Program – Sustainable Tourism: Global Challenges and Discovering Russia

Program

From the 6th to the 8th of October, 2021, the Rosa Khutor mountain resort will host the 4th International Conference “Sustainable Tourism: Global Challenges and Russian Perspective”.

Previous conferences have established this annual event as a key business forum for the industry of outdoor recreation and sustainable tourism in the Specially Protected Nature Areas (SPNAs) in Russia and have earned it international recognition.

The Conference is held on a not-for-profit basis, contributing to the steady development of sustainable tourism, and strives to foster positive transformation and enable cooperation between parties interested in enacting change.

The Conference serves as a platform for fruitful discussions between prominent industry institutions and gives speakers from international organizations an opportunity to present, thus creating an inspiring and unforgettable experience.

As in the previous conferences, the agenda comprises issues relevant to policy development,  regulation, and institution building in the sector of outdoor recreation and sustainable tourism in the SNPAs.

The 4th Conference will take place under the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing limits on the number of attendees. The Conference Organizers will deploy significant resources to provide high-quality interactive online broadcasting of conference proceedings, as well as to promote online participation.

The Conference offers industry professionals and all interested parties a unique opportunity to forge personal connections and create dialogue. The Conference Organizers invite participants to make the best use of media coverage to present new projects, announce agreements and share information about progress achieved.

October 06, 2021

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – On the Margins of the Conference

Fauna in Recreational Areas: Risks, Experiences, and Being a Good Neighbor

Moderator:

Dmitry Kolosov, Director for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Rosa Khutor Mountain Resort

Speakers from:

Sochi National Park

Caucasus Nature Reserve

Bashkiria National Park

Orphaned Bear Cubs Rescue Center

Joint Administration of Taimyr Nature Reserves

Kronostsky Nature Reserve / Southern Kuril Sanctuary

Lapland Nature Reserve / Khibini National Park

Baikal Nature Reserve

Pasvik Nature Reserve

Gazprom Mountain Resort

Krasnaya Polyana Resort

Resort Municipality of Whistler (British Columbia, Canada)

 

7:00 p.m. –10:00 p.m.  Welcome Reception and Dinner for Conference Attendees

 

October 7, 2021

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.– Events on the Margins of the Conference

Tourism in the SPNAs, Present and Future: A Global Outlook

On this difficult journey towards a hard-to-reach goal, it is sometimes important to recall that we are not alone on this path. Failures, successes and challenges are the lot of all who embark on the path of change. Before the official launch of the Conference, we will set the stage for the discussion by providing a global overview of key challenges, prospects, trends and risks on the path to the sustainable development of tourism in SPNAs worldwide.

Moderator:

Kirill Tokarev, Business Correspondent, RBC Group

Speakers:

Anna Spenceley, Chairman, Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS), World Commission on Protected Areas(WCPA), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Rafiliya Bakirova, Director, Orenburg Region Natural Reserves; Head of “Zapovednaia Rossia” Association of Directors of Nature Reserves and National Parks

Kairat Sadvakasov, Deputy Chairman of the Board, Kazakh Tourism National Company, Kazakhstan

Vadim Volchenko, Minister for Resorts and Tourism, the Crimea Republic

 

10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. Conference Opening: Welcome Address

Rapid Growth

2021 is a year of rapid recovery of the tourism market in Russia and worldwide. Significant growth rates in all sectors of the industry, including sustainable tourism, outdoor recreation, and active travel have created major challenges for domestic tourism infrastructure and service providers. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Program for the Environment, Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization UNWTO, and leaders of Russia’s main resort destination will greet conference participants.

Speakers:

Aleksander Belokobilsky, Director General, Rosa Khutor Resort

Vyacheslav Fetisov, UN Goodwill Ambassador, First Deputy Chair of the Committee for Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs at the Federal Assembly of the State Duma of the Russian Federation

Mikhail Lapin, Acting Director, Sochi National Park

Inna Petukhova, Deputy Head of Administration of Soshi

 

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Opening Plenary Session

Tourism in the SPNAs: Prospects and Challenges

Tourism industry and the network of Specially Protected Nature Areas are at the core of sustainable development in Russia. Consumer demand for active travel and sustainable tourism is on the rise, and there are attractive recreational opportunities in the SPNAs and well publicized positive examples of sustainable tourism development in the SPNAs in other countries. However, this segment of the travel industry is barely developed in Russia, and hasn’t enjoyed dynamic growth rates. We will strive to understand this state of affairs in this panel discussion about policies, regulations and institutions in the Russian system of SPNAs.

