Program – Sustainable Tourism: Global Challenges and Discovering Russia


The 3rd International Conference “Sustainable Tourism: Global Challenges and Russian Perspective” will be held at the Rosa Khutor mountain resort on October 28 – 31, 2020.

The two previous conferences served as a platform for holding fruitful discussions between prominent Russian and international experts, environmentalists, businesspeople, researchers, public officials and grassroots activists.

The Conference organizers strive to contribute towards the successful implementation of the government policy to develop sustainable tourism, as reflected in the national project “Ecology”, and in the Tourism Development Program of the Russian Federation through 2035.

Due to COVID-19 related restrictions, the Conference will be held in a so-called hybrid format, and event organizers will make every effort to ensure high quality interactive webcasting of discussions taking place at the Conference venue, as well as to promote online participation to a wide audience of viewers.

The program of the 3rd Conference will focus on practical matters, addressing issues related to the creation of rules and standards for the sustainable development of outdoor recreation, active travel, and tourism in Specially Protected Nature Areas (SPNAs). Finding solutions to these challenges will help improve the quality of the tourism opportunities and strengthen accountability for maintaining a green legacy for future generations.


October 27, 2020

12:00 pm – midnight – Attendee Arrivals and Registration

The Conference offers exceptional opportunities for meetings and open dialogue to all stakeholders and industry professionals. Conference organizers invite attendees to make use of the presence of the media to present new projects, announce agreements and share information about progress achieved.

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Welcome Cocktail Reception for Onsite Attendees


October 28, 2020

8 am – 10 am Attendee Arrivals and Registration

10:00 am – 10:30 am – Keynote Welcome Addresses

Open Horizons

We are inspired by the opportunities available to us as we carefully research other countries’ experiences and rely on each other’s support, uniting our efforts to define the path of our journey together. In Russia, we have yet to make the journey toward building a stable industry of sustainable tourism, an effort that will require the utmost dedication of all stakeholders.

Welcome addresses from the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Inger Andersen  and the Secretary- General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili will be delivered at the opening.


Aleksandr Belokobilsky, Director General, Rosa Khutor Resort

Pavel Khotsenko, Director, Sochi National Park

Sergey Shevelev, Director, Caucasus Nature Reserve

10:30am – 12:00pm – Plenary Opening Session

New Challenges and Opportunities

In 2020, the tourism industry faced an unprecedented crisis unleashed by the measures to fight the pandemic that severely limited opportunities for travel and active recreation, bringing the industry to the edge of a meltdown. Nonetheless, the very same difficult circumstances have led to a burst of interest in active and outdoor recreation. The goal of the stable development of sustainable tourism and tourism in the SPNAs has firmly found its place on the list of Russia’s national priorities. Policy makers who set the agenda and create the conditions for cooperation among all stakeholders will discuss the milestones that have already been reached, key priority areas, and future plans.


Kirill Tokarev, Editor-in-Chief, RBC TV


Sergei Bachin, Director General, Vasta Discovery, Chairman of the Board of Rosa Khutor Mountain Resort

Dmitry Gorshkov, Director, WWF Russia

Vladimir Kuznetsov, Director, UN Information Center in Russia

Olga Zakharova, Deputy Director-General, Agency for Strategic Initiatives

Vyacheslav Fetisov, the UN Goodwill Ambassador, First Deputy Chair of the Committee for Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs at the Federal Assembly of the State Duma of the Russian Federation

12:00 pm – 13:00 pm Lunch break


1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Breakout sessions

Breakout session 1

Sustainable Development of Lake Baikal Natural Territory As a World Class Sustainable Tourism Destination

Baikal is a world treasure with unparalleled tourism potential. In the recent history of tourism development around lake Baikal, there is little to show in terms of best practices in tourism development. Tourism will always remain a key driver of Baikal area development, but it may not be allowed to grow unchecked. The session, prepared in collaboration with the “Lake Baikal” Foundation, will address new realities, offer a fresh look, and set new milestones.


