuries making up a living organism. For children there is even a hut of Baba Yaga!
Deputy Minister of Youth, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan, Sergei Ivanov began his presentation with a wonderful image video dedicated to the upcoming The World Student Games in 2013. The third capital of Russia, or, as they call Kazan - the Eastern capital, this year is already 1007 years old. The Kazan Kremlin is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site (by the way, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation at UNESCO in Paris, Vera Sidorova took an active part in the Roadshow).
The extraordinary tolerance inherent in the region should be noted especially - Tatarstan is one of the safest regions in Russia. Muslims and Orthodox Christians live here in harmony and love each other like brothers.
In 2005, on the 1000th anniversary of Tatarstan capital, the Pope returned to homeland the famous icon of Kazan Mother of God.
The World Student Games 2013 and the World Aquatics in 2015 will give new impetus to the development of tourism, as well as the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup. Besides, Kazan has got a magnificent hotel base already.
Sergei Ivanov pointed out low cost flights via Frankfurt, Istanbul and Moscow between Paris and Kazan. There are five trains and 12 flights a day from Moscow to Kazan now.
In the ancient Bulgar the home of the Tatars - the Museum of Bread opens this season. There is also the world largest printed Qur'an weighting 800 kg. The island-town Sviyazhsk, International Chaliapin Opera Festival and Ballet Festival named after Nureyev attract many tourists to Tatarstan. And a unique annual music festival "Creation of the World" as well.
The French version of portal gokazan.com will function soon, and it became the main news for the French audience and striking exclamation of Sergei Ivanov's speech in Paris.
Representatives of the regional tourist business community positioned Perm in Berlin and Paris. A very detailed presentation in the French capital was made by director of the Perm Tourism Guild Mikhail Krasnov. At first he drew the audience with a story how he at one time himself was fascinated by the magic of the Perm region ("Distant Land" if translated from the Finno-Ugric), and reoriented his activity from outbound to inbound tourism as the result. The greatest interest among French audience sparked, of course, along with the information about Diaghilev seasons in Perm, St. Petersburg and Paris. Especially among the representatives of the Association "France - Ural", also presented in the hall.
The second session of the Russian Tourism Roadshow in Paris completed the Deputy General Director of "Samara travel" Natalia Voropayeva who presented opportunities for tourism in the Samara region as a whole. Easy accessibility with connections via Frankfurt and Prague makes the region attractive to foreign tourists. And the French, as a participant in the remarks from the audience correctly noted, fly only, in principle, to where airplanes fly.
The Volga - the main wealth of the Samara region, and not by chance just this region has become the initiator and current coordinator of the Volga agreement, which brings together 9 subjects of the Russian Federation for the development of tourism. The result of their collaboration was the new and the biggest now inter-regional tourism brand "The Great Volga." Information about the upcoming on May 29 - June 6 river prerss-cruise from Moscow to Samara, organized with the support of Federal Agency for Tourism, impressed the French participants of the Roadshow exceptionally. During the break, many came to Natalia Voropayeva and expressed the intention to take part in it.
As it was known, until recently, Samara was a closed city. Therefore, the region is young enough for tourism. But due to its identity it is a very promising direction.
Boosters for space vehicles "Progress" are still being made in Samara. The Museum "Cosmic Samara" is considered as one of the best in its kind. The alternative capital in the times of the World War II was also in Samara, foreign embassies and government institututuins were evacuated here from Moscow, Stalin's bunker was built there, which is attracting a huge number of tourists now. By the way, it is the largest in the world (37 meters deep, while Hitler's bunker in Berlin was at 16 m deep).
The third session of the Russian Tourism Roadshow in Paris included three final presentations. The first speaker was Minister of Enterprise and Tourism of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Catherine Kormilitsyna, who made a major emphasis on the five "E"'s of the region: extreme sports, environmental, ethnographic tourism, exotic and exclusive locations. Extreme primarily refers to the fact that the Republic is not only the largest (a fifth part of the territory of Russia), but also the coldest region of the country, where the highest subzero temperature of 72 degrees is recorded. And more often the temperature ranges from minus 50-60 in winter to 40 degrees in summer, making the amplitude of over 100 degrees! In this context, Catherine Kormilitsyna presented a "Pole of Cold" project, with its center in Oymyakon. It operates from November to March, and this is an unforgettable tour.
Eco-tourism provides a full range of feelings and impressions. Imagine, there are more than 700,000 rivers and streams and 800,000 lakes and other water bodies in Yakutia! And this is despite the fact that the population of the region is less than 1 million inhabitants. The Sakha people preserve the ancient hunting and fishing traditions.
Along the Lena, one of the 10 greatest rivers of the world, cruise liners go to the Laptev Sea.
Ethnographic tourism: the territory of Yakutia is inhabited by more than 120 nations and nationalities. On July 4-16 this year the "Fifth Asia Children's Games" will be held in Yakutsk.
