Russia has started the creation of an acceleration program for the development of ecotourism. As EcoTourism Expert came to know, the acceleration program launched last week by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives should become a “packaged product” ready for implementation and presentation to potential investors and authorities.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation says that the acceleration program will allow specialists from national parks and reserves to form a new perspective of natural areas. According to Deputy Minister Elena Panova, such a program will be able to regard the national parks ‘‘not as a closed area with a strict access regime, but as a unique complex attractive to visitors, which has a huge ecological-tourist and ecological-educational potential, it will open up opportunities for development’’.
The accelerator consists of three closed training modules for the finalists, as well as an open lecture program. The program participants will have a cycle of training events and consultations with experts.
The first and second modules will be available only for teams that entered the top 34.
The finalists have already been selected by the competition committee.
During their studies, they will learn how to launch processes that will help attract investment and develop the local economy, preserve and capitalize cultural heritage, and improve the quality of tourism products. The participants of these modules will also work to improve real territories.
Based on the results of the studies, the commission will select 10 winning territories that will take part in the third module.
Participants who have completed the program will also learn how to budget and plan the development process of the territory, attract extra-budgetary funding sources, involve the local community to increase the economic effect from the implementation of projects, in addition, they will have to learn how to understand land and property laws, understand the structure and mechanisms of territorial governance on various government levels. All this will become the basis for the development of federal protected areas, municipalities, local communities, small and medium-sized businesses.
As conceived by the initiators, the program should prepare unique specialists with cross-disciplinary competencies in the field of territorial development and tourism.
“It will teach you to analyze the current socio-economic, environmental and market conditions in natural areas, to understand where the growth points are, which direction of development is appropriate and feasible,” said Olga Zakharova, Deputy Director General of ASI.
She expressed the hope that after the training, the teams will be able to make the most of the potential of the private and public sectors for the development of national parks and reserves.
The acceleration program will last till November 15.
The All-Russian project is being implemented with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Eastern Development and the Federal Tourism Agency. The operator of the competition is the Agency for Strategic Development ‘‘Cente’’.