Anastasia Tsvetkova, Director General of the Lake Baikal Foundation


Natalia Voloschenko, Director, Corporate Sales, PJSC Sberbank Baikal branch

Ludmila Poplavskaia, Head of the Project Unit of the Federal Project “Maintaining biodiversity and development of sustainable tourism” at the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment

Anastasia Egorova, founder of the Baikal School of New Opportunities “Pokolenie Geniev”   

Artem Mischenko, Managing Partner, “Natsionalny Ecologichesky Operator”

Umar Ramazanov, Director, “Zapovednoe Pribaikalie”


Breakout session 2

Active Travel and Outdoor Recreation for Children Is an Adult Responsibility

Tomorrow, the children of today will come to replace us and take responsibility for the next generation. They will be the ones making executive decisions, building infrastructure, creating tourism products, and ensuring the functioning of services in support of tourism. They will determine the new look of sustainable tourism in Russia and globally. What are we doing today to provide children with safe and comfortable access to outdoor recreation?


Marina Gritsun, head of the Alliance of Active Travel for Children Operators


Sergei Mindelevich, head of the Working Group on Tourism for Children, Coordination Council on Tourism Development in Russia under the Government of Russia

Leonid Protsenko, Acting Director, Federal Center for Youth and Children’s Tourism and Local Ethnography

Olga Sanaeva, Vice-President, Russian Union of Tourism Industry

Pavel Severinets, Principal, school 444, Moscow


2:30 pm – 3:00 pm – Free time


3:00 pm – 4:30 pm  – Side Events

The Conference offers industry professionals and all stakeholders a unique opportunity to hold in-person meetings and open discussions. Conference organizers invite the participants to use the presence of the media to present new projects, announce agreements, and inform about progress achieved.

Side Event 1

Tourism In Specially Protected Natural Areas And the New Vision For the Sustainable Development of the System of Nature Reserves in Russia

Since 2018, ecotourism development in national parks has been featured on the list of national priorities and supported by a targeted federal project. During this time, the community of environmentalists has been actively participating in the public conversation about how to best achieve this goal, supporting the initiatives of public authorities, the tourism industry, and development institutions, openly sharing expertise and, in turn, readily accepting expert advice based on best practices from around the world. The journey taken over the past years and new realities allow us to take a fresh look and reconsider priorities in the sustainable development of the system of nature conservation in Russia. A single transparent and results-oriented system of priorities in industry policy will link the need to preserve the nation’s green legacy and the goal of giving people opportunities to take trips to Russia’s natural treasures.

Greetings to the participants of the Conference from the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation Elena Panova and from the Deputy Executive Secretary of the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity David Cooper.


Ludmila Poplavskaia, the Head of the Projects Unit of the Federal Project “Maintaining biodiversity and the development of ecotourism” at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation


Rafila Bakirova, Director of the Orenburg region nature reserves

Yuliya Verkhushina, Head of the Tourism Agency of the Krasnoyarsk Region

Andrey Latipov, Director, National Park “Buzuluksky Bor”

Vyacheslav Scherbakov, Director, National Park “Krasnoyarskie stolbi”


Side Event 2

Outdoor Recreation and Active Travel Within Megalopolises: the Experience of Russia’s Capital

Moscow, Russia’s largest city and one of the world’s capitals, boasts a large range of specially protected natural territories. Parks embellish the capital, provide essential services to residents and guests who strive to lead a healthy lifestyle, and help recharge the batteries of people tired of the urban buzz. Urban and suburban parks are not only essential for improving the quality of life for people in high-density cities but given the size of the megalopolis, also become nature-centered tourism destinations in their own right. The session, organized by the Moscow Committee on Tourism, will take a fresh look at the prospects of sustainable development of outdoor recreation and active travel in megalopolises.


Alexey Myutsentendler, blogger


Evert Verhagen, Founder of Creative Cities Agency

Aleksandra Boyarskaia, Creative Consultant, Nike; co-founder Nike Run Club in Russia; producer, Yandex.Q

Ekaterina Pronicheva, Chairperson, Committee on Tourism, Moscow

Alexander SovetovHonored traveler of Russia, member of the Russian Geographical Society.

Yuliya Urozhaeva, Member of the Board of Trustees of the “Road to Lavra” project, activist of public projects in the field of popularization of hiking trails, amateur sports and outdoor activities

Elizaveta Fokina, Director, State Open-Air Museum-Reserve “Tsaritsyno”


4:30pm – 5:00pm – Coffee break


5:00pm – 6:30pm Breakout workshops

Led by experts, breakout workshops allow for an in-depth look at specialized topics to examine specific success stories and achievements in sustainable tourism in detail or to analyze unique local differences.

Breakout workshop 1

Winners of the National Competition to Build Tourism and Recreation Clusters and Development of Ecotourism in Russia

The workshop will showcase the ten best projects to build tourism and recreation clusters in the SPNAs, selected in a competition hosted by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.


Olga Zakharova, Deputy Director-General, Agency for Strategic Initiatives

Breakout workshop 2

 Environmental Education as a Goal of Developing Tourism in Specially Protected Natural Areas

Natural landscapes awaken an appreciation of beauty, observing wild animals brings awe, hiking off the beaten track makes one feel like a winner, the starry sky and silence away from the hustle and bustle of human activity make our heart skip a beat, but is that all there is to it? We are barely scratching the surface, ignoring a universe of knowledge about mother nature, in all her simplicity, wisdom, and grace. Our country is richly endowed in natural beauty, many places offer opportunities for simple and straightforward relaxation. But what pushes us to visit nature reserves, what do we expect from the journey?


Natalia Danilina, President, Charitable Educational Foundation “Zapovednoe posolstvo”


Tiago Beraldo, Knowledge Management Coordinator, WCPA/ TAPAS, IUCP

Svetlana Sutirina, Director, Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve

Viktor Nepomnyaschiy, Director, Khakassia Nature Reserve

Aleksey Yakovlev, Director, Taganay National Park

Aleksandr Gorbachev, Manager for Sustainable Development, Coca-Cola HBC Russia


October 29, 2020

9:30 am – 10:30 am Plenary Session 2

Do As One Should

Politics, regulations, and industry institutions notwithstanding, people head out into the wilderness and come back reenergized, filled with bright memories, endowed with stronger muscles, and rich in new friendships. Over the thirty years since the dismantlement of the Central Council on Tourism and Excursions of the USSR, the tourism industry in Russia has paid little attention to the active travel segment. What has it led to and what can we now do about it? Responses come from those working in the field, often not thanks to, but despite it all.


Dmitry Kolosov, Director on Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection, Rosa Khutor Resort


Dmitry Isaev, Principal, School 1852, Moscow

Pavel Severinets, Principal, School 444, Moscow

Daria Seykina, Children Camping Trips Planner, “Laboratoria Puteshestviy”

Sergey Korneev, Chairman, Saint-Petersburg Tourism Development Committee


10:30 am11:30 am. Coffee Break


11:30 pm – 13:00 pm. Breakout sessions

Breakout session 3

Vocational Education and Training for the Sustainable Tourism Industry

Sustainable tourism, especially in the SPNAs, requires special knowledge, skills, and competencies that people who decide to make it their area of professional expertise need to acquire. In addition to skills in business management, legal knowledge, basic economics, awareness of people’s needs, and a service-oriented mindset, working in sustainable tourism requires a high degree of environmental sensitivity and a highly developed understanding of all facets of interaction between people and nature. This discussion will focus on the industry’s talent development requirements. This session is organized in collaboration with the Russian Geographical Society.

A welcome address to the participants of the Conference from the researcher of the National Geographic Society (USA) Enric Sala.


Ivan Chaika, Head of the Krasnodar Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society.


Maria Belyakova, Director, Department of Tourism and Sports Management, Institute of Finance and Sustainable Development at RANEPA

Paul Igles, Professor at the Department of Tourism and Recreation, Waterloo University, Canada

Viktor Kruzhalin, Head of the Department of Recreational Geography and Tourism, School of Geography at the Moscow State Lomonosov University

Galina Romanova, Rector, Sochi State University


Breakout session 4

Keepers of Nature and of Cultural Legacy in Russia and Worldwide

Specially Protected Areas are not limited to nature; sometimes they encompass areas of cultural and historical significance. Open-air museums are delicate keepers of traditions, they raise generations of patriots and act as expert tour operators. Such museums preserve and make accessible to people the treasures of world cultures, including material artifacts, and natural and manmade landscapes, impressive in their biodiversity and picturesqueness. They solicit envy because they rank high in terms of the number of visitors, and pity because they face equally steep regulations. This session will be dedicated to a dialogue between the prominent leaders of the nature conservation system and of the community of open-air museums, who will discuss their experience in the stable development of sustainable tourism.