Moderator:

Rafiliya Bakirova, Director, Orenburg Region Natural Reserves; Head of “Zapovednaia Rossia” Association of Directors of Nature Reserves and National Parks

Speakers:

Natalia Danilina, President, Charitable Educational Foundation “Zapovednoye Posolstvo”

Irina Makanova, Director of the Department of State Policy and Regulation for the Development of SPNAs, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Russia

Viktor Nepomnyaschiy, Director, Khakassia State Nature Reserve

Olga Sanaeva, Vice President, Russian Union of Travel Industry

Vsevolod Stepanitsky, Advisor to the Director General of “Far Eastern Leopards”

Peter Shpilenok, Director, Kronotsky State Nature Reserve

Vadim Volchenko, Minister of Resorts and Tourism, the Republic of Crimea

 

12:00 p.m. – 12:20 p.m. Break

 

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Breakout Session 1

Tourism in SPNAs: Krasnoyarsk Region

Sustainable development of the tourism industry in the SPNAs in Russia has drawn greater attention, and hands-on work has been ongoing inside the specially protected areas. With the number of tourists on the rise, lesser known destinations have attracted more visitors, and the market has expanded. What growth trends have we seen? Are we able to rise to the occasion to meet the growth in demand or do we risk facing an avalanche of unresolved issues? Let’s look for answers using the example of Russia’s second largest region. 

Moderator:

Aleksander Zhelezhniak, Expert, Zapovedniki EcoCenter

Speakers:

Elena Dudchenko, Director, Opportunities Foundation in support of socio-economic and regional development, Norilsk city

Igor Gryazin, Director, “Ergaki” Nature Park

Leonid Kolpaschikov, Chief Scientist at Nature Reserves of Taimyr

Maksim Mironov, Director, Norilsk Development Agency

Aleksander Pestryakov, Chairman of Norilsk City Council

Vyacheslav Shcherbakov, Director, “Stolbi” National Park

Yulia Verkhushina, Head of the Tourism Agency of Krasnoyarsk Region

 

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Breakout Session 2

Animal World and Travel: Good Neighborly Relations and Wellbeing for All

Natural recreational resources are the foundation of the travel experience for those seeking to replenish their energy and look for discoveries away from civilization. The same natural resources serve as habitat for wildlife and provide sustenance to the wild animals with whom we share this planet. Tourists seek exciting opportunities to observe wildlife in their natural environment, but disregard for safety may result in dangerous encounters with wild animals and end in tragedy. We will reflect on research, preservation, and welfare of the populations of wild animals in recreational areas.

Moderator:

Kirill Tokarev, Business Correspondent, RBC Group

Speakers:

Aleksandr Belokobylskiy, Director General, Rosa Khutor Resort

Vladimir Kuznetsov, Director, Bashkiria National Park

Mikhail Lapin, Director, Sochi National Park

Viktor Nepomnyaschiy, Director, Khakassia Nature Reserve

Ekaterina Pazhentova, Orphaned Bear Rescue Center

Natalia Polikarpova, Director, “Pasvik” State Nature Reserve

Sergey Shevelev, Director, Caucasus State Nature Biosphere Reserve

Sergey Shestakov, Director, Lapland State Nature Reserve

Olga Voitovich, First Deputy CEO for Legal Matters, Interros

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Joint Session of the UN Program for the Environment and Food and Agriculture Organization: UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: Recreate, Re-imagine, Restore!

Members of the UN country team in Russia and their colleagues from UNEP and FAO headquarters will tell about actions and initiatives to cease ecosystem degradation and restore degraded ecosystems in order to reach UN global goals are planned under the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021 – 2030). They will present key findings from the UNEP’s 6th Global Environment Outlook Report and share information on preparation for the 50th anniversary of UNEP in 2022.

