Welcome to our village or How can hromadas attract tourists?

The most remote village can be turned into a tourist mecca, even if there are no water basins, picturesque forests and other natural benefits. Journalists of the “Slobidskyi Krai” publication report how hromadas of the oblast can start earning money of tourism.

Stake on water

The village of Vesele (Kherson Oblast) annually welcomes thousands of tourists. Both Ukrainians and foreigners are attracted by the landscape – the Kakhovka water storage reservoir and the “country of wines” (the wine estate of Prince Trubetskoy).

Staryi Saltiv is another scenic pearl of the oblast. It has water basins with many recreation facilities, forests, and many archaeological finds.

“There are many recreation facilities on the territory of our hromada, though they are in private ownership, and there are not enough land plots near the water. Therefore, we decided to develop water tourism,” said Hennadii Sorokovyi, head of the culture and tourism sector of the Staryi Saltiv village council. “Investors are needed to implement all the ideas. We understand that before inviting tourists, we have to create the appropriate conditions for them: repair recreation rooms, make a pier and a beach. Besides, a minibus is needed to bring people with floating crafts upstream.”

The Neptune’s feast is planned to be the feature of Staryi Saltiv, so that tourists from everywhere come to take part in it.

Creating a case

However, these are not the only plans of the Starosaltivska AH. Hennadii Sorokovyi learnt what else can be done for the tourist attractiveness of his hromada, as well as about the experience of other Ukrainian AHs and EU communities, at the tourist hub, held in May in the village of Vesele of the Kherson Oblast. The event was organised by the USAID “Decentralisation Offering Better Results and Efficiency” (DOBRE) Programme.

The hub gathered representatives of 75 amalgamated hromadas from seven regions of Ukraine, tourist business, international technical assistance projects, regional and central authorities. The Kharkiv Oblast was represented by three AHs – the Starosaltivska, Merefianska and Rohanska AHs. All participants developed a case of practical solutions that could be implemented at home.

After the events of 2013-2014, the number of visitors to Ukraine has decreased by half from 25 million, nevertheless this figure is increasing gradually. Last year almost 14,5 million foreigners visited Ukraine: 4,5 million of Moldovan visitors, almost 2 million Belarusians, 1,2 million Russians, and 1,1 million Poles.

98% of foreigners coming to us are Europeans, of whom 91,5% are representatives of eastern Europe and citizens of post-Soviet countries. Ukraine is still little known by the tourists from America, Western Europe, Asia.

“We as a country have a great task – to bring us back to the cultural and historical map of Europe. Tourism is not only about the creation of myths or use of attractions of the land. First of all, it is about economic capital, about development opportunities, that can open up additional horizons of well-being for every citizen. Decentralisation provides such tools and resources,” noted Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine.

Powers of hromadas

The Association Agreement with the EU makes its contribution to the development of tourism. Ukraine has already fulfilled one of its obligations – it has created a National Tourist Organisation. Last year, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Tourism Development Strategy, which deals with five key vectors: safety, harmonisation of the legal framework with the European law, infrastructure improvement at all levels, human resources development and marketing. The draft law “On Tourism”, developed by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, is currently under approval by the Government Office for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. It is this document that should provide a new basis for the further tourism development.

The Ministry also sees the prospects for tourism development in the creation of a single tourist website Visit Ukrаine, implementation of a single project of tourist routes’ marking, intensification of the work of the Council of Tourist Cities and Regions, support of regional marketing plans – regional exhibitions, dissemination of presentation materials, etc.

Looking through a broader lens

Unlike many other economic sectors, the creation of tourism infrastructure and service industry is impossible without synergy. When representatives of small and medium-sized business do not drag out tourists of each other, they, on the contrary, develop the industry and stimulate each other.

There are new tourism leaders in addition to the traditional ones – Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa – for example, tourism is developing rapidly in Kryvyi Rih. Thousands of tourists come here to see mines and quarries. Industrial tourism is an international trend. The city of Dnipro, which was closed to foreign tourists until 1990, is currently conducting excursions to “Pivdenmash” and other facilities.

The full version is available in Ukrainian – please click HERE




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