An Expert Workshop on proposing recommendations for developing the Yaroslavia Town Centers Tourism Cluster was held on July 23–24, in Vyatskoye, Yaroslavl Region. The program was based on the two-year work of the Yaroslavl Region Department of Tourism. The event was initiated by the Government of Yaroslavl Region and directed by the Agency for Strategic Development CENTER.
Olga GritsanHead of the Analytics Department at the Agency for Strategic Development CENTER
One of the goals of the workshop was to identify the latent tourist potential of the towns in Yaroslavl Region which are well known in Russia and abroad, as well as of those that are less well known to the residents of other regions. Thanks to the engagement of the participants, new landmarks and untapped opportunities for attracting extra tourist flow were found.
The expert workshop involved representatives of the Region’s municipalities (municipality heads and deputy heads; experts that supervise the areas of tourism, architecture, urban planning, economics, and investment), regional executive authorities, investors, and expert teams.
The audience of the educational part of the workshop was concentrated on the major problems: fundraising, requisitioning for the Ministry of Construction’s Urban Competition, sociocultural grant projects, functional programming of the historical environment, and the relationship of point investment projects with the goals for spatial development and the region’s brand platform. The most actively discussed topics were the positioning of the cities and effective project marketing. Some teams proposed existing solutions. The experts tried to improve them and to determine the appropriateness of their inclusion in the common cluster strategy. The most interesting ideas came to the citizens on the second day, following reflection on the specifics of city culture, logistics, tourist flows, spatial limitations, and the challenges of the future.
Victoria BoosAnalyst-Economist at the Agency for Strategic Development CENTER
The workshop confirmed that there are investors who are truly interested in the realization of the Yaroslavia Town Centers Tourism Cluster projects. Their interest has a sufficiently significant basis: the high tourist attractiveness of the cluster towns; a strong infrastructural foundation; and proximity to prospective consumers.
After two days of fruitful work in small groups, proposals were made for the creation a unified tourist route which takes into account the importance of the landmarks in 12 historic towns: Gavrilov-Yam, Danilov, Lyubim, Myshkin, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Poshekhonye, Rostov Veliky, Rybinsk, Tutayev, Uglich, Yaroslavl, and Mologa.
Maria SedletskayaLeading Analyst at the Agency for Strategic Development CENTER
The method of working in small groups for specific problems yielded necessary results: the identification of the role of each cluster town and of projects which would have a cumulative effect on the cluster as a whole, and the determination of the main activities, development zones, and lists of potential investment projects. The further development of the tourism cluster is coupled both with the active cooperation of the participating towns and the support of initiative projects within the regional center of competence.