Last year positive dynamics of tourism development was kept, increase in contribution of the branch in economy of the republic was observed.
Efforts of the Government of the Republic of Karelia have been concentrated to solution of key problems related to increase of efficiency of government regulation in the sphere of tourism.
The main action of 2007 in the sphere of government support of tourism development was elaboration of Master plan of location of objects and tourist infrastructure in the Republic of Karelia within the Plan of territorial planning of the Republic of Karelia. The republic is the first region among subjects of the Russian Federation that has developed such document. Master plan will become a basis for performance of design, survey, architectural, planning and construction work within operating and perspective for tourism development territories of the Republic of Karelia.
Government of the Republic of Karelia has developed and passed the Development of Tourism in the Republic of Karelia through to 2010 regional target program, volume of its financing from the budget of the Republic of Karelia will exceed 20 million roubles.
As a result of cooperation between republican and federal enforcement authorities rules of border zone visiting were simplified for organized tourist groups. 58 tourist organizations from Karelia are included in the Uniform federal register of travel agencies being formed since June, 2007.
Development of inter-regional cooperation in the sphere of tourism with the Governments of Moscow, St.-Petersburg and Vologda area, Administrations of Leningrad, Kaliningrad, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk areas continues. Karelia remains one of the most active members of Regions of Russia - Moscow Agreement Coordination Council on Travel Industry Development. In December between the Governments of Moscow and the Republic of Karelia the cooperation agreement was signed according to which Moscow authorities will take part in construction of a network of three-stars hotels in our republic.
Significant event in the sphere of international cooperation was carrying out of the Northern Hospitality Second International Tourist Forum in Petrozavodsk. To participte in the forum there came more than 70 representatives of travel industry, controls of tourism development, scientific and educational establishments in the sphere of tourism from Russia, Finland and Germany. Within the scope of the Karelia Open to the World tourist forum the Development of Tourism in the Northwest of Russia: Practice, Problems, Prospects international workshop conference was held.
Government of Karelia promoted development of tourism in municipal units of the republic by rendering organizational and methodical support to administrations of municipal units in development, implementation, monitoring of municipal branch target programs. As of the end of 2007 in the stage of realization there were nine intermediate term programs of tourism development in towns and regions of the republic, another one is to be confirmed soon. At active participation of Government of the republic Petrozavodsk city administration developed and approved Program of Tourism Prospects Development of Petrozavodsk for the period through to 2012.
Government of the Republic of Karelia organized participation of our republic in 15 tourist exhibitions and fairs, including the largest international events held in Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Helsinki, Berlin, London, and also carrying out of traditional tourist exhibitions Karelia Touristskaya (in March), Hunting and Fishing (in April) in the city of Petrozavodsk.
To increase efficiency of participation of the republic in tourist exhibitions there continued formation of the presentation package including catalogues, booklets, CDs about tourist potential of Karelia, tourist maps and guidebooks. In 2007 tourist guidebook on the republic in English has been published for the first time. At the support of the Government of Karelia the first periodical, devoted to aspects of tourism development - Karelia Touristskaya magazine is published. By now moment 11 issues of the magazine were published.
The VIth Republican competition of tourist organizations and businessmen Leaders of Karelian Travel Industry - 2007 was organized and held. In 2007 for the first time three tourist organizations representing Karelia became winners of the prestigious federal premium Travel Industry Leaders.
Development of system of continuous tourist education including 8 educational establishments proceeded. Work on creation of branches of educational tourist institutions in regions of the republic was conducted. The accent in work of the Government of the Republic of Karelia on personnel maintenance of the branch turned towards increase of availability of tourist education for residents of municipal units of the republic (especially remote ones). It allows to smooth the developed disproportions in distribution of tourist activity over the territory of the republic, to increase contribution of tourism to social and economic development of all municipal formations.
Government support of investors in the sphere of tourism was carried out in two directions. The first one concered business-planning, land tenure, promotion of significant for the republic projects in the sphere of tourism on a competitive basis on largest international and Russian investment forums. The second direction was subsidizing of a part of interest rate on bank credits through granting preferential budgetary credits. Now the share of investments allocated in tourism infrastructure in total amount of investments into a fixed capital on the Republic of Karelia makes 2.7%, that exceeds the average Russian level of 0.39% essentially.
It allows to predict that in the nearest years the republic will achieve one of in the leading positions in development of tourist branch among the next regions of Russia.
Further activity of the Government of the Republic of Karelia on formation of highly effective and competitive tourist complex in the republic will be directed on strengthening of material base of tourism, increase of inbound tourist streams in the republic, increase of contribution of tourism in economy of Karelia.
In 2008 implementation of the Development of Tourism in the Republic of Karelia through to 2010 regional target program on the basis of the Master plan of location of objects and tourist infrastructure in the Republic of Karelia will continue, work on formation of republican tourist claster, preparation of investment sites for construction of objects of tourist infrastructure will become more active.