On June 19, a business matinee on gastronomic tourism was held in the Moscow regional department of Business Russia. The meeting was moderated by Margarita Polonik, member of the department, General Director of Travel Hunter, President of the Association of Cultural and Gastronomic Tourism.
In her speech, she spoke about the need to develop domestic gastronomic tourism. According to statistics, only 5.5 thousand people in Russia per month are deliberately looking for gastronomic tours. She explains such low demand first of all by the “youthfulness” of the direction. At the same time, Margarita Polonik stressed that much more gastronomic tourists exist, since 63% of them choose the tour based on their eating habits. “Today, every third tourist travels for food, while the maximum amount of money is spent on it,” she explained.
The CEO of RestExpert, Valentin Shubin, raised the topic of inbound gastronomic tourism: “A foreign tourist has two problems – where to eat and where to go.” In turn, the co-founder of RestExpert, Maxim Belyaev, explained that 67% of Chinese come to Russia to try Russian cuisine. “And 63% of Germans are traveling with the same purpose.”
However, in his opinion, the development of the gastronomic trend in Russia is hampered by the fact that the restaurant business here is distinguished by a high degree of segmentation and competition: “And if the restaurant is known, for example, among local residents in Moscow, it’s not a fact that tourists know about it. We need to bring them to interesting restaurants through tourism. ” The expert also proposed to develop a market for the creation of gastronomic souvenirs.
According to Margarita Polonik, it is difficult to promote the restaurant direction even in the capital of our country. “Despite the huge number of restaurants, the owners are not ready to develop gastronomic tourism. It is very difficult to collect a range of services even in a one-day tour, combining them into one route, ”she commented.
The initiative to act as a pioneer in this direction was made by PR-director of restaurant holding RESTart Vasilchuk Brothers Evgenia Lomovtseva: “We are represented in all segments of the restaurant market and are ready to join the development of the first Moscow gastronomic tour.”
Dmitry Levitsky, President of the Gourmet Alliance Restaurant Alliance, also pointed to the need for closer interaction between restaurateurs, farmers and regional authorities. “When the initiative to develop gastronomic brands comes from above from the local administration, the concept of the establishment often collapses,” he noted.
The chairman of the Committee on Special Territories for Business Development, Denis Gudkov, suggested promoting gastronomic tourism in the regions on the principle of cluster sites: “In every region there are central markets that could become such a base for farmers. The main thing to understand is how to support regional producers in this case “. He also noted the need to whitewash the restaurant business by creating a special tax regime for the industry.