Toratau Geopark plans to welcome up to one million tourists annually
UFA, 14 November 2019. /Bashinform News Agency, Rozaliya Valeeva/ translated by Tatiana Aksyutina/.
500 thousand people a year will visit a Toratau Geopark, which is now being created in Bashkiria.
In two years, this figure will grow to a million visitors. Such forecasts were announced at the “Toratau. Investing in the Present” roundtable, which was held in Ufa on November 13.
The event was attended by businessmen interested in cooperation with the Toratau Geopark, owners of campsites, and representatives of business clubs.
“Currently, 128 tourist routes have been developed. It is necessary to organize tourist infrastructure around them, to provide accommodation facilities, food, and the geopark will start working”, said Natalya Lukashina, project manager for the Toratau Geopark formation and development.
Currently, a network of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs who are engaged in the promotion of tourism is operating in the territory of the geopark.
“Our tasks include organizing the geopark administration. In the future, we plan to expand the network of tour operators and begin working with entrepreneurs in a single corporate style of the geopark under one brand that was specially developed for the geopark,” Natalya Lukashina explained.
Speaking about the number of entrepreneurs Natalya Lukashina noted that now cooperation was ongoing with 50 entrepreneurs coordinated on an online platform — these are accommodation facilities, catering, souvenir shops, and eco-farms.
According to the head of the State Committee for Entrepreneurship and Tourism, Salavat Nafikov, it is necessary to accomplish 60 points of the roadmap to launch the Toratau Geopark. Two years are planned for this.
“The Geopark itself covers a huge number of objects, including ethnographic, archaeological, natural monuments. We hope that it will give development to the territory and, most importantly, will attract investments, ”he said.
At present, the boundaries of the geopark are not finally defined. The area of the Toratau Geopark is 4362 square kilometers. It has seven main locations — Krasnousolsk, Zilim, Toratau, Makarovo, Verkhotor, Yuraktau, Khazinovo.
The nearest plans include the creation of information centers in yurts, where all information about the geopark routes, the guide services, cafes, and restaurants will be available. Accommodation will be created for all categories of tourists.
“We should develop an internal flow of tourists. We need to set a goal — every resident of Bashkiria should visit Shulgan-Tash and Toratau. Our tourists are those compatriots who live within a 1000-kilometer radius. Tourists from Kaliningrad or Belgorod will not come to us, as well as from Vladivostok. They visit us from Orenburg, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk. We are closer to them in every sense. We should work with this tourist flow”, Salavat Nafikov believes.