The Expert Council under the Federal Tourism Agency approved five new national tourist routes. The honorary status of “national” was given to the routes of the Pskov, Rostov, Sverdlovsk and Belgorod regions. We talk not only about their “chips” and “highlights”, but also about what else their consolidators need to improve.
THE EXPERTS WAS INTRIED BEFORE THE PERSONAL VOTING
On Thursday, June 2, a meeting of the Expert Council under the Federal Tourism Agency was held, during which five tourist routes from four regions claiming the status of national ones.
Opening the meeting, co-chairman of the Expert Council under the Federal Tourism Agency, executive director of ATOR Maia Lomidze recalled that the vote for assigning the status of “national” to the route takes place in two stages: at the first stage, after studying the application materials, the experts give points according to certain criteria; at the second stage, there is already an in-person voting of experts. For a route to receive the status of a national tourist route, it needs to get more than 50% of the votes.
Before the presentation of the regions, there was an intrigue: almost all routes received the required number of points, with a few exceptions. One regional application passed “on the verge”, and the other did not reach the cherished bar by only one point.
Therefore, the fate of the projects depended on their presentation and the in-person voting of experts. As it turned out, all regions prepared very well for the final defense.
Meeting of the Expert Council under the Federal Tourism Agency on June 2, 2022. Photo by ATOR
TO THE PSKOV REGION IN THE PLACES OF ALEXANDER NEVSKY
The Pskov region was the first to present its projects. The North-West region announced two routes at once.
Deputy Chairman – Head of the Tourism Infrastructure Department of the Committee for Tourism of the Pskov Region Elena Klimova spoke about the route “Alexander Nevsky – the name of Russia”.< /p>
As the name of the route suggests, it is dedicated to Prince Alexander Nevsky, whose life and work are an important milestone both in the history of the Pskov region and the entire Russian state.
The route, designed for 3 days/2 nights, passes through the territory of the Pskov region and covers the main display objects associated with the name of the legendary commander and diplomat.
The tour is adapted to three target groups: school groups, families with children and older people. The tour operator on the route is Slavyansky Tour LLC.
On the first day, tourists will have a bus and walking tour of Pskov, on the second day they will travel to the village of Samolva in the Gdovsky district, where the Battle on the Ice Museum and the new Memorial Complex “Prince Alexander Nevsky with his retinue” are located, on the third day – an excursion to Izborskaya fortress and a visit to the monument of Russian defense architecture – the Pskov-Pechersk fortress of the 16th century.
Immersion in history will not be academic: every day the tour program includes interactive activities and master classes, during which tourists will get acquainted with the traditions of military affairs, they will take part in battle formation, learn the alphabet from the time of Alexander Nevsky and make a souvenir with their own hands.
Getting to the Pskov region is not difficult: there are direct flights and trains from Moscow, regular buses and high-speed Lastochkas run from St. Petersburg. Accommodation will also be comfortable – in 3 and 4 * hotels with breakfast.
The cost of the tour varies depending on the target groups. A program for families with children, where there are more interactive activities, will cost from 13 thousand rubles. per person, for school groups (three meals a day are provided) – from 14,400 rubles. per person, for older tourists – from 12,850 rubles. per person.
“The route combines both the main tourist “pearls” of the Pskov region and places associated with Alexander Nevsky. The program has been developed for several categories of tourists at once, so that each of our guests will definitely discover something of their own on the Pskov land,” concluded Elena Klimova. She also added that the route has good prospects for scaling up by joining neighboring regions associated with the name of Alexander Nevsky.
There are innovative and eventful elements on the route: for example, tourists can use audio guides or VR glasses, and on June 12, 2022, as part of the annual festival in Samolva at the memorial to Prince Alexander Nevsky, to listen to the big concert “On Guard for Peace. Alexander Nevsky.
Despite the fact that tours along the route “Alexander Nevsky – the name of Russia” are already selling well, experts advised to strengthen its marketing component: to think over the logo and more vividly “highlight” event and other events that tour operators can take into account when planning their programs.
There is also an acute issue of a comfortable road to Samolva (its improvement will be completed in 2023) and an increase in the number of toilets in Pskov.
WHAT IS INTERESTING AND TASTY IN THE RURAL ESTATES OF THE PSKOV REGION
Another project in Pskov regionwas completely different and far from the traditional excursion classics. This is the route “With a roar through the farms or” Eyes are afraid, but hands are doing “, which was presented by the tour operator” Continent Tour “.
As the director of the company Svetlana Baranova explained, the name “beats “is by no means off-road or driving a tractor over rural potholes.
“Roar” in the old days was called a large sieve. So we “sifted” a lot of agritourism objects in the Pskov region in order to select the best ones and include them in the route,” said Ms. Baranova.
The route “Roaring through the farms” is quite compact: in 3 days, tourists will travel no more than 190 km, but there will be many more vivid impressions and gastronomic pleasure. The “trick” of the route is visiting rural estates with a corresponding tasting of many local specialties and fresh farm products.
In this tour, as in a kaleidoscope, alternate: apple orchards and plantations of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, cheese making and making gingerbread, weaving, rural and fish cuisine, master classes in making soft warm cheese (in Seto “sair”) with cumin and baking bread from amaranth flour and much more.
