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Alexandrow & Partners

Legal Consulting and M&A

Aug. 2017: agri-tourism and the development of internal tourism in russia, belarus and kazakhstan

Recent events of the ‘Arab spring’ in Tunis, Tunisia, Egypt, as well as terror attacks in some other countries, much cooled Russians wish to have a rest on the beaches of the Mediterranean and Red seas. The poisoning of Russian tourists in Turkey by alcohol also didn’t leas to the popularity of these resorts.

What is the alternative? Expensive Europe? It is possible for rich tourists. Thailand – Yes, for the lovers of year-round recreation under the palm trees, and with friendly staff. But it’s too far.

I see another promising direction, which in the countries of the Customs Union will receive its development in the near future. Agritourism – that is, active and educational vacation, as well as a resort in the picturesque places within the territory of Russia, as well as in other member States of the Customs Union.

Currently, Austria, Slovakia, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland increase intensively their capacity for the reception of the guests. Only in Austria up to 10 % of the peasant farms provide accommodation services for tourists. A number of European countries under the auspices of the Council of Europe have joined together in the Central-East-European Federation for the development of rural green tourism. In some countries, by estimations of experts, agro-tourism brings 10-20% of the total revenue of the tourism industry. Such holiday in Europe prefer about 35% of the population. Increased interest of tourists to rural areas can be explained by a change of the conditions of existence of the modern people. Life in the large cities destroys health, there is a need to restore it. Agritourism in a number of countries began to emerge from the secondary sub-sector of agriculture as an independent and competitive services sector. Among these countries are recognized leaders of international tourism, including Greece and Cyprus. Building on its rural tourism, leaders of the «beach» and the «Museum» of the tourism industry tend to split up traditional tourists, partly by sending them to other regions. In this case, a significant role is played the need for reducing the environmental load on the coastal resort zones. In Europe today are about 500 thousand farms, which are involved in agritourism. The annual growth of the rural tourism in the world is 10%. In France, there are 35 thousand farms with mini-hotels and Inns, in England there is a farm with hotels on 120 thousand places, in Germany – 20 thousand places in hotels.

The Russian Federation, as a developing country, still seriously lagging behind in many aspects, in particular in the area of good rest out of town for residents of large cities. The same we can say about the Republic of Belarus, a country with a huge potential of the tourism industry, despite the absence of the sea and the mountains. For example, almost the entire territory of Central Europe have to travel by car, bike or on foot. In parallel to the main routes are always followed by special Bicycle lanes and Hiking trails, have stationary phones on all service stations are offered high-quality services by Bicycle repair and selling of consumable spares for them. In addition, quite a tightly placed Parking lot for camping, as trailing, and the tent, equipped with stationary showers and toilets, and sometimes and saunas.

In recent receives a distribution of corporate events in nature. Major companies of the oil and gas, food, automotive and other industries, as well as the service sector, spend serious money on the organization of these events. Often, these celebrations were arranged in two days, i.e. with one night, for these purposes leased hotels, cottages, summer houses. The average number of participants in such a celebration of 10-50 people, which brought a separate bus, or group of minibuses. If it’s a large company, then the pre-ordered services member of the catering company, which prepares in advance the food and drinks for the arrival of the group. The growth of the market of outbound catering in Russia makes up 15-20% per year, which indirectly indicates the growing interest in the field corporate events.

Specificity of work of the agro- (or Eco-farms) are mainly oriented to the summer and the autumn and spring period, in spite of the fact that during the cold period of the year, the flow of the guests is smaller, have the means and instruments to attract guests and in the winter time, as the flow of customers in the winter will be less.

First of all, in opinion of experts, in Russia it is necessary to develop state (Federal and regional) programs of development of tourism, because the industry of hospitality in our country does not occupy a significant place in the system of national priorities. According to this indicator, Russia was on 127th place out of 133 countries, this stressed the evaluation of the world economic forum, 2008. The potential is enormous, Alexandrov and Partners professionally work on the projects in this sphere.