The first day of the Travel! forum

12 june 2021

Russia's first Travel! tourism forum opened at VDNH. The forum is devoted to developing domestic tourism. The event was organised by The Roscongress Foundation, The Federal Agency for Tourism (Russia Travel) and VDNH. The forum was also supported by the Russian Geographical Society.

Participants in the forum's opening ceremony and exhibition included Alexander Stuglev, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Roscongress Foundation, Julia Rybakova, adviser to the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism, and Timur Zeldich, Commercial Director of JSC VDNH.

'We're very pleased today to be here at VDNH, and we would like to thank our partners—Russia.Travel, VDNH and the Russian Geographical Society for supporting Travel!, Russia's first tourism forum. I am confident that all guests and participants will be pleasantly surprised by the event. We're effectively creating a new tourism industry, with new routes and new formats. I am sure that this industry will see rapid growth, so we would like to invite everybody to our forums. I am convinced that this venue will grow and evolve. We've already talked about this and the next forum will be even bigger and more interesting. So welcome!', noted Alexander Stuglev, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer of The Roscongress Foundation.

The first day of the packed business programme comprised a series of expert and practical discussions as well as open dialogues.

'We really like the Travel! brand, first of all, because we too see ourselves as part of the tourism industry. We have the deepest respect for the enthusiasm of our colleges, The Roscongress Foundation, and their efforts to put on such outstanding events. For our part, we would like for all guests visiting our grounds to have a great time, since travelling is supposed to be about having fun, so I hope you all really enjoy yourselves', stated Timur Zeldich, Commercial Director and First Deputy Director of JSC VDNH.

The plenary sessions on the development of domestic and inbound tourism picked off where the expert discussion on new investment and technology opportunities in tourism and hospitality left off, which was held at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum on 5 June 2021.

'We should have started getting ready for re-opening our borders and the return of international tourism yesterday. Now we need to figure out how tourist preferences in various countries have changed after the pandemic and which destinations are now deemed more desirable. And it is this kind of open venue where hospitality industry professionals can share their ideas with their foreign colleagues to prepare Russia's tourism industry for new developments and bring it to a level of high-demand destinations in the post-COVID period', noted the deputy chair of the World Without Borders Association, Alexander Lvov.

Participants in the strategic session on developing tourism products and services in the regions discussed the role that federal tour operators play in growing domestic tourism, demand for vacations in Russia among Russians and foreigners, ways to improve and diversify routes for Russian tourism, and also considered the Chinese case as a large scale and challenging example of inbound tourism.

The forum on Automotive Tourism in Russia: the 2020 Phenomenon discussed in an open dialogue format the increased interest in and benefits of independent road trips. Another open dialogue—New Directions in Gastronomical tourism—examined opportunities for growing gastronomical tourism in the regions.

'In 2021, we are witnessing a clear trend towards automotive tourism. I believe that we need to systematically develop road tourism in this country. Family trips with children are very different from single trips around the country', noted Sergey Simon, an extreme traveller and explorer, who spoke at the session devoted to automotive tourism.

The experts on the panel discussion How to Create Demand looked at the methods and tools for driving domestic tourism demand among Russians. It was noted that information support would be required for branded routes and new travel formats.

The discussion on Large Scale IT: B2B and B2G Communications in Tourism was devoted to ways to raise investments for developing domestic tourism projects. Experts also talked about Data-Driven Marketing as a tool for tapping regions' tourism potential in the regions, along with practical uses and prospects for big data in the tourism industry.

'We are now seeing a unique synergy between large corporations whose operations span several industries, state organisations and small businesses whose interests are completely aligned when it comes to developing domestic tourism. Approaches for territorial consortiums to develop master plans on regional tourism potential, coupled with the expertise of financial companies growing increasingly involved in the tourism industry, make developing local initiatives and projects possible in ways that were previously unimaginable', asserted Kirill Volkov, head of the holding Travel Russia News Media.

The session entitled Movie Tourism as a Way for Regions to Pitch themselves focused on film tourism and how it can help Russian regions attract more tourists. In addition, the forum presented the full-length documentary, Atlantis of the Russian North, along with media pieces from famous bloggers.

The Russian Tourism Forum Travel! also included a presentation from the 1st Russian National Competition for Interregional Automotive Routes—applications to participate can be submitted through 31 July 2021.

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