“Zhigulevskaya Around the World” is when those who like to travel on yalks and kayaks make a circle around Samarskaya Luka. There is also the village of Shiryaevo, where the young Ilya Repin painted sketches for “Barge Haulers on the Volga”. The places in the Samara region are amazing. Both in beauty and in historical events. Tourist Mecca, in a word.
At the end of 2021, the region entered the top 10 of the national tourist rating. Its compilers – the magazine about domestic and inbound tourism “Rest in Russia” and the Center for Information Communications “Rating” – collected and analyzed statistical data, publications in the media. We took comments from venerable experts to assess the development of domestic and inbound tourism both in Russia as a whole and in all its regions.
In this competition, the Samara region has demonstrated successful dynamics. If in 2019 the region occupied the twentieth line of the rating, in 2020 – 14, then last year it entered the honorable top ten. And this despite the fact that in Soviet times, the region, stuffed with defense factories, was closed to tourists, and in the following decades it attracted compatriots spoiled by Turkey and Spain with little.
But, as we can see, times are changing, the benefit of the Samara region really has something to offer guests – from natural and historical monuments to unique festivals.
The priority type of tourism is ecological. The region has unique natural resources: 211 specially protected natural areas. The leaders in demand here are the Samarskaya Luka National Park, Zhigulevsky Reserve, Racheysky and Muransky Bory, Podvalsky Terraces. Only in “Samarskaya Luka”, according to the administration of the national park, the flow of tourists for the year increased by almost 86 percent and amounted to more than 122 thousand people.
But to adequately receive so many guests, the Volga beauty and even sunny weather (last summer broke all records of warmth and light) is not enough. We need an accelerated development of the recreation infrastructure. The new national project “Tourism and hospitality industry” has become a significant help in this.
Last year, 14 projects were implemented in the region, which became winners of the competition for grant support from the federal budget. Among them – the construction of new and equipment of existing campgrounds and glamping sites, the development of bicycle routes and dog sledding, the creation of new services for tourists.
At the end of last year, the Samara region signed an agreement with the Corporation “Tourism.RF” and the Russian Geographical Society. This will help not only the creation of new facilities, but the preservation of the province’s natural resources. This is very important, since in the coming years, the landscaping of the picturesque Trans-Volga villages, Mount Svetelka and the non-freezing Blue Lake will be carried out here. And in the village of Shiryaevo, work is in full swing.
In the village of Perevoloki, they are still working on a concept for the development of the territory. Its name, so unusual for visitors, comes from the fact that in the old days boats were dragged in this place, shortening the way along the Volga. The village is also famous for the fact that the locals were actively engaged in fishing. The goal of the project is to make the village a tourist center not only of regional but also of Russian importance.
Tourists are also attracted by unique events of the all-Russian and world scale. For example, the Volgafest festival has turned from a three-day festival into a two-week one. According to data obtained using Big Data technology, from June 7 to June 20, the festival was attended by more than 515 thousand people.
The international festival of arts “Shostakovich XX century” lasted fourteen days. This allowed the guests to plan the most convenient schedule for participation in the festival and get to know the Samara region without being tied to one weekend. Such a schedule brought an additional flow of tourists, supported the industry’s enterprises. Some guests came to Samara for two weekends. Medical tourism is actively developing in the region.
Travel cashback had a significant positive effect. In the Samara region, 69 tour operators, hotels, recreation centers took part in this program last year, which made it possible to offer the consumer a comfortable price, taking into account the return of 20 percent of the funds.
It should be admitted that before the coronavirus in Russia, the model of domestic tourism was seriously disrupted, since outbound tourism was actively developing. A culture was created when our tourist went to rest abroad, and we indulged in it. According to experts, every year about $ 35 billion was spent by Russian tourists abroad.
That is, every year, for 20 years, we took away the money that was invested in the creation of infrastructure in Turkey, Greece, Egypt and other countries.
To rectify the situation and speed up the process of creating our own tourism clusters, the Tourism.RF corporation was formed, which has already selected 53 projects. Among them were not only Samara.
The agreement, signed at the end of last year between the Samara region and the Russian Geographical Society, will allow the study and preservation of the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the region.
It is also planned to conduct joint research studies, including the establishment of the age of Samara. The official date of the appearance of the city is still considered to be 1586, when the decree of Tsar Theodore Ioannovich was given on the construction of a fortress on the spit of the Volga and Samara rivers. At the same time, according to historians and local historians, there is reason to believe that the settlement was actually created earlier.