The basic purpose of tourism development in the republic is formation of modern highly effective and competitive tourist complex providing ample opportunities for satisfaction of needs of inhabitants of Karelia, Russian and foreign citizens in various tourist services.
In recent years tourist industry has been in good progress, at that, both advancing growth of quantity indicators, and increase in contribution of the branch in economy of the republic occurs.
Implementation of developed by Government of the RK Development of Tourism in the Republic of Karelia for the period from 2003 to 2006 intermediate term program has allowed to introduce a complex system of state regulation of tourist activity, provide resource-organizational maintenance of implementation of major actions, organize coordination of brief and intermediate term programs of tourism development in towns and regions of the republic.
Almost all the basic actions of the program have been executed.
The basic direction of scientific research in the field of tourism was creation of Strategy of tourist activity development in the Republic of Karelia for the long-term prospect, development of tourist clasters in the territory of the Republic of Karelia, preparation of application for creation of tourist and recreational special economic zone. By results of the held from August through December, 2006, federal competition held to award rights of creating tourist and recreational special economic zones in territories of regions of Russia, competitive application of the Republic of Karelia has received one of the highest expert appraisements.
International and inter-regional cooperation in the field of tourism were buoyant. For years of Program performance 15 joint projects on tourism development in Karelia with total budget of more than 5 million Euro have been implemented. Active participation of the republic in work of Coordination Council on tourist industry development Regions of Russia - Moscow agreement continued, that essentially expands opportunities for information and advertising promotion of tourist potential of the Republic of Karelia and attraction of investments for development of tourism infrastructure.
Republic of Karelia has taken part in the largest international and Russian tourist exhibitions. In 2006 number of trade shows where Republic of Karelia presented its tourist potential and tourist product for the first time has reached fifteen (Helsinki, Oulu, Berlin, London, Moscow (6), St.-Petersburg (3), Kaliningrad, Vologda).
Government the RK participated in carrying out of traditional specialized exhibitions in Petrozavodsk - Karelia Touristic and Hunting and Fishing.
In 2006 high emphasis was placed on formation of presentation package of the RK that promotes increase of interest to the republic, and, ultimately, growth of tourist streams and incomes in the branch. There has been developed tourist trade mark of the Republic of Karelia, and it is used at publishing various printed matter (guidebooks, cards, booklets); there has been issued a CD presentation of touristic Karelia.
Introduction of new information technologies in process of state regulation of tourism development proceeded. Together with Petrozavodsk State University there has been developed the Information Support of Tourism Development in the Republic of Karelia geographical information system (GIS), Internet-portal Information Tourist Center of the Republic of Karelia state enterprise was is completed and updated, the center branch in Sortavala has been created.
In order to stimulate development of entrance and internal tourism in the RK and improvement of quality of tourist service Government of the republic held the fifth competition Leaders of Karelian Tourist Industry among organizations and self-employed entrepreneurs conducting tourist business in territory of the Republic of Karelia.
Traditionally lots of attention has been paid to perfection of teaching personnel training system, scientific and methodical support of educational process in tourist educational institutions. Nine establishments in the republic train experts for the sphere of tourism at the level extended education, specialized secondary education and higher education. Within the scope of multilevel system of tourist education more than 1 800 people have graduated or undergo training.
In 2006 the significant attention has been paid by Government of the RK to interaction with federal executive and legislative bodies. Besides participation in the competition held to award rights of creating tourist and recreational special economic zone in the territory, the Republic of Karelia developed offers within the federal law projects On modification in the Federal law On special economic zones in the Russian Federation, On modification in the Federal law On bases of tourist activity in the Russian Federation. In particular, at the third reading of the latter, offer of deputy from the Republic of Karelia to halve financial guarantees for tour operators conducting business in the sphere of internal tourism was accepted.
Implementation of actions allowed to accomplish successfully the main task the branch is facing - to increase contribution of tourism into economy of the republic, including due to increase in quantity of workplaces, tax revenues in the republican budget, inflow of foreign currency, preservation and rational use of cultural and natural heritage of Karelia.
Major tasks to be solved in 2007, as well as actions aimed at optimum use of available resources are the following:
- development, acceptance and implementation of the Development of Tourism in the Republic of Karelia for the period from 2007 to 2010 budgetary target program, municipal programs of tourism development;
- development of general scheme of tourism infrastructure facilities' location in the Republic of Karelia;
- continuation of work on tourist claster formation in territory of the Republic of Karelia, creation of republican tourist and recreational special economic zone, preparation of investment sites for construction of tourist infrastructure facilities;
- perfection of the system of state regulation of tourism development in the Republic of Karelia under conditions of introduction of mechanism of financial guarantees for tour operators.