“Russian cities and regions that will host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 get huge development incentives. The movement of a tremendous flow of people and opening opportunities for domestic tourism require proper logistics and transport infrastructure,” said Alexey Konyushkov, Deputy Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism at the Round Table “Hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup has to be Cost-Effective and the Historical Heritage of Russian Regions” held in the Analytical Center.
Nurali Rezvanov, an advisor to the Head of the Analytical Center, drew attention of the participants to almost absolute lack of roadside infrastructure in the Volga region where five of the eleven hosting cities are located. “At the World Cup, we have to show guests what Russia is and we need a good tourist product for this purpose,” thinks Mr. Rezvanov calling the poorly developed infrastructure, first of all, road and shipping one, the key obstacle. The expert suggested that coordination groups capable to collect all information about these two areas and articulate their proposals should be established.
According to Mr. Rezvanov we need to launch the project management system that has proven to be the most efficient method of implementing large infrastructural projects. Oleg Voitenko, the First Deputy Head of the Analytical Center, drew attention of the participants to the need for high-quality information support to such activities.
Mr. Denis Arsentyev, the President of the Association of Roadside Service and Tourism Companies, noted that foreign tourists would not want to come for visiting one region only, but prefer interregional tourist routes. The expert presented a project of an automobile tourism cluster for Russian regions developed based on the example of the Volga region and consisting of ten multifunctional road service facilities. Besides, particular attention was paid to the development of camping and camping sites as the least costly and fastest-to-pay-off way to solve the problem of hosting and servicing tourists. Such multifunctional centers should be included in international tourism databases. In addition, in the opinion of the expert, it is reasonable to sell tickets to the 2018 World Cup together with the tourist product. Guests should want to continue their travel in our country instead of flying home after the match – only then the economic effect will be achieved. So, a multifunctional center means both new jobs and a point of growth for the region. Their location logics are approximately every 400 km - a distance after which a driver needs rest.
Speaking of the governmental support, Mr. Arsentyev said that it might include providing guarantees on loans, subsidizing a part of the interest rate and constructing utility networks (electricity, gas, etc.). The payback period of one multifunctional center is 7 years with the governmental support or 10 years without it.
At the round table, speeches were delivered by representatives of the regions who shared their experience and described problems of their territories in this area.