Tourism ministers from 26 countries visit Sochi summit

Vladimir Savelyev, 23.06.2014 09:38
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The forum took place on June 16-17 in a new hotel Radisson Rosa Khutor. The event was devoted to discussing the ‘Role of mega-events in the sustainable development of tourism’.

Sochi has hosted the ‘Role of mega-events in the sustainable development of tourism’ summit of tourism ministers, which was organized by the World Tourism Organization and Federal Agency for Tourism. More than 150 participants from 26 countries attended the forum. The choice of Sochi as the host city for the event was not accidental: this winter the resort hosted the biggest mega-event of the planet – the Winter Olympics.

During his opening speech at the summit, Russia’s Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky said that tourists from all over the world were eager to not only see new lands, but also acquaint themselves with other countries’ art, culture, language and cuisine, which directly lead to stronger tolerance and mutual understanding.

Oleg Safonov, Deputy Head of Russiatourism, highlighted Sochi’s having the unique combination of prerequisites for developing three kinds of tourism – sea, ski and ecological tourism. He also said that hopefully foreign tourists will now visit not only Moscow and St. Petersburg, but Sochi as well.

Two days before the summit there were three plenary meetings: ‘Mechanisms of optimizing the economic and social influence of mega-events on the development of tourism destinations’, ‘Legacy of mega-events: using effective marketing strategies, methods of promoting destination brands’, ‘Strategic partnerships as an instrument of effective planning and holding mega-events’.

The speeches of the summit’s participants shared a common motif: international experience shows that mega-events have a positive effect a region’s development and on the tourist flow, but achieving that requires very hard work.

During the summit Evgeny Kudel, Tourism and Resorts Minister of Krasnodar Krai, met with the heads of tourism offices in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. The meetings with Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan ministers were attended by Commercial Director of national tour operator ALEAN Oksana Bulakh.

Ms. Bulakh told TRN magazine that these were preliminary meetings, the main topic of which was developing the tourist flow between the countries. The parties concurred that it could only be done by first establishing the currently non-existent direct flights between Almaty, Astana, Baku and the cities of Krasnodar Krai. They also discussed the possibility of opening Krasnodar Krai tourist information centers in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
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