Moderators:

Oleg Kobiakov, Director of the FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation

Vladimir Moshkalo, Head of the UNEP Russia Office

Speakers:

Natalia Alexeeva, Head of Section at the Department of Climate Change, Biodiversity and the Environment, FAO

Boris Erg, Director, Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, International Union for Conservation of  Nature (IUCN)

Dmitry Gorshkov, Director, WWF Russia

Andrey Grachev, Vice President for Federal and Regional Programs, MMC Norilsk Nickel

Tim Kristoffersen, Head of the Nature and Climate Office at the Ecosystems Department, UNEP

Natalia Ryazanova, Head of the Laboratory of GeoEcology and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources at the Department of international integrated issues in ecology and nature use, MGIMO University of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Yan Tsigankov, Director, Center for Clean Production and Sustainable Development

 

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Break

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Breakout Session 3

Safety is Our Top Priority

Sustainable tourism means venturing out into wilderness, going some distance away from developed areas. By embarking on a journey, a tourist makes an important decision to accept certain health risks, and sometimes even risk his life, in exchange for a promise of an unforgettable experience. Occasionally these decisions lead to tragedy, especially when taken recklessly without due consideration. Over the past year, against the backdrop of significant market growth in the industry, a number of pieces of legislation changed the rules for service providers by introducing administrative penalties and certification requirements for nature guides. Will this be enough to create a culture of safety in the sector?

Moderator:

Kirill Umrikhin, Travel Photographer and Blogger

Speakers:

Sergey Gruzd, Chairman of the Board, Tourism Safety Association

Lev Kozhevnikov, Director of the Center of Continuing Vocational Studies, SGU

Vitaly Lazo, Russian high-altitude mountain climber, recipient of the “Snow Leopard” title, mountain guide, member of the Russian Mountain Guides Association

Vadim Mamontov, Founder and Director General of RussiaDiscovery, head of the Russian Union of Travel Industry Commission on Adventure Travel

Vladimir Omelchenko, Deputy Head, Federal Center for Extracurricular Activities, Children’s Wellness and Recreation

Sergey Vedenin, Mountaineering Guide, Founder of Mountschool.ru, a school for freeride, ski touring and mountain climbing

 

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Breakout Session 4

Infrastructure for Sustainable Tourism: Green Standards

In preparation for the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, developers in Russia began to deploy the “green standard” toolkit for infrastructure design and construction with the aim of ensuring environmental protection, public welfare, and economic efficiency. The toolkit gives clients flexible assessment tools to evaluate and manage the quality of the facilities at the design and construction phase, while giving developers practical guidance and expert support to achieve better results. In 2021 the Rosa Khutor Resort proposed that a set of green design and construction standards for outdoor recreation and nature tourism infrastructure facilities in the SPNAs be put together, using Rosa Khutor’s own corporate standard, the Green Code, as a starting point.

Speakers:

Vera Burtseva, Director, Research Institute for Sustainable Development in Construction

Guy Eames, Chairman of the Green Building Council

Viktor Grishenkov, Director, “Ugra” National Park

Samal Ibraeva, Chair of the Board, Elin-Ai National Association for Ecotourism, Kazakhstan

Dmitry Kolosov, Director of Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Rosa Khutor Resort

Viktoria Saar, Head of the Committee for Sustainable Tourism Development, Russian Union of Travel Industry

 

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Break

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  Plenary Session 2

Law and Order

Industry players have been eagerly awaiting SPNA legislative reform that would create transparent rules for implementing investment projects for tourism development in the SPNAs. The main parameters for the reform are contained in draft federal law 1130300-7 which will be implemented through a dozen regulatory acts.

Moderator:

Marina Nenarokova (Gritsun), Deputy Head of Tourism Committee, “OPORA ROSSII”

Speakers:

Dmitry Gorshkov, Director, WWF Russia

Nikolay Litarenko, Head of the Legal Department, Russian Union of Travel Industry

Irina Makanova, Director, Department of SPNA Public Policy and Regulation, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Russia

Tatyana Menshikova, Acting Head of the Directorate of State Tourist Projects and Tourism Safety, Rostourism

Leonid Protsenko, Deputy Director, Federal Center of Extracurricular Activities, Children’s Wellness and Recreation

 

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Break

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Expo Fair “Local Display” and Evening Reception for Conference Participants

Conference attendees will have an opportunity to showcase original regional products that reflect the unique natural endowment and singular travel experiences of their regions. Souvenirs, crafts, local products and information will be put on display by participants coming from every corner of the Russian Federation. The Conference Organizers will provide a designated comfortable space to exhibit and present the products, and exchange gifts with new friends and partners.

 

October 8, 2021

9:30 a.m. Tour group gathers for departure

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Educational guided tour at the Rosa Khutor Resort

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. On the Conference Margins

The Role of Grass-Roots Organizations in the Sustainable Development of Territorial Environmental Protection

Specially Protected Nature Areas in Russia and worldwide often go beyond the task of preserving natural, cultural and historical legacy, and gain prominence as sustainable development institutions at the local level. The success of their mission depends largely on their engagement with local communities and grass-roots organizations. Industry leaders will discuss what they do to foster constructive dialogues.

