TO KENOZERYE TO GET EXPERIENCE
The organizers of the rural and natural tourist routes from the Komi Region took part in a four-day workshop "SPNA and local community: creating conditions for the development of sustainable tourism", based on the example of the national park Kenozersky in Arkhangelsk Region. The trip was sponsored by WWF-Russia and The Silver Taiga Foundation for Sustainable Development within the framework of the Barents-Baltic program «Nature and Man».
In the workshop took part local people engaged in the field of rural tourism from Udorsky, Syktyvdinsky, Priluzsky districts, as well as from Syktyvkar. They included owners of rural guesthouses, representatives of territorial public self-government, and employees of cultural and educational institutions creating and developing various (event, environmental, ethnographic) tourist routes. During the trip, they visited the museum complexes of the Kenozersky national park, got acquainted with the center of folk arts and crafts, children's ecological camp "ELK", visited ecological trails, and took part in the workshops.
The guests from Komi were most impressed by the interaction of the national park with the local communities. According to the head of the development department of Kenozersky national park Alexandra Yakovleva, 77 percent of the SPNA employees are local residents. The residents from Kenozersky villages not only work as guards, cooks, and drivers but also as state inspectors, guides, conduct workshops and ethnographic programs, make souvenirs, deliver products from their kitchen gardens to the national park, provide guesthouses for tourists. In cooperation with the local residents, the park implemented 15 ethnographic programs and 16 different workshops.
The workshop agenda was very rich and the hosts tried to show all the activities of the national park in four days. And the more impressions the participants got, the more they wished to organize such routes and programs where they lived.
According to Olga Sazhina, an employee of The Silver Taiga Foundation for Sustainable Development, the rural tourism is developing in the Komi Region, but not as actively as they would like. One of the main reasons is that every organizer of rural tours acts separately, at random, which often results in large losses. Therefore, consulting, informational and educational support are very important for rural tourism enthusiasts.