On the route in the Pskov region there is a visit to an ostrich farm. Photo from the site of the tour operator “Continent Tour” (Pskov)
Guests will try Pskov kokors, unusual bread, cheeses, marmalade, confiture, raspberry and blueberry liqueurs, homemade yogurt with apples stewed in cream, ostrich egg broth.
Tourists will have to find out where the Linen Province was located, what the Cheese Outpost is and why the Izborsky ostrich. Only here you can seriously “rumble” on the farm – pick up a shovel or rake, a bucket and experience the delights of rural labor.
The cost of the tour, which includes visits to Pskov, Izborsk and Pechory, is 18,100 rubles. per person. The route is seasonal: you can ride it from May to the end of September. Accommodation will be in Izborsk in a comfortable 3* hotel.
In the course of the ballot voting, the experts rated the route “Roaring through the farms” quite highly: the project received the required number of votes.
However, the members of the Expert Council suggested that the consolidator of the route think about the name: in their opinion, it is too long and requires a separate explanation.
Branding is also needed – as long as the route does not have a logo and souvenirs under a single brand. There was also a wish to make a separate emphasis on what you can do on the route in winter.
Experts expressed their wishes for optimizing the cost of the tour: in their opinion, it is possible to reduce the base cost of the product by offering a number of services as additional options.
“STARTUP” OF PETER THE FIRST ON THE SEA OF AZOV
From the Pskov region, the presentation took the experts to the open spaces of the Free Don. The Peter I Startup route was presented by the Minister of Economic Development of the Rostov Region Maxim Papushenko and the operational director of the AVIA-CITY tour operator Evgeny Anisimov. As Mr. Papushenko explained, the name refers to one of the “startups” of Peter the Great, who chose a cape on the coast of the Sea of Azov for the construction of the city of Taganrog.
The year-round tourist route “Startup Peter I” with a total length of 265 km is designed for 3 days/2 nights. The program includes visiting Rostov-on-Don, Azov, the most ancient city in the south of Russia, Taganrog, as well as seaside locations – Merzhanovo, Tanais, Sambek.
The tour is aimed at a wide audience and involves accommodation in objects of different price categories. The route is positioned as a weekend tour: the schedule of arrivals is made up until April 2023.
The route “Startup of Peter the Great” promises a lot of interesting things. Photo from the organizer's website (AVIA-CITY)
The route presents a number of key objects directly related to Peter I. For example, in Rostov, one of the descents to the Don is named Bogatyanovsky in honor of the healing spring, near which the great emperor stopped. The expositions of the Azov Museum-Reserve reveal the history of the Azov campaigns of 1695 and 1696 and introduce the monuments of military engineering art.
“Special attention to the port city of Taganrog. We are proud of its history, which was started by the great emperor, who wanted to have access to the southern seas, expand trade routes, cultural and diplomatic ties of the Russian Empire,” Maxim Papushenko emphasized.
Tourists are waiting for interactive programs with the participation of historical characters, master classes in cooking real Don fish soup, galley competitions. In the summer, the tour program may include event events: the fireworks festival “The First Salute of Peter I”, the festivals of the military-historical clubs “The Siege of Azov” and “The Defense of Taganrog in 1855”.
It is noteworthy that, on the recommendation of the Expert Council, the tour operator has already revised the cost of the tour: it starts from 13,900 rubles. per person with an additional payment for single accommodation (1-1.5 thousand rubles).
The experts had questions about the number of people in the group, as well as about the sanitary and parking area on the Merzhanovo farm. As it turned out, these issues have been resolved.
The regional tour operator AVIA-CITY is ready to accept individual tourists, and the authorities helped organize toilets and parking in Merzhanovo. In addition, a comfortable road is being made to the rural facility.
By the way, according to the results of voting at the first stage, the experts gave the route “Startup Peter I” the highest score.
TO THE BELGOROD REGION FOR APPLE PIES, BUDENNY’S MUSTache AND STEAM DUMPLINGS
Belgorod Region presented a bright and tasty journey through three-day route “Reserved Belogorye”. Iya Podzolkova, head of the tourism department of the Belgorod region, spoke about the details of the route.
The length of the year-round route, developed by Ilyina Travel Company LLC and operating since 2016, is 588 km. On the way, tourists visit 11 settlements, but at the same time they live only in Belgorod – in a 4 * hotel. The tour was peer-tested in 2018 and has since included two new properties.
In just three days on a tour of the Belgorod Region, you can do a lot: see the fortress city of Yablonov and the museum named after the First Cavalry Army, visit the underground caves of the ancient monastery and the Round Building shrouded in legends, participate in master classes and sing songs from the Civil War. war.
Yablonov Fortress Museum. Photo: website of the Department of Culture of the Belgorod Region (bel.cultreg.ru)
The “gastronomic” map of the route deserves special mention. Here are apple pies in the Yablonov fortress, and a treat for a “cavalryman” in the Museum of the First Cavalry Army, donuts according to the Yusupovs’ recipe and tea from 17 herbs in the estate in Rakitnoye, lunch with a soldier’s porridge in Prokhorovsky.
