Murad Ustarov on Vesti.FM: ethnotourism is booming in North Caucasus

Murad Ustarov on Vesti.FM: ethnotourism is booming in North Caucasus

The development of ethnotourism in the North Caucasus is proceeding at a rapid pace, and not only due to the closure of borders amid the coronavirus pandemic, Murad Ustarov, an analyst of Vestnik Kavkaza, said in the Natsvopros program on Vesti.FM.

Natsvopros is a weekly program on Vesti.FM, during which various aspects of ethnic relations, primarily in Russia, are discussed. Today's program was dedicated to various aspects of the development of ethnotourism.

"Ethnotourism is a fashionable, rapidly developing direction in the travel industry. The ethnocultural diversity of Russia and the historically characteristic mutual influence of different cultures is an important prerequisite for the development of interest in this type of tourism among Russians. As other popular trends in tourism (gastronomic, ecological), it has a goal - to get acknowledged with culture, way of life, traditions of other nations, to immerse in their environment, to feel like one of them, " the expert noted.

"It is worth noting that in 2020, the domestic tourist flow has grown significantly, but this happened partially due to the coronavirus and closure of borders. Now, most of Russians are ready to recognize domestic tourism as an alternative to foreign destinations,” Murad Ustarov stressed.

”Ethnotourism in the North Caucasus has been developing not for a long time. However, the popularity of such direction is growing noticeably every year. As for the territories for which a combination of ethnotourism and resort tourism is possible, in Russia it is, first of all, the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus and the region of the Caucasian Mineral Waters,” the expert specified.

"In recent years, ethnotourism has developed greatly in the republics of the North Caucasus. And Dagestan, which can be called a constellation of peoples, is a promising region for amateur ethnotourism. This type of tourism destination attracts more and more people to the region. In this regard, the republic is implementing projects to develop tourism in Dagestan, preserve ethnic culture, history of the native land. One of such projects is Ethnodom. Its goal to organize a guest house-museum with mountain architecture. This project expands its geography in Dagestan and already in two villages (Chokh and Kubachi), this project is being implemented,” Murad Ustarov explained.

“It is worth noting that this year, despite the pandemic, ethnocafes, ethnohostels, ethnoboutiques, ethnoschools and ethnocenters are actively developing. A similar effect extends to other regions of the Caucasus, there is a revival of abandoned villages, auls, where life is being restored. Tours to famous ethnic centers are also actively developing,” Ustarov said.

"Thus, the development of ethnotourism sphere received a good impetus. The study of the native land, the way of life of the ancestors, the willingness to imbue with the spirit of the native land is becoming an urgent phenomenon that must be maintained at a high level," the analyst of Vestnik Kavkaza concluded.

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