Vladimir Fomin: "Tourist flow between Russia and Azerbaijan steadily growing"
As the summer tourist season approaches, many people started to think about trips to Russia or near abroad. Deputy head of the International Cooperation Department of the Federal Agency for Tourism, Vladimir Fomin, told Vestnik Kavkaza about the prospects of tourism development in the Caucasus.
- How do you assess the prospects for Russia's cooperation with Azerbaijan in the tourism industry?
- Azerbaijan is one of Russia's main partners in the Commonwealth of Independent States in the development of mutual tourist exchanges. Annual figures indicate that mutual flows are steadily growing. In the near future it will be possible to speak about a seven-digit number. Culture tourism and gastronomic tourism are gaining popularity. Azerbaijan cuisine is very popular in Russia, it can be seen from a large number of restaurants.
For Azerbaijani tourists in Russia we can offer both a historical and cultural program, as well as the diversity of cultures and ethnic groups inhabiting the Russian Federation. Southern Russia differs from the northern by special signs in culture, languages and customs. I think it will be interesting for Azerbaijani tourists to visit our country.
It is also worth mentioning religious tourism. It is in its infancy now. This subject is to be developed in line with appropriate dioceses, confessions, spiritual administrations of Muslims, religious organizations. We, on our part, are ready to create the necessary conditions for pilgrims, whom we regard primarily as tourists.
- Have you been in Azerbaijan?
- Yes, but it was a long time ago. I visited Baku, Lenkoran. I am from the Caucasus, from sunny Adygea. It is not much different from from our Dagestan or Chechnya, but there was a special color. Baku is an ancient city. Now it is a transnational metropolis that has some elements in common with Moscow and New York. However, the regions of Azerbaijan are also developed successfully.
- Do you often come to Adygea?
- Unfortunately, I have not been in my native village near Maikop for several years. In general, Maikop district, Hajokh, Kamennomostsky village are also actively developed today. I know all the waterfalls, all the caves, all the paths there. There is an active construction of hotels and guest houses there, roads and places of interest are being improved. I think that Adygea and the Krasnodar Territory have great prospects for the development of both domestic and inbound tourism. I think that Azerbaijani tourists will be pleased to visit a kindred Caucasian environment and look at Russia's development in the Caucasus direction.
- Do you think the Caucasus direction is particularly attractive?
- Of course. It has a variety of cultures. The density per square meter exceeds the average Russian level, hence the places of interest, the cuisine, culture, songs, dances and customs. In the same village you can see a Russian, an Ukrainian, and a Caucasian wedding. Be there as guests. Not even mentioning an access to the Black Sea - Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi have changed beyond recognition in recent years.
- How actively do you interact with the republics of the North Caucasus?
- Without exception, all Caucasian republics implement their own internal programs and at the same time actively participate in the federal target program on the development of domestic and inbound tourism in the Russian Federation, conducted by Rosturizm. This is a large program. All regions of the Caucasus actively participate in our events and improve their territory to receive tourists.