And the participants of the tour will also remember what delicious homemade dumplings are, which are cooked from the heart and with warmth: they will be offered at the end of the tour in the Slobozhanshchina museum complex.
The cost of the tour is from 14 690 rubles. from one person. As Iya Podzolkova emphasized, regional authorities compensate tour operators for the cost of transport services, which allows them to offer an acceptable price for the route (initially it was 31,900 rubles per person).
According to members of the Expert Council, the route ” Reserved Belogorye” is very interesting for tourists, but the region itself lacks promotion at the federal level.
In addition, it is worth emphasizing more specifically when promoting exactly which significant objects are included in the route, as well as strengthening the “natural” component in the name of the route.
TO THE SVERDLOVSK REGION – FOR THE DEMIDOV HERITAGE AND THE URAL CUISINE
The Demidov route passing through the territory of the Sverdlovsk region was presented for re-protection. The project was presented by Marina Khlebnikova, Director of the Tourism Development Center of the Sverdlovsk Region, and Irina Kareva, General Director of the VEDI GROUP tour operator company.
The route is dedicated to the development of industry in the Urals and in Russia and will acquaint tourists with the history of the Demidovs miners. There are two route options to choose from: a two-day trip through Nevyansk, Verkhniye Tavolgi and Nizhny Tagil, and a three-day trip through Yekaterinburg, Nevyansk and Nizhny Tagil.
The program of the three-day trip includes visits to iconic museums and enterprises. So, on the first day, tourists will have a sightseeing tour of Yekaterinburg and a visit to the Center for the History of Stone-Cutting, on the second day they will go to Nevyansk to the Leaning Tower and the Icon Museum, on the third day they will go to Nizhny Tagil to EVRAZ NTMK and the local history museum. In addition, for an additional fee, you can go to the Nizhny Tagil Drama Theater and the Philharmonic.
Tourists will learn why ornamental stones in the Urals are called gems, what “Demidov's malachite” is, they will visit the border of Europe and Asia, they will see the Ural version Leaning Tower of Pisa – the Nevyansk tower, the angle of inclination of which is greater than that of the Italian one.
Nevyansk Tower. Photo by Wikimedia Commons
It will not do without gastronomic specialties: here you can also find posikunchiki with mushrooms, baked venison, dumplings with radish and other dishes of the Ural cuisine. How hearty the food of those who worked in the steel industry was, it will become clear during the Metallurgist's Lunch.
According to Irina Kareva, a lot of work has been done in order to fit into the price category for most tourist audiences. Negotiations are underway with service providers to reduce the price for pensioners.
The cost of the tour for 2 days is 12,900 rubles. per person, for 3 days – 18,500 rubles. per person, including accommodation and three meals a day. The tour operator “VEDI GROUP” offers package tours with a flight from 5 cities along the “Demidov route”: for example, an air tour from Moscow will cost from 24,900 rubles. per person.
“The final goal is to make the Demidov route weekly, offering it both as a weekend tour and in combination, for example, with a sanatorium vacation,” added Irina Kareva.< /p>
According to her, LEAD THE GROUP will promote the Demidov route through a series of webinars and other events.
According to experts, the route lacks proper “marketing” packaging and presentation of the Demidovs' historical heritage.
A recommendation was given to select the key objects of the show, through which the history of the formation of Russian entrepreneurship will be revealed.
These circumstances, obviously, did not allow the experts to give the “Demidov route” more points at the first stage of voting: the project received the necessary number of “points”, but they were barely enough to pass.
After a closed discussion of all regional applications, the Expert Council decided to approve all five declared tourist routes as national ones with mandatory refinement of bottlenecks.
In addition, all consolidators of tours on national routes were strongly recommended to revise prices in downward direction to make traveling along the NTM even more accessible for Russians.
AN ACCELERATOR WILL WORK ON THE NAME OF NATIONAL TOURIST ROUTES
As can be seen from the recommendations of the Expert Council, today there is a great demand for repackaging of names, slogans and other key messages that promote the route.
And representatives of the regions will have the opportunity to learn naming.
On behalf of the Federal Tourism Agency, from June 6, a cycle of training events of the ANO “National Priorities” dedicated to working with national tourist routes begins. The main topic will be the positioning of the route and its name.
“We are making a pilot accelerator for those who have applied for national route status. These people will be able to finalize and change the name and packaging of their route during the application process. Now there are more than 40 applications in the work of the Expert Council and about 10 regions are at the stage of applying for the status of a national tourist route,” said Yulia Rybakova, adviser to the head of Rostourism. According to her, 80 regions have already applied for participation in the naming accelerator.
The key condition for participation in the accelerator is the creation of a team in the territory, which will include representatives of regional authorities, the TIC and the tourism industry.
“The first, theoretical part of the accelerator will be general and accessible to everyone. Further, only selected regional teams will go to the subject “pumping”. The results of the program will be summed up on June 9. The next accelerator will be organized for regions and tour operators that already implement national tourist routes and wish to further advance and learn in this direction,” said Ms. Rybakova.
Elena Myagkova< /p>