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Exotics of Russian village
February 7, 2007 16:42

Making money on country life is possible by not only growing potatoes and grain. Even at lower expenses country tourism can be more profitable than being traditionally occupied with the household, and citizens of the Tver Region are trying to prove this fact.

Russian villages are becoming abandoned due to some certain reasons a lack of work opportunities and low wages. This is why many village dwellers are looking for better earnings in other regions and cities. However, the director of the Tver Tourist Industry Union Valery Ivanov is sure that almost every dweller of a provincial town or village has a chance to earn an adequate living with the help of tourism.

Valery Ivanov has developed a unique programme called Golden Way of Russia based on development of country tourism on the route Moscow-St. Petersburg. The project is generally aimed at foreign tourists who like Russian exotics; though more and more Russian megapolis citizens are craving for wild nature and the simple country lifestyle too. The author of the project is sure that almost every unit of country life, even a potato bed in the garden, may become a tourist object. For instance, it is possible to grow some rare sorts of potatoes, organize a stand of various kinds of potatoes, tell about the animals and insects that inhabit potato beds, and organize a mini-museum. Exhibits like can hardly be of any interest to village citizens while many foreign tourists and urban dwellers have never seen potatoes grow, - Valery Ivanov says. He also gives a successful example of one of the local farmers, who one year ago received 60 guests for the Pancake Week celebration, and 400 guests next year. During the tourists` stay in the village local citizens managed to sell almost all their hand-made articles and ran out of dairy products, which had high popularity with the guests.

It is not necessary to have a full farm household in order to attract tourists. Almost every average dweller of the district centre has a country house, which can successfully be turned into a mini-hotel. The widest perspectives are in hands of traditional village households` owners. Waking up in a wooden cottage, smelling potatoes flavour coming from the stone Russian oven, and then - picking some fresh onions right from an onions bed is a dream of many foreigners, according to Valery Ivanov. He gives an example of a village in the Pskov Region which became popular because of a big bath-house for up to 30 persons. Groups of foreign tourists visit the village while travelling from St. Petersburg to Moscow. The mistress of the house personally sweats out her guests and then offers country milk and cottage cheese. It is said that this tourist object can compete with a national museum in popularity.

It is obvious that developing tourism on the territory between St. Petersburg and Moscow is a perspective direction. Ruined and abandoned villages can become ethnographic villages with hotel complexes. The most important thing is to present something as a tourist object and organize clients search, the rest of the business is a matter of your fantasy, as tourism is selling emotions and impressions.


Translation: Lavrentyeva Natalya


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