DYNAMICS OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN THE ALTAI REGION

Research article
DOI:
https://doi.org/10.23670/IRJ.2023.132.125
Issue: № 6 (132), 2023
Suggested:
27.04.2023
Accepted:
30.05.2023
Published:
16.06.2023
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Abstract

Many constituent entities of the Russian Federation that have resources for the development of tourism define this industry as a strategic direction for further economic development. The Altai region, being a tourist center for domestic tourism, is actively working on the organization, development, and promotion of the tourism industry. The Altai region is characterized by tourist attractiveness and increases its financial performance every year. Analysis of statistical information on tourist flows allowed the timely preparation of the tourism industry to adjust to the increasing as well as the decreasing trends. Purpose of the study: Based on up-to-date statistical information and analysis of development dynamics of the Altai Krai and the Altai Republic over ten years to assess the state of domestic tourism and point to possible directions of development.

1. Introduction

To date, approximately 70% of the visitors to the region come from the constituents of the Siberian Federal District and 17% from the Central Federal District. The tourist industry of the Altai region is supported by the state at the federal level through subsidies, grants, investments and cashbacks. The target audience of the Altai region expands and results in the emergence of brand-new travel destinations and financial incentives. Additionally, the hotel certification process will boost the attractiveness of the region. Federal support for the development of regional tourism, and active attempts of the executive authorities to promote the Altai Region, will allow the region to take its rightful place in the tourist market.

2. Research methods and principles

The theoretical and methodological basis of the study was scientific research in the field of domestic tourism presented in the works of A.B. Kosolapova, A.S. Kuskova, E.G. Istomina et al. The study is based on official statistics, as well as strategies and programs for the development of tourism in the Altai Krai and Republic of Altai, as presented on the official statistical sites. The study covers the time period from 2010 to 2022. Scientific research methods will be comparative geographical, statistical, analytical, diagnostic, interpretational.

3. Main results

The Altai region is attractive in different types of tourism. Many of the main indicators of the tourist industry of the Altai Krai before 2022 had a positive trend
. The services of the regional tourist industry in 2022 were used by more than 2.15 million tourists and travelers
. In 2020 the number of tourists in the region decreased to the level of 2011 1.3 million people (Fig. 1)
,
,
. The tourist flow in the Altai Territory in 2022 increased by 37.5%.
Dynamics of tourist traffic in the Altai Krai and the Altai Republic for 2010–2022

Figure 1 - Dynamics of tourist traffic in the Altai Krai and the Altai Republic for 2010–2022

The region is one with actively developing tourism, with a tourist flow (excluding 2020) – of at least 2 million people. But an even greater flow of tourists travels to the Altai Republic
. Passenger traffic at the Gorno-Altaysk airport grew even more, by almost one and a half times (2022 3.36 million passengers, increased more than five time to 2018). At the peak of the summer season, the airport served five daily flights to Moscow, as well as flights to other cities. Arrivals by plane increased from 2% to 10%. The transfers through small aviation also intensified
. And for the first time, package tours to Altai were sold on regular flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg. For the New Year's holiday, the hotel occupancy was 98%. By 2023, 225 travel agencies are registered in the Altai Krai, of which 58 tour operators and 167 travel agencies (Fig. 2)
,
,
,
.
Dynamics of tour operators and travel agents of the Altai Krai for 2007-2022

Figure 2 - Dynamics of tour operators and travel agents of the Altai Krai for 2007-2022

Geographically, the companies are in Barnaul, Belokurikha, Biysk and other cities. Out of 225 organizations, 152 companies (68%) are in Barnaul
. 98 travel agencies are registered in the Altai Republic, of which 25 are tour operators and 73 travel agencies (Fig. 3)
,
.
Dynamics of tour operators and travel agents in the Altai Republic for 2014–2022

Figure 3 - Dynamics of tour operators and travel agents in the Altai Republic for 2014–2022

Geographically, the companies are located in the city of Gorno-Altaysk, Chemalsky, Mayminsky, Ust-Koksinsky districts
. By 2023, there are 1008 accommodation facilities in the Altai Krai, 286 of which are hotels
. Of the 286 hotels, most are located directly in the capital (197 hotel enterprises)
. The total number of rooms is 2371. The hotel market of the Altai Krai has a solid base.