Moderator:

Irina Sannikova, Member of the Environment Preservation and Ecology Commission, Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation

Speakers:

Rafiliya Bakirova, Director, Orenburg Region Natural Reserves; Head of “Zapovednaia Rossia” Association of Directors of Nature Reserves and National Parks

Natalia Danilina, President, Philanthropic Educational Foundation “Zapovednoe Posolstvo”

Dmitry Gorshkov, Director, WWF Russia

Igor Kozin, Director, Federal Center for Extracurricular Education and Children’s Wellness and Recreation of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation

Vladimir Kuznetsov, Director, Bashkiria National Park

Viktor Nepomnyashiy, Director, Khakassia Nature Reserve

Ludmila Poplavskaia, Head of the Project Office at Restoring Biodiversity and Developing Sustainable Tourism federal project of the Ministry of Nature of the Russian Federation

Vasily Sutula, Director, Baikal Nature Reserve

Vsevolod Stepanitskiy, Advisor to the Director General of “Far Eastern Leopards”

Peter Shpilenok, Director, “Kronotsky” State Nature Reserve

Natalia Troitskaia, Director, Non-Commercial Partnership for Nature Reserves

 

12:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Tour group return

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Free time

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Plenary Session 3

Investments

The financial sector shows interest in investing in sustainable tourism development and travel in the SPNAs, including ESG-guided investing. However, lack of transparency in industry policies and regulations create high financial risks. This, in combination with low investment quality of projects and businesses behind them, leaves sustainable tourism and tourism in SPNAs on the sidelines, not allowing the industry to perform its positive function.

Moderator:

Kirill Tokarev, Business Correspondent, RBC Group

Speakers:

Olga Lukyanets, Director for Sustainable Development, Tourism.RF

Tatyana Menshikova, Acting Head of the Directorate of State Tourist Projects and Safety in Tourism, Rostourism

Kairat Sadvakasov, Deputy Chairman of the Board, Kazakh Tourism National Company, Kazakhstan

Lubov Timofeeva, Director, Kamchatka Volcanos Nature Park

Olga Voytovich, Deputy CEO for Legal Matters, Interros

Yulia Zvorikina, Deputy Director, Research and Due Diligence Institute at VEB.RF

 

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Break

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Plenary Session 4

Sustainable Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development

Tourism Development Strategy in the Russian Federation through 2035 (adopted by RF Government Directive 2129-r of September 20, 2019) lays out a model in which tourists striving to connect with nature provide the revenue stream needed to manage the accompanying manmade impact on natural environments. This logical approach is key for local, mutually beneficial industry-wide cooperation and a successful partnership between environmentalists and the tourism industry. To accomplish it successfully, everyone involved will need to be in possession of or acquire the necessary knowledge and skills.

Moderator:

Vadim Mamontov, Director General and Founder of RussiaDiscovery, head of the Commission on Adventure Travel at the Russian Union of Travel Industry

Speakers:

Nikolay Kurichev, Dean, Department of Geography and Geoinformation Technologies, Higher School of Economics

Vitaly Lazo, Russian high-altitude mountain climber, recipient of the “Snow Leopard” title, mountain guide, member of the Russian Mountain Guides Association

Daria Matsuk, First Deputy Director, Roszapovedcenter

Tatyana Menshikova, Acting Head of the Directorate of State Tourist Projects and Safety in Tourism, Rostourism

Evgenia Podarina, Senior Coordinator of Partner Relations, Masters of Hospitality Competition, Non-Profit Organization Russia – a Country of Opportunities

Kamal Salmanov, entrepreneur, @visitcaucasia and @villapersica, Republic of Dagestan

Olga Sanaeva, Vice-President, Russian Union of Tourism Industry

Peter Shpilenok, Director, “Kronotsky” State Nature Reserve

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Conference Concluding Session

Moderator

Kiril Tokarev, Business Correspondent, RBC Group

Speakers:

Rafiliya Bakirova, Director, Orenburg Region Natural Reserves; Head of “Zapovednaia Rossia” Association of Directors of Nature Reserves and National Parks

Natalia Danilina, President, Philanthropic Educational Foundation “Zapovednoe Posolstvo”

Vadim Mamontov, Founder and Director General, RussiaDiscovery, Head of the Commission on Adventure Travel, Russian Union of Travel Industry

Tatyana Menshikova, Acting Head of the Directorate of State Tourist Projects and Safety in Tourism, Rostourism