Elizaveta Fokina, Director, “Tsaritsyno” State Open Air Museum-Reserve


Vladimir Gritsenko, Director, State Open Air Museum-Reserve “Kulikovo Pole”

Yuliya Rybakova, Advisor to the Head of Rostourism

Olga Taratynova, Director, State Open Air Museum-Reserve “Tsarskoe Selo”

Elena Shatkovskaia, Director, Kenozer National Park

Olga Kulikova, Deputy Director for Development, National Park “Lake Pleshcvheyevo”


1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Lunch break


2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Breakout workshops

Breakout workshop 3

What Does It Mean To Be a Professional Nature Guide and How to Become One?

The outdoor industry is surging ahead as more and more people head to the wilderness in the hope of finding themselves next to its overwhelming beauty. Regrettably, they often underestimate risks and tend to completely rely on their guides. What professional skills, knowledge, and competencies does a nature guide need in order to take on and manage the responsibility of guiding people, and how to acquire the necessary skills, is still largely unclear. This roundtable discussion of representatives from the leading nature guide training and upskilling institutions will talk about standards, professional training methodologies, and prospects for the stable development of the sector.


Evgeniy Pavlov, Prorector, Russian State University of Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism, and Youth


Vladimir Molodozhen, Head of the Methodology and Training Commission of the Russian Mountaineering Federation

Aleksey Nikanorov, Chairman, Central Commission of Personnel Training, Sports Tourism Federation of Russia

Vladimir Omelchenko, Deputy Director, Federal Center for Youth and Children’s Tourism and Local Ethnography

Denis Simavsky, Executive Director, Association of Mountaineering Guides of Russia

Eradzh Mukhammadon-zade, Director, Mountain Base Camp for Tourists “Artuch”, Tajikistan


Breakout workshop 4

Preservating Biological Diversity Is the Priority in Stable Development Of the Tourism Industry

Tourism is one of the largest and most dynamically developing industries. The tourism industry creates service sector jobs, has a powerful multiplier effect, brings people together, opens up the world that we share, and generates revenues that may be used to finance environmental conservation projects. However, like any other industry, tourism inevitably consumes limited natural resources, leads to infrastructure development on natural territories, generates waste, effluents, and emissions, and boosts production in related industries, and that in turn has an impact on the environment. How should tourism industry development be framed so that it contributes towards the priority goal of preserving biodiversity? Are there successful examples in Russia or in the world that we could follow?


Dmitry Gorshkov, Director, WWF Russia


Dmitry Kolosov, Director for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Rosa Khutor

Elena Ledovskikh, President, Dersu Uzala Ecotourism Development Fund, Dersu Uzala Ecotourism Agency

Peter Shpilenok, Director, Kronotsky Nature Reserve

Dmitry Khomaza, Director General, Ecomonitoring

Michael Yablokov, expert on territorial nature conservation


3:30pm – 4:00pm – Coffee Break


4:30pm – 6:30pm – Side Events 3

Sustainable Tourism in the Northwestern Federal District: Planning and Development of Transborder Tourist Itineraries

Russia’s northwestern federal district boasts well-developed infrastructure, the impressive northern nature, a rich culture, and a unique cultural identity. It could easily become one of the best and most in-demand sustainable tourism destinations in Russia. This strategic perspective will be considered at a joint meeting of the heads of tourism authorities of the NWFD constitutive units, to be held on the margins of the Conference by the Saint Petersburg Tourism Development Committee.


Natalia Belyakova, Journalist, Member of the Innovation Committee at the Marketers Guild of the Russian Federation


Maksim Bugaev, Chairman, Committee on Tourism of the Murmansk Region

Sergei Emelianov, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Archives of the Komi Republic

Sergei Korneev, Chairman, Saint Petersburg Tourism Development Committee

Sergei Krivonosov, Member of the Federal Assembly of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism, and Youth Affairs

Yulia Kuzenskaia, Deputy Chairperson, Saint-Petersburg Committee on Tourism Development

Denis Nosachev, Minister of the Innovation Policy at the Novgorod Region

Vyacheslav Traktovenko, Regional coordinator of the “Leaders’ Club” in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, entrepreneur

Mikhail UshakovDirector of the Partnership of Tourist Information Centers NP “NAITO”


4:30pm – 6:00pm Side Event 4

Legislative Regulation

Together with the Chair of the appropriate committee of the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, we will take a look at the most relevant legislative initiatives for our industry in the area of sustainable tourism development (draft bill # 970499-7) and at the improvement of regulations on tour guides, foreign language guides, and trekking guides (draft bill # 864169-7)


Aleksandr Zhelezhnyak, Expert, Zapovedniki EcoCenter


Matvey Shparo, Russian polar explorer

Sergei Krivonosov, member of the Federation Council of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs

Aleksey Volkov, Vice President, Executive Director, Nationwide Union of Hospitality Industry


5:30pm – 6:00pm – Free time


6:00 pm – 10:00 pm Expo for Attendees and Informal Evening Program

Conference attendees are invited to showcase their original products that reflect the unique features of the natural landscapes of their regions and regional tourism experiences. Souvenirs, crafts, local products, and information to be presented by attendees coming from every part of Russia. Conference organizers will provide a dedicated space at the venue and convenient set-up to allow conference participants to exhibit and showcase their products.


October 30, 2020

8:00 am – 8:30 am: Groups gather to go on guided visits

8:30 am – 12:00 pm.  Informational visits to sustainable tourism sites in and around the Rosa Khutor Resort

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm Groups return after guided visits

12:30 pm – 13:00 pm – Coffee break

13:00 pm – 14:30 pm Breakout workshops

Breakout workshop 5

Evidence-Based Approach to Stable Development of Sustainable Tourism Industry

Recent events in Russia and in the world, related to the COVID-19 pandemic, have highlighted the rapidly growing demand for the development of sustainable tourism in our country. There is a growing need for better justification of decisions made at every level through the adoption of a comprehensive approach that in every case takes into account the various combinations of the environmental, social and economic parameters. Researchers can and should play a more active role in providing solutions. This session will be dedicated to a discussion on directing research towards issues surrounding sustainable tourism development.


Akakiy Melikidze, Director General of the Research Center of Promising Interdisciplinary Research “Idea”
Kirill Tokarev, Editor-in-Chief, RBC TV


Breakout workshop 6

Tourism in Taymir, from Idea to Implementation – an Example of Effective Collaboration

The Norilsk Development Agency, the Joint Directorate of the Taymir Nature Reserves, the Administrations of Norilsk and Taymir Dolgan-Nenetsk Municipal Region are implementing an ambitious project of tourism development on the Taymir Peninsula to build the tourism and recreation cluster called “Arctic” in close cooperation with the business community. Unique ethnographic, cultural, historical, and industrial heritage may make it one of the most impressive and in-demand sustainable tourism destinations in Russia. The project is being rapidly implemented with the involvement of many stakeholders: municipal, regional, and federal authorities, investment institutions, tourism organizations, environmental protection agencies, and local communities all working together to deliver the best project possible. This workshop will offer an overview of the unique experience of collaboration and moving forward together.


Anton Muravyev, Interros Group


Anastasia Korol, Deputy Director, Norilsk Development Agency

Maksim Mironov, Director, Norilsk Development Agency

Mikhail Bondar, Deputy Director for Science and Environmental Education

Aleksander Zheleznyak, Expert, Zapovedniki EcoCenter


2:30 pm – 3:30pm – Lunch


3:30pm – 4:30pm Plenary Session 3

Economic Feasibility

As an industry, sustainable tourism in Specially Protected Natural Areas must obey the same economic principles as any other industry. Respecting these economic tenets is a condition for the successful implementation of projects while ignoring them will lead to failure. So, what are these economic principles? Prominent researchers will take a big-picture look at industry development.


Kirill Tokarev, Editor-in-Chief, RBC TV


Natalia Voloschenko, Director, Department of Corporate Sales, Baikal branch of Sberbank of Russia

Natalya Tretyak, First Vice-President, Gazprombank

Yulia Zvorykina, Deputy Director of Vnesheconombank Institute

4:30pm – 5:30pm Conference Concluding Session



Kirill Tokarev, Editor-in-Chief, RBC TV


Natalia Danilina, president, Zapovednoye Posolstvo Charity and Educational Foundation

Boris Erg, Director, Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, IUNC

Vladimir Moshkalo, Head of UNEP in Russia

Yulia Zvorykina, Deputy Director of Vnesheconombank Institute


October 31, 2020

Departures for onsite attendees, or an additional day of rest at the Rosa Khutor Resort