The strategic goal of the Government of the Republic of Karelia in the sphere of tourism is formation of a highly effective and competitive tourist complex in the republic, for 2009 the task in view was not to admit sharp recession of inbound tourism in the republic in the context of rigid competitive struggle for inter-regional redistribution of flows of home and foreign tourists.
Despite of complexities with the budgetary financing, the basic activities of the regional target program Development of Tourism in the Republic of Karelia through 2010 have been performed. Due to means of the budget and tourist organizations the practice of purchasing of large uniform stands of the Republic of Karelia with areas exceeding 40 m2 continued the major tourist exhibitions. The republic's collective stand participated in the largest in Scandinavian countries international tourist exhibition MATKA (January, Helsinki).
At the international tourist exhibition Intourmarket (March, Moscow) tourist potential of the republic for the first time was presented at its own mobile stand made on motives of Tamara Jufa's pictures from modern materials and designs. Use of originally designed stand introducing originality of cultural and natural heritage of Karelia for tourists place exposition of the republic in a good light among the standard expositions of the majority of the Russian regions and has essentially raised efficiency of participation in the exhibition.
To achieve more significant results on promotion tourist products of the republic at the international forums there has been generated a presentation package of advertising and information production including Karelia Touristskaya CDs and Karelia booklets in Russian and English languages, wall calendars, souvenir products with symbolics of Karelia.
In total Karelia has taken part in 9 international and inter-regional tourist exhibitions. In March Petrozavodsk hosted the ninth specialized exhibition Karelia Touristskaya with extensive business program on work of the enterprises of the travel industry in the context of the crisis, the seventh Hunting and Fishing exhibition took place in the beginning of June.
Work on introduction of results of development of the Master Plan of location of objects and tourism infrastructures in the Republic of Karelia continued. The list of objects of tourism infrastructure of the regional and municipal level expected to be included in the Scheme of territorial planning of the Republic of Karelia is coordinated.
The аirst significant practical result of introduction of the Master Plan became the beginning of realization of the construction project of "green parking" for cruise yachts on the island of Pellotsari in Sortavala region for which detailed planning sketches have been developed.
Using materials of the Master Plan recommended at development of documents of territorial planning administrations of municipal units of the Republic of Karelia have livened up the work concerning appropriation of ground areas for tourist construction. In 2009 it was planned to complete, continue or start construction of 55 objects of tourism infrastructure. Despite of the suspension of construction of many objects due to financial problems, a number of means of accommodation (basically, small camp sites and guest houses) have been put into operation in Medvezhiegorsk, Pryazha, Sortavala, Kondopoga and Louhi regions. The volume of the unappropriated investments involved in development of tourism infrastructure in the republic in 2009 has made 450 million rbl. Works on construction of Onego Palace hotel in Petrozavodsk renewed, commissioning of the object is scheduled for the Anniversary of the republic.
The annual competition Leaders of Karelian Tourism Industry - 2009 was held for the eighth time. Winners of competition in six nominations (Lukomorie, Ltd., Intourist-Petrozavodsk Joint-Stock Company, Karelia Tourist Holding, Ltd., Zaonego.ru, Ltd., Conference-Bureau, Ltd., Nord House Joint-Stock Company) were granted free-of-charge workplaces at the collective stand of the republic for participation in the international tourist exhibition Intourmarket.
Besides, representatives of Karelian tourism became winners of prestigious premiums of the federal level. Stells, Ltd., is recognized the winner of the The Tourist Industry Leaders international premium in The Best Regional Travel Company nomination. The winner of the Yu.Senkevich annual National tourist premium in the For Active Promotion of Tourist Resources of Regions of Russia nomination became the Information Tourist Center of the Republic of Karelia State Institution.
Much attention is traditionally paid to increase of availability of tourist education to involve inhabitants of the republic in tourist activity, particularly those residing in the regions far from the capital. The Education. Tourism. Development. Russian-Norwegian partnership in the system of continuous education project of the New Eurasia Foundation is completed in territory of Louhi region.
The II workshop conference Northern Tourist Destinations as Dominant of Tourism Development in the Northwest Region was held in Petrozavodsk. Sortavala hosted international seminar concerning safety in tourism. The international seminar concerning prospects of development of cross-border tourism, exchange of operational experience in reserves of Kajnuu and Karelia was held in Kostomuksha.
In 17 metropolitan regions and urban districts of the republic municipal programs of tourism development or corresponding sections in complex programs of social and economic development of municipal units are implemented.
The Government of the Republic of Karelia continued work on support of favorable conditions for implementation of activity of travel agencies and protection of interests of regional tourist organizations. Offers of the Government of the Republic of Karelia alongside with offers of administrations of other Russian regions have not allowed to pass original bills providing sharp increase of financial guarantees for tour operators working both in the sphere of international, inbound and domestic travel. As a result in 2009 the number of the tourist organizations of the the Republic of Karelia included in the uniform federal register of tour operators has increased from 70 to 80.
In 2009 the Government has prepared and submitted to the federal executive and legislative bodies the offers on delegating the regions individual powers concerning state regulation of the branch development.
The Government of the Republic of Karelia has made a decision on carrying out of the International tourist forum Karelia-2010. Tourism and Modernization of the Economy of Russia during the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the republic (June 7-10, 2010). Under the aegis of the Forum there will be united a large workshop conference and the tenth anniversary exhibition Karelia Touristskaya. Preparation for the Forum has begun in November, 2009.