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Source: Ministry of Economic Development (Russia) – An important disclaimer is located at the bottom of this article.

Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Russia Dmitry Vakhrukov took part in a seminar on promoting eco-tourism in Northeast Asia.

The meeting was chaired by the Russian Federation as part of the meeting of the 15th session of the Tourism Council of the Expanded Tumangan Initiative (RTI), an intergovernmental institution for cooperation in Northeast Asia, supported by the United Nations Development Program, which includes four countries: the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea and Mongolia.

The session was also attended by Minister Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Russia Liu Qinghua, International Project Coordinator of the Department of International Tourism of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea Son Eun-kyung, expert of the Department of Tourism Policy and Coordination of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia Nanzadyn Bolormaa and etc.

Representatives of the countries participating in the initiative gathered for the next meeting in the city of Baikalsk (Irkutsk region). Dmitry Vakhrukov emphasized that here, with the participation of the state development corporation VEB.RF, the implementation of a comprehensive state development program began in 2023, following which Baikalsk should become a national center for the development of eco-tourism and the first eco-city in Russia.

The Deputy Minister noted that the key issue for the development of eco-tourism is the balance between the anthropogenic load on specially protected natural areas and the development of tourism infrastructure. As an example, he cited the peculiarities of tourism development on Lake Baikal, where today the strictest environmental protection regime is in force, implying restrictions on the construction of infrastructure facilities. Their absence leads to the development of “wild” spontaneous tourism, which is estimated at several million people annually. Such recreation causes damage to nature and creates a significant burden on the unique ecological system of Lake Baikal. Dmitry Vakhrukov sees the solution in the creation of a developed tourism infrastructure here with the participation of the state and business.

“We have made great progress in national legislation on the development of eco-tourism. But this is only legislation for now. Now we need to get the mechanisms working. Today we see great interest from a wide range of investors in investing in tourism in specially protected natural areas, but for this we need to create basic conditions. We believe that the main supply infrastructure, the infrastructure of hiking trails, is the task of the state. And the development of accommodation facilities, visitor centers, and trade is the task of private business. It is important to create conditions for him to appear there,” emphasized Dmitry Vakhrukov.

The significant tourism potential of Lake Baikal was also noted by the director of the RTI Secretariat, Lee Lawrence Humyung. He noted the importance of the lake for the development of projects in the field of eco-tourism and the significant contribution of the Russian side to creating conditions for the implementation of new projects in this area. “During the seminar, the huge potential of Baikal for the development of ecotourism was noted. The Russian side is making great efforts to develop ecotourism here, and we will work together with RTI member countries and the Russian side, including the government of the Irkutsk region, to implement projects to develop ecotourism in this region,” he said.

Director of the center for the development of international tourism at the Center for Strategic Research, Yulia Maksutova, noted that specially protected natural areas of Russia were visited by 14.5 million in 2023. And more than half of these visits accounted for two large sites – Sochi and Kislovodsk national parks. At the same time, according to the expert, the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Dagestan, Crimea, Kabardino-Balkaria, the Kaliningrad Region and Lake Baikal have significant potential in the field of ecological tourism.

The RTI session took place at the EKO.TSEH youth campus, which is being developed by VEB.RF together with its subsidiary, Baikal.Center. The project to create ECO.TSEKH became a finalist in 2022 at the forum “Strong Ideas for New Times,” which resulted in relevant instructions from the President of Russia. The first stage of campus infrastructure for holding events has already been built.

Advisor to the Chairman of VEB.RF Oleg Pleshivtsev noted that this is the first time the site has hosted a major international event. At the same time, he emphasized that “cooperation with the participating countries of the Expanded Tumangan Initiative is of particular interest to VEB.RF. This includes interaction between business communities and interbank interaction. Thus, VEB.RF has been a member of the Association of Export-Import Banks of North-East Asia since 2013.”

Note; This information is raw content directly from the source of the information. This is exactly what the source states and does not reflect the position of MIL-OSI or its clients.

Please note; This information is raw content directly from the information source. It is accurate to what the source is stating and does not reflect the position of MIL-OSI or its clients.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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