The exotic and exclusive are closely intertwined, especially in the new wonder project "Diamond Week," starting in August this year. It should be noted that up to 40% of the world and 98% of Russian diamond mining accounts for the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). They are mined in Mirny, and now tourists can take part in the extraction and processing of diamonds personnaly. The tour was developed by the republican Ministry of Business and Tourism together with a national tour operator "Planet Yakutia." Deputy director of the company Yegor Cherepanov participated in the Roadshow, not only in his professional status, but also presenting the traditional clothing of the Sakha people, trimmed with sable fur.
This remarkable fact should be noted together with the impromptu contest previously arranged by Sergei Ivanov during his speech, with a prize of a sweet souvenir of the Tatar-goodies "chak-chak". Such performances are imperative to make presentations truly memorable for the audience, leaving in the soul of potential tourist bright emotional trail and powerful motivational impetus for the trip to place just "visited" in absentia.
One may safely say that as a result of presentations in Berlin and Paris in the Russian Tourism Roadshow a new brand, "The Diamond Yakutia" was born. So, amid the many Russian gems there smoothly appeared a real tourist diamond already sparkling with many fascinating facets.
Altay Region is one of the few Russian regions with their own office in the European Union, with its center in Berlin. Head of the Mission Oleg Kislov represented the Altai region at the Roadshow.
A film in French was the best argument in favor of the Republic for the audience. Competition in this case was appropriate, giving the extremely friendly and warm atmosphere of partnership at the Russian Tourism Roadshow. This is probably one of the most important intermediate and, if the expression may be tolerated, "accompanying" results of the unprecedented series of events organized by Rosturism.
Striking inter-regional undertones permeating from the performances for the show are important too. So, Oleg Kislov noted that the Yakut diamonds are processed not only in Smolensk and Severodvinsk, but in Barnaul either. And this is a cause for the emergence of new variations of the "Diamond Week"!
And how many people even among the Russians know that Biisk, which will soon celebrate 302 years, is one of the three Russian cities built on the direct order of Peter the Great, along with St. Petersburg and Tambov?
In Strasbourg, Paris and Nice the Altai region has repeatedly made presentations, and generally quite actively marketed in the European tourist market. And there is every reason to believe that the coming years will be breakthroughs in terms of a sharp increase of inbound tourism from France, which is still rather small.
Paris program of Roadshow business events completed the Arkhangelsk region. It was presented by Sergei Shiroky from the National Park "Russian Arctic", originally synthesized much of what had been said earlier. "Pomorie is a place where everything is available! - began his speech Sergey Shiroky intriguingly. - We also have a direct relationship with the cosmos and diamonds."
Plesetsk Cosmodrome and the "Severoalmaz" enterprise, diamond production on the famous submarines manufacturer "Zvezdochka";  the largest number of wooden churches; Small Karelians is the largest existing museum in the open air; the unique Pomors culture and cuisine; the White Sea and the Solovki, where tourists from Germany and Italy are many more than from France; a Gateway to the Arctic, where a lot of expeditions to the North Pole started are all the Arkhangelsk region.
In December 2010 a National Park "Russian Arctic" was opened, young and ambitious, third largest and most northern of the existing ones. It includes the North Island of Novaya Zemlya and a large archipelago of Franz Josef, whose main population consists of polar bears (3,000). It is perfectly safe for tourists to meet them in the park. The word Arctic blows cold, but, according to Sergei Shiroky, spring began there on April 9 and it is "only minus 15" there. In July it is 13-15C degrees, there are white nights, a rare beauty, that invite photographers and lovers of philosophical meditation.
The basis of tourism in the National Park is cruises from Kirkenes, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. Last year there were 10 cruises, and this year - 14. Thousands of tourists each year visit the Park. And this is classic eco-tourism, only here regular meetings with the narwhal and bowhead whales are possible. June is the period when polar poppies are blooming.
Of course, this is quite an expensive tourism, a tour cost varies from 10 to 20 thousand dollars for 14 days, but those who were on this journey unanimously say it is worth the cost. However, the Park tends to reduce the cost of tourist products and make it more accessible. The first residential unit will soon be built on the  Novaya Zemlya, and then in 5 years there will be more than 12 units. The park already actively cooperates with many European tour operators.
The presentation was concluded with a beautifulwhich  video ended with the following: "The Arctic is harsh only to neglect! Visit it, fall in love with the North! "
This is probably the main refrain of Russian Tourism Roadshow - not only Welcome to Russia! “Fall in love with Russia” - it's worth it!
Just this sense many be felt on leaving the conference hall of the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Paris. At least the words of one French participant, who expressed gratitude to the Federal Agency for Tourism "for the excellent organization of this useful event" sounded not just a polite compliment.
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