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Investing in the future of Ukrainian tourism

On Sept. 27 Ukraine celebrates together with the rest of the plan­et World Tourism Day. Ukraine's potential in the tourism and recre­ation industry, together with its abundance of vacation resorts, is right up there with the most fre­quently visited countries in the world. The expansion of interna­tional contacts is opening up new windows of opportunity for bring­ing the country's tourist industry as a viable productto the global market and capitalizing on the ex­perience of leading tourism orga­nizations around the world.

Ukraine has concluded bilater­al agreements on cooperation in the tourism industrywith 28 coun­tries on different continents. Joint inter-departmental committees on tourism and inter-government committees on economic and sci­entific cooperation further the ex­ecution of such agreements and the setting up of working groups on tourism within their framework.

An important component of in­ternational contacts is institution­al cooperation. Accordingly, Ukraine is emerging onto the glob­al arena of tourism through direct participation in the activity of in­ternational organizations. The pos­sibilities of exploiting the financial and organizational mechanisms of international bodies for enhanc­ing the economic efficiency of the national tourism industryare lim­itless.

In October 1997, at the 12th session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization held in Istanbul, Turkey, Ukraine became an official member of this organization.

Two years later, in September of 1999, Ukraine was elected to the World Tourism Organization Executive Councilat the body's 13th session in Santiago, Chile. This governing body is re­sponsible for formulating global tourism policy, actively influences its realization and controls budget processes. The inclusion of Ukraine in the organization's executive council has strategic significance, as the possibilities of using the body's mechanisms for enhancing Ukraine tourism industry can be expanded on the backdrop of globalization. In particular, this will help to promote Ukrainian tourism on the world market, increase pro­ceeds to the country's national budget, and introduce the latest innovative technologies and lead­ing methods of training and skill enhancement of personnelwork­ing in the tourism industry in com­pliance with international stan­dards.

Once the celebration of World Tourism Day in Ukraine was marked by the visit of Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization Francesco Frangialli. His first visit to Ukraine was when Frangialli partic­ipated in the international semi­nar New Information Technology in Tourism held within the frame­work of the Ukraine-2000 VII International Tourism Exhibition. The agenda of the visit by the secretary general to Ukraine included official visits with senior-level gov­ernment officials, a ceremo­nial reception at the National Philharmonic, and partici­pation in the closing cere­mony of a two-day interna­tional seminar Rural Tourism: Recommendations for Development in the Car­pathian town of Yaremche in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast.

Frangialli's visit was truly a major event for Ukraine and was testimony to the coun­try's prospects and future of its tourism in­dustry. Indeed, the secretary general made some very flattering compliments about Ukraine at the ITB-2003 tourism exhibition in Berlin. Specifically, Ukraine was represented at a separate stand for the first time in all the years the exhibition has been held and Frangialli was quick to point out that Ukraine's exposition was one of the most interesting and eyecatching. Unofficially, the Ukrainian exposition took 6th place out of 181 participants in the rat­ings of the exhibition's organizers. Frangialli highly praised Ukraine's participation in ITB-2003 and noted that the country's tourism industry had seen dynamic growth due to the support of its government.

It is noteworthy that the tourism indus­try accounts for 10.9% of gross product in the world.Ukraine today is showing average world indicators with an aggregate income from tourism (which in­cludes 50 sectors) of around 10% of GDP. The country's potential in this sector, how­ever, can be multiplied by 2-3 times.

In terms of infrastructure, Ukraine of­fers 4,500 vacation resorts with a capacity of 620,000 people, from hotels to sanato­ria, bed and breakfasts and camping grounds. To make the rest of the world aware of this, the National Tourism Board is actively pro­moting Ukraine abroad. Besides the abovementioned exhibition in Berlin, presentations have been made in Geneva, Moscow, Kazakhstan and other cities and countries around the world. The re­sults are impressive with a total of 12.3 million for­eign tourists visiting Ukraine in 2002.

On the legislative side a revolutionary decree was signed On Certain Measures for Development of Tourism and Recreation in Ukraine. According to this document, border guards and customs offi­cers are drafting measures aimed at the gradual in­troduction of a non-visa procedure and a simpli­fied procedure for pro­cessing visas for foreign citizens crossing the Ukrainian border for tourism purposes.

In accordance with the decree, the Ministry of Economy and National Tourism Board are draft­ing a bill that should stip­ulate the introduction of mechanisms stimulating the construction of new sites and the renovation of existing sites in the tourism and recreation industry.Specifically, this will be done via incen­tives for long-term financing of construc­tion and reconstruction of accommoda­tion or living quarters used for rural «green» tourism.

Today tourism in Ukraine is taking steps forward. New routes are being built and it's been understood that tourism is a sector of the economy that works towards the de­velopment of the economy and culture in the country. Today we must take a serious approach to this sector at a government level. According to the Program of the Development of Tourism proceeds from the tourism industry should reach coonsiderable sum of money. Prospective figures have not gone unnoticed by investors.

In conclusion, development of Ukrainian tourism has a profound effect on such sec­tors of the domestic economy as transport, trade, communications, construction, agri­cultural and production of fast-moving con­sumer goods (FMCG).Truly, tourism to­day is one of the most promising sectors of structural rebuilding of the national econ­omy,one main reason why World Tourism Day is not just a holiday for employees in the tourism industry and tourists them­selves, but for all Ukrainian citizens.


Date: 2016-01-14; view: 1117

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