The topic of the development of ecotourism in specially protected natural areas became the main topic of the operational meeting of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin with deputy prime ministers. Photo: Dmitry Astakhov/POOL/TASS
“My native country is wide, there are many forests, fields and rivers!” – More and more Russians, choosing a vacation in Russia, are convinced from their own experience that this maxim is true. The development of domestic tourism helps us get to know our own country better and discover its unique nature. And this is a powerful impetus for business development: hotels, sanatoriums are beginning to be built, tourist infrastructure facilities are being built, etc. But we must not forget that mass tourism can also cause significant damage to the environment.
SPECIAL PROTECTION MODE
The topic of the development of ecotourism in specially protected natural areas became the main topic of the operational meeting of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin with the Deputy Prime Ministers on September 11.
– Every year, more and more tourists strive to visit the most beautiful places in our country. Including national parks. We have more than 60 and, of course, they have a special security regime. First of all, preserve the flora and fauna in the natural environment,” the Prime Minister recalled when opening the meeting. – This means that everything there must meet the strictest environmental requirements. They apply to hotel or campsite accommodation and sports fields, as well as many other facilities.
According to Mikhail Mishustin, the government is introducing a kind of agreement for companies that want to invest in tourism infrastructure in national parks.
– These documents must contain obligations and responsibilities of entrepreneurs for the careful conservation of nature and compliance with the corresponding regime. The construction of residential buildings is also prohibited, as well as other conditions for investors,” said the Chief of Staff.
MAINTAIN A BALANCE OF INTERESTS
The Deputy Prime Minister of the Government, Victoria Abramchenko, assured the president that all the proposed measures will guarantee the protection of our natural heritage and will allow visitors to unique natural spaces to enjoy their holidays without harming the environment.
According to him, on September 1, the basic federal law on the development of tourism in specially protected natural areas came into force. In compliance with the law, six government laws have already been adopted and eight more regulations will be adopted before the end of the year that will regulate tourism issues in protected areas.
“Our task is to maintain the balance of interests between the tourism industry and the environmental sector when setting regulatory standards,” the Deputy Prime Minister emphasized. – It is important that the construction of any objects is not allowed in the protected and specially protected areas of national parks. For the construction of hotels, sanatoriums, catering establishments, ski lifts and cable cars, greater environmental requirements will be developed that do not allow, for example, the storage of waste or the discharge of untreated wastewater. I would especially like to note that the regulatory standards will not allow clear felling during the construction of facilities, as well as the construction of residential buildings in unique natural complexes.
At the meeting it was especially highlighted that every year the demand from tourists to visit specially protected natural areas grows. Thus, at the end of last year, the number of visitors to specially protected natural areas increased by 40% and reached 14 million people. As of September 1 of this year, there are already about 10 million people.
The five most popular natural areas among tourists include the national parks of Kislovodsk and Sochi, the Curonian Spit, the Krasnoyarsk Pillars and the national park of the Elbrus region.