"At the moment there are 2 billion Muslims in the world. Potentially, they are the largest market of tourists that can visit Russia," Analytical Center expert Nurali Rezvanov said, speaking at the Halal Tourism: Status Quo and the Future session held during the 9th international economic summit Russia in the Islamic World.
Mr. Rezvanov made special mention of the fact that the Muslim countries are important economic partners of Russia both now and in the future. For example, we are closely cooperating with the former Central Asian Soviet republics, and then there is the entry of Iran and the Persian Gulf Countries into the Great River Ring of Europe. According to the expert, the new draft federal program for the development of tourism envisions the inclusion of the development of such tourist trails as the overland Halal routes from Kazakhstan through Central Asia and into Russia.
Halal cafes and restaurants should be opened on the transport routes, at airports, train stations and hotels, as well as Muslim prayer rooms, Mr. Rezvanov believes. "Tourism is essentially a live lesson in patriotism and spiritual and ethical values," he added. "Ideally we want to have both Muslim Halal tourist trails as well as mixed trails that will promote mutual respect and understanding between people of different faiths."
Mr. Rezvanov also took part in the strategy session devoted to the development of the Socio-Economic Development Strategy for the Republic of Adygea through 2030. "A number of important issues were raised during the session. Practically all of them are related with each other," the expert said. "We have a clear understanding that the cornerstone project in our efforts to promote tourism is the creation of the Lagonaki ski resort. Now, if that project is our flagship, then we need to get the tourist industry to cooperate with other industries to pull it off. This, in turn, is going to affect large numbers of people by creating new jobs and improving their living standards."