As of April 2023, 115 hotels in the region have confirmed their status at the federal level

(47 without stars classification, 7 with one star, 14 with two, 32 hotels with three stars, 15 with four stars and 1 with five stars). Over the past few years, there has been a positive growth in investment. The total number of rooms from 2015 to 2023 increased by 11.8%. Mainly hotels with a small number of rooms, which can be classified as economy hotels 1–2 stars, as well as new hostels, are opening on the hotel market.

For recreation and accommodation of guests in the Altai Republic, there are 903 travel companies, of which 256 accommodation facilities (110 hotels)

. In this domain, small business is active: 235 collective accommodation facilities (91.8%) belong to small businesses.

As of April 2023, one third of 395 tourist objects (120 objects) passed the classification procedure. In the Altai region are the only five-star hotels in the Republic (Fig. 4)

,
.

Certified hotels in the Altai region

Figure 4 - Certified hotels in the Altai region

Note: * - hotel star rating

The main problems are related to seasonality – about two thousand accommodations operate only in summer, and not everyone knows about their existence. Other issues are safety and quality of services in cool times – heating, high-quality water supply, uninterrupted energy supply, waste collection and disposal, availability of internet and coverage area of mobile communications. Restoration of flights with small aircraft means that remote sites can be reached in 30 minutes. This can help expand the boundaries of seasonality and improve service. Rural tourism is actively developing in the region. Each farm has its own interesting customs and traditions, with which the owners are welcoming their guests. It can be local dishes, participation in village holidays, master classes in traditional folk crafts, collecting medicinal herbs, cheese making, collecting honey
. In the region, these services are represented by 188 "green" guest houses and 434 “green” houses in the Republic
. The number of accommodations in Republic are 3586 places, with 39.9% available all year.

Tourism experts positively assess the development potential of the Altai region, and to enhance tourist activities it is necessary to implement the following points: it is necessary to promote information designed for specific target audiences; when organizing tourist infrastructure, it is necessary to offer a variety of accommodation options with a wide range of additional services; develop road infrastructure, (in front of five-star hotels the roads are not particularly comfortable); improve the quality of service in all places of accommodation of guests. Weaknesses include underdeveloped leisure infrastructure and animation, low level of barrier-free tourism, accumulation of waste and garbage in places of rest at the end of the season, increased anthropogenic pressures and low purchasing power of the residents of the Altai and surrounding regions, which constrains tourist activity of all the people.

4. Discussion

The opening of new tourism opportunities in the Altai region will promote: development of transport accessibility and improvement of the quality of roadside service; reduce the impact of the seasonality factor and increase hotel occupancy; promotion of information about new services and areas of development in the region; growth of investment attractiveness in tourism in the region; improve the quality of services in staffing the tourism industry, educational programs and improve the language skills of the service staff; achieve the required level in the digital service infrastructure, formation of digital platforms for promoting brands and products in tourism; improve safety in active tourist activities by informing tourists about the risks and the state of the environment in tourist territories; the growth of the tourist activity of inhabitants of the Russian Federation, including the development of social tourism in the domestic market. In the Altai region, two types of tourism, gastronomic and medical, are actively implemented at the level of the Russian Union of Travel Industry to promote gastronomy experiences and support specialized event (gastro festivals), for example, the National championship of chefs, make elements of gastronomic tours a part of tourist programs

, since food is an experience and the need to eat several times a day gives the opportunity to develop the economy and support the population in the local ethnic cuisine with natural organic products.

5. Conclusion

The main problems of the tourism industry in the Altai region are related to the following areas: seasonality about two thousand accommodation facilities operate only in the summertime; safety and quality of services; traffic jams and congestion on the main roads in the region during weekend; the poorly developed infrastructure animation; low level of barrier-free tourism; accumulation of waste in recreation areas, anthropogenic pressures.

To optimize the development of tourism in the region, it is necessary to continue implement the following tasks: continue to form charter package tours to the Altai; upload to easily accessible booking sites available for rent houses for the opportunity to isolate and be alone in nature; actively develop rural tourism, with the participation in rural holidays; to develop road infrastructure and transport accessibility;to improve the quality of roadside service; to promote the gastro-tourism industry; continue to develop qualified spa treatment, to develop a medical type of tourism; to promote ethno-demographic tourism; organize interesting tours with the study of the features of the Cossacks, small indigenous peoples; to offer open theme parks, offer excursions in the form of an educational quest; promote ecotourism with the natural local products; continue state support of Altai at the federal level through subsidies, grants, investments, cashback; continue to implement investment projects. All this gives grounds to consider domestic tourism in the Altai region as a priority area.

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