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Gastro-tourism to be a focus area in Russia

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The Association of Cultural-Gastronomic Tourism sent a letter to the head of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Maksim Oreshkin, with a proposal to include gastronomic tourism in the list of priorities in the federal targeted tourism development program being developed in Russia, in order to support the interest of foreign tourists in Russian regions, according to RIA Novosti.

“To date, the concept of the Federal Target Program 'Development of domestic and inbound tourism in the Russian Federation (2019-2025)' published on the website of the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm), distinguishes five priority types of tourism: cultural and educational, active, health, environmental and cruise. We propose to supplement this list with the direction of gastronomic tourism,” says the letter of the Chairman of the Board of the Association, Irina Klimkina.

As noted in the letter, taking into account the further development of transport infrastructure, the opening and modernization of airports, tourist traffic is becoming more accessible to Russian regions. In this regard, the development of gastronomic tourism along with unique regional products can support and motivate the interest of tourists to rest in Russia.

“Considering the global trends in the tourism industry, we believe that it is gastronomic tourism that can be the driving force of the development of domestic and inbound tourism in Russia,” says the letter of Klimkina.

As noted in the letter, a pilot program Taste of Astrakhan has already been implemented in the direction of gastro-tourism, which was supported by regional authorities, local tour operators and territorial industries.

“For integration into the global tourist services market, the Association offered the post of gastronomic ambassador of Russia to a number of world celebrities who highly appreciate Russian cuisine. A list of gastrobrands is currently at the research stage for consideration by UNESCO - with a view to including them in the list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity," says the letter.

The Association also proposed to include the gastronomic tourism industry in the development strategy of tourism development in Russia until 2035 and approve the methodology for the definitions of gastronomic tourism and gastronomic specialty (brand) at the federal level.

“We are confident that in the period of international tension, the potential of gastrotourism will open Russia to foreign visitors from new positions of hospitality and service, unconventional and non-stereotypical perception of the cultural and historical “mental code” of Russians,” noted in the letter of Klimkina.