In his speech, Igor Levitin noted that domestic and inbound tourism are currently priority areas in tourism sector development. The Presidential Aide stressed that according to data from international experts, Russian tourists spent over $50 billion abroad each year in previous years, whereas in 2014, the demand for organised outbound tourism decreased significantly, while domestic tourism grew by 30 percent. As one of the most important sectors for employment and economic growth, tourism serves as a catalyst for socioeconomic development in the Russian Federation’s regions. According to Mr Levitin, it should spearhead the development of Crimea – a region of stunning beauty, extraordinary nature and history.
Other participants in the working meeting included Head of the Republic of Crimea and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov, representatives from federal and regional executive agencies, public organisations and Crimean businesses.
Head of the Federal Tourism Agency Oleg Safonov gave a presentation on Developing Tourism in the Russian Federation: Problems and Solutions; Republic of Crimea Resort and Tourism Minister Sergei Strelbitsky talked about the status and prospects for developing resorts and tourism in the Republic of Crimea. Chairwoman of the Association of Small Crimean Hotels Valentina Marnopolskaya also spoke at the meeting.
Participants in the meeting exchanged views and articulated the problems that need to be addressed to develop tourism successfully, including insufficient infrastructure development, a low quality in the services offered, high transportation rates for domestic transfers, excessive visa formalities for foreign tourists, and others.