Visiting industrial tourism attractions in the Samara Region
Artur Abdrashitov
The Minister of Tourism of the Samara Region

Visiting industrial tourism attractions in the Samara Region

The Minister of Tourism of the Samara Region Artur Abdrashitov tells the EcoTourism EXPERT that it is worth going to the region not only to enjoy the beautiful nature and outdoor activities, but also to get acquainted with unique industrial facilities and rich architectural heritage.

- The projects of the Samara Region have received recognition at the All-Russian Forum “Travel!”, and the “Autotravel” joint project launched together with AVTOVAZ is among these projects. What are the prospects for such a popular segment as industrial tourism in the Samara Region?

- Industrial tourism today is one of the priority tourism segments to be developed in the Samara Region. I would like to remind you that the methodology for the industrial tourism development was worked out in the Samara Region; it is spreading today throughout our country, and a large number of regions of the Russian Federation use our experience.

Today, almost 20 enterprises in the Samara Region with the most diverse profiles are open for industrial tourism, including food industry enterprises, agricultural organizations, as well as the automotive manufacturing factories. Undoubtedly, our automobile giant - the AVTOVAZ plant and its LADA brand - are of special importance for the development of industrial tourism in the Samara Region.

We are implementing a number of joint projects with AVTOVAZ, first of all, the ones aimed at the development of car tourism as travelling by cars is most popular in the Samara Region and the areas around the region. Today, we actively promote the “LADA Travels” brand, which is a special service when travellers accompanied by a driver-guide can make an educational journey or an interesting transfer by a LADA car from the airport or railway station to their accommodation facilities, or visit the attractions of the Samara Region.

The national “Zhiguli Weekend” tourist route gives a chance to visit the LADA Sport factory, a subsidiary of AVTOVAZ, where sports and racing cars roll off the production line. We plan to launch a new interesting industrial tourism programme at the main assembly line of AVTOVAZ where visitors can get an idea about different stages of assembly of Russian cars. The development of industrial tourism helps us in solving a number of problems today. Firstly, the industrial tourism often serves as a motive for travelling to the Samara Region. Secondly, it helps us in career guidance of our young generation and in encouraging patriotism in young people. Thirdly, it helps us promote the brands of the Samara Region’s products that become more famous throughout our country.

- In addition to the industrial giants, what else is a must-see in the Samara Region?

- The opportunities for cultural, educational and event tourism are, of course, among the main reasons to choose a visit to the Samara Region. We have many different museums ranging from the “Space Samara” Museum and Exhibition Complex and the Stalin’s Underground Command Bunker to numerous interactive expositions that children like very much; and various  festivals and theater performances on the history, culture and art are constantly held in our region. Finally, travellers can get acquainted with a wide variety of architectural styles in the Samara Region, with Art Nouveau most widely represented in
the region. Many tourists come to see the architectural styles.

It is best to start the art journey in Samara, then see the architectural objects of the Soviet modernism style in Tolyatti, and go to Syzran where real merchant city buildings are well preserved. Another common and popular tourism segment in the Samara Region is recreation. There are a lot of opportunities for sports and various outdoor activities for enthusiasts who would like to relax on the banks of the Volga, swim in the river, go kiting, wakeboarding, and yachting. They can also have rest at the local resorts and health centres both in the coastal area and in the forest, including the rest at new glampings. By the way, we expect a fairly large number of modular accommodation facilities to appear near our key “attractions’ like campsites and car campsites, as well as beaches and near year-round swimming pools, children’s and sports recreation areas. In addition to all this, a network of tourist trails will be offered and electronic guides will be provided. This year, the size and number of grants allocated for these purposes increased significantly.

- Is it explained by the growing tourists’ interest in the Samara Region’s attractions?

- The number of tourists arriving in the Samara Region is indeed constantly growing - in 2022 the tourist flow amounted to more than 2.5 mn people, which is 2.5 times more than five years ago. Most of the travellers are from Moscow and the Moscow Region, as well as from the St. Petersburg, Orenburg, Saratov, Ulyanovsk, Tyumen, and Sverdlovsk regions, the Republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. And the inhabitants of the Samara Region began to travel around the Samara Region more often.

The “Let’s Go!” project is being successfully implemented to promote domestic tourism among the residents of the Samara Region and visitors from other regions. We use press tours made by the media representatives and bloggers to tell where travellers can go on vacation in winter and summer, for short weekends and longer periods.

During the tours, journalists and bloggers get acquainted with unique tourist routes showing the beauty of nature and rich culture of the Samara Region, the tourism and recreational potential of the region, and the journalists and bloggers tell their readers in their publications about the Samara Region’s most convenient services and tourism opportunities.

This year, Samara is among the most popular cities in the city tour segment thanks to various new programmes, including our culinary workshop and tasting sessions, author’s excursions to the cities of the Samara Region like the “Space Samara”, “Gastronomic Samara”, the national park “Samarskaya Luka”, “Zhiguli Mountains”, and “Zhiguli Sea” (Hydropower station’s water storage reservoir). All these attractions are popular for a family vacation!

Our main tourism portal of the Samara Region is that tells the visitors and residents of our region how to have nice time, where to go, where to stay, what local cuisine specialties to taste. All travellers can make their own tour programme based on their interests and preferences.

- What would you recommend to include in the ecotourists’ tours?

- The Samara Region considers ecological tourism to be among the top priority tourism segments. The resources available in the region help in developing it, including 211 specially protected natural areas (SPNAs) of regional significance and 3 SPNAs of federal significance. The Samarskaya Luka National Park, the Zhigulevsky State Natural Biosphere Reserve named after I. I. Sprygina, the Racheisky and the Muransky forests are among the leaders, as well as the Podvalsky Terraces, and many others. In summer seasons, the Samara Region is a resort area for tourists from a number of regions, for example, the Urals and Siberia. People come to our region to admire nature, engage in outdoor activities and swim in the Volga River, which has a unique bend and it makes a U-turn around the Samarskaya Luka in the Samara Region. The opportunity to walk along the well-maintained embankments and enjoy the time on comfortable beaches, which we improve from year to year, as well as the opportunity to have a journey along the Volga River by boat or a cruise ship - all these ‘resort’ region’s offers are undoubtedly very attractive.

Photos courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism of the Samara Region