About thirty participants from different regions of the Komi Republic took part in the workshop “Rural tourism and territory development: proposals, problems, and the first experience”, which was held on the 18th of March in Syktyvkar.
The workshop was organized by Silver Taiga Foundation jointly with the regional public movement “Indigenous women of the Komi Republic” for the villagers who decided to try hand in the rural tours organization, to share the first experience in the new activity. They also got the chance to define some general problems of the rural tourism and to carry out a joint search for the ways forward. Alongside with the villagers and the workshop organizers the meeting was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Komi Republic, and interregional public movement “Komi voytyr”.
The participants of the workshop became convinced that many residents of the Komi rural regions are ready to suggest interesting and various tours for the townspeople and guests of the republic already today. These tours range from the simple rest in the village to the informative nature, local lore and ethnocultural tours, as well as event tourism …
It’s interesting to note that developers of the rural tours quite soberly evaluate a demand for their product and have a clear understanding what categories of the republic residents and guests can become potential consumers of this tourism product. Accordingly, their approach to the tours development is based on the anticipated demand. For instance, the owners of the Isakovs and Dodzis peasant farm enterprise (Kortkeros region) suggest their weekend tours mainly for the young people – both from the town and from the regional centre, therefore they are focused on the organization of the active forms of outdoor recreation. The tourism product suggested by Aleksey Tyurnin from Kabanyol (Ust-Kulom region) is quite specific, but surely not less interesting. His informative and educational tour enables the potential tourists to pass along the taiga hunting route, and even act as a “hunter”, which means actively participate in all preparation stages and in the hunting process itself.
The republican tour “Following Pitirim Sorokin” developed within the framework of the Forest Village project jointly with the residents of such rural settlements as Turya (Knyazhpogost region) and Gam (Ust-Vym region) can serve as an example of the perspective ethnocultural tour; and the touristic route “Through Priuralskoye to “Yugyd va” (Pechora region) successfully combines elements of ethnotour and visit to the national park.
After the speech of the tourism instructor Alexander Morozov (Usogorsk) participants of the workshop couldn’t but notice that the most comprehensive approach to the initiation and development of the rural tourism exists in the Udora region. There owners of the guest houses, routes developers and district administration are acting in the same direction, and the municipal program for the tourism development is not barely accepted, but there are visible joint coordinated actions for its implementation.
Alongside with the exchange of the first experience in the development of the rural tourism the participants of the meeting have also discussed plenty of the issues relevant for this business, namely, how should the guest house, as a part of the rural tourism product, look like; what could be its legal status, how to form the price of the tourism product, etc.
Unfortunately, there are still plenty of the unregulated things in the sphere of the rural guest tourism. Meanwhile, the people willing to carry on this activity should understand how to act: who is responsible for what, how to get support from the state declaring development of the tourism, etc. Probably creation of the guest houses owners association and solving of all the general issues via this association would be a step in the right direction. This has already beendiscussed during the seminar.
Further exchange of opinions, training, consulting by the specialists on the most problematic issues and probably making some specific agreed decisions are planned for the 23d of April.