3rd International Conference
«Sustainable Tourism: Global Challenges and Discovering Russia»

Before start


Two international conferences entitled “Sustainable Tourism: Global Challenges and Discovering Russia”, held at the Rosa Khutor mountain resort in Sochi in the fall of 2018 and 2019, have set the bar for public conversation about sustainable development in the industry of outdoor recreation, active travel, and tourism in the protected areas in Russia and abroad, a topic that resonates with many.

Twice already this event has served as a platform for constructive discussions involving prominent experts from Russia and beyond, as well as environmentalists, researchers, businesspeople, public officials, and community leaders.

The Conference Organizers seek to facilitate implementation of the government directive to develop sustainable tourism as described in the national project “Ecology” and the Tourism Development Program of the Russian Federation throughout 2035. Therefore, drawing on expert recommendations from the previous conferences, the Organizers hereby announce that the 3rd Conference will be held in 2020.

The 3rd Conference, which will take place October 28 through October 31, 2020, will once again be held at the Rosa Khutor mountain resort, as has become tradition, giving participants the opportunity to admire the autumnal gold of the Western Caucasus mountains.

Building on the achievements of the previous sessions, the Conference agenda will focus on practices and will shed light on issues related to drafting rules and standards for the sustainable development of the industry. These rules and standards would have to meet the needs of all players and help to gather business people, government officials, environmental organizations, and grassroots movements around the shared goal of raising the bar on quality in tourism and strengthening accountability for maintaining our natural legacy for generations to come.

At the 3rd Conference, discussion sessions will highlight the most critical issues faced by the industry and will allow the attendees to work together to explore solutions. Furthermore, the Conference agenda will have a regional focus, allowing the participants to showcase the best practices and specific challenges in the sustainable development of tourism for the different geographic zones of the world’s largest country.

The success of the Eco-Display Expo first launched at the 2nd Conference, demonstrated the need to offer attendees more ways to communicate their successes and showcase their products for partners and stakeholders. The Organizers will strive to give Conference guests and participants broad and easily accessible opportunities to make the best use of the Eco-Display Expo.

At the 3rd Conference we will spend more time discussing:

— the contribution of private initiatives towards the sustainable development of outdoor recreation, active travel, and tourism in the Specially Protected Nature Areas in Russia and other countries;
— staff professional development and competencies, and the role of training institutions and higher education in offering professional degreed programs and conducting research in this field;
— successes in the various segments of the domestic tourism industry, including those related to cultural legacy;
— the experience of Russia’s neighboring post-Soviet states and nearby countries in the Far East and in Northern and Eastern Europe.

The Conference Organizers call upon all stakeholders who develop and lead initiatives in nature tourism; educational tourism; active travel (including for children and/or athletes); outdoor recreation; agricultural, culinary, ethnographic, or cultural tourism; or related areas, and offer them the Conference as a platform to showcase achievements, raise issues surrounding the sustainable development of the industry, and together look for solutions in the Conference’s cordial and constructive environment.

The 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Tourism Hosted by Rosa Khutor
The 2nd international conference “Sustainable Tourism: Global Challenges and Discovering Russia” took place at the Rosa Khutor mountain resort from the 16th to the 19th of October 2019.

The first conference, in the fall of 2018, formed a platform for constructive dialogue between Russian and foreign experts in ecotourism, environmentalists, and tourism professionals.

More than two hundred people took part in this year’s event, and fifty speakers from Russia’s different regions, Canada, France, Belarus and Abkhasia discussed challenges and opportunities for ecotourism’s sustainable development.

Among the key speakers were representatives of the State Duma’s Committee on Tourism, Sports and Youth Policy, the Ministry of Nature of the Russian Federation, IUCN ECARO, Rostourism, WWF Russia, Roszapovedcenter, Vanoise National Park, Un Environment Russia, Center for Strategic Research, Federation of Sport Tourism, Norilsk Development Agency and many others. In focus were both legal and practical issues. Experts discussed new legislative and grass-roots initiatives required for the sustainable development of ecotourism in Russia.

The common take-away was that «to become nature lovers, people need to have access to nature». Thus, the number one task is to create a legislative framework, currently all but non-existent.

Sergey Bachin, Rosa Khutor’s CEO, believes that legislative and regulatory frameworks should be in line with goals in the development of tourism in general, and ecotourism specifically.  In his words, «Sustainable tourism goes beyond the impressions left by time spent in a natural environment, or the significant contributions towards nature preservation; it includes the arrangement of key services – transporting tourists to the site, providing lodging, ensuring their safety in every sense of the word, including health services».

The conference outcomes will be considered by the State Duma. Legislators have already begun work on a bill to build the foundation for ecotourism and agricultural tourism, which would allow the significant broadening of opportunities for a new branch of the tourism industry in Russia.

Vyacheslav Fetisov, the UN Goodwill Ambassador, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth at the State Duma, stated: «Together with our colleagues in the State Duma we’re now working on a bill on sustainable, agricultural and ecotourism. As soon as I am back in Moscow, we will promote it on the floor. I think the government will also come out in support of it.»

The conference’s main outcome is the idea that sustainable tourism model in specially protected natural territories will ensure an influx of tourists, while the revenues they bring will allow to offset the consequences of human activity, and develop infrastructure limiting the impact of tourism on the environment.

Sustainable tourism may become a means to foster sustainable development of specially protected natural areas by creating the conditions for investment, tourism (including research and recreation), and social activities.

All of the above should be reflected in the strategy for tourism development in Russia through 2035.

The Conference was attended by representatives from the UN Environmental Program, International Nature Preservation Union, WWF Russia, Ecocenter Nature Reserves, Foundation Dersu Uzala, Dmitry and Matvey Shparo’s Adventure Club Foundation, Amur Tiger Center, Association for the Development of National Trails, North Caucasus Resorts AO, the Caucasus Nature Reserve, Taymyr’s Nature Reserves, Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve, Kronotsky Nature Reserve, Orenburg Nature Reserves, Russian Arctic National Park, Kenozersky National Park, Bashkir National Park, Sochi National Park, Stolbi Nature Sanctuary, and the Nature Bird Park in the Imereti Lowlands.
The Conference was organized by UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Arctic and the Antarctic Vyacheslav Fetisov’s «Slava» Charity, the Ministry of Nature of Russian Federation, the Ministry of Economic Development of Russian Federation, Roszapovedcenter, Rostourism, Federation of Sport Tourism of Russia, Center for Strategy Development and the Interros Group.

Resolution of the First International Conference “Sustainable Tourism: Global Challenges and Discovering Russia”

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Information Partners
Organizational partner


The «Sustainable Tourism: Global Challenges and Discovering Russia» Conference will be held at the all-season mountain resort Rosa Khutor, located in the Sochi National Park, a 40 minute car ride from Sochi International Airport (AER). The resort was built from scratch on the Aibga ridge for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Olympic athletes competed for thirty sets of medals in fifteen mountain sports on Rosa Khutor terrain.

Today Rosa Khutor is a popular all-season destination for tourism and corporate events. The resort is famous for its high quality of service, safety, and state-of-the-art technology, and it offers a large number of winter and summer activities.

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Mirzega Abduselimov

Deputy CEO
JSC Northern Caucasus Resorts

Sergey Aramilev

General Director
Amur Tiger Centre

Sergey Bachin

General Director
Rosa Khutor

Rafiliya Bakirova

Orenburg Natural Reserves

Andrey Barishnikov


Zanda Buslova

Project Manager, PR Department

Vera Chizhova

Lead Researcher
Moscow State University School of Geography

Natalya Danilina

Zapovedniki Center; IUCN regional councilor

Marina Ditmarova

Deputy Head
Dept. of Environmental Education, Sochi National Park

Paul Eagles

University of Waterloo

Boris Erg


Vyacheslav Fetisov

UN Environment Patron
for the Polar Regions

Dmitry Gorshkov

Director of the Biodiversity
Program WWF

Marina Gritsun

Children's Active Tourism

Olga Guerin

Stream D

Philip Huly

Chairman of the Board
Republican Union of Tourism Industry, Belarus

Anastasiya Ivanova

Deputy Head, Tourism Development Dept.
Kenozersky National Park

Pavel Khotsenko

Acting Director
Sochi National Park

Alexander Kirilov

Russian Arctic National Park

Anastasia Korol

specialist, Tourism Development Dept.
Norilsk Development Agency

Sergey Krivonosov

Deputy Chairman, Committee of the State Duma
on Physical Culture, Sport, Tourism, and Youth Affairs

Evgeny Kudel

Head, Department of State Tourism Projects
Federal Tourism Agency

Vladimir Kuznetsov

'Bashkiria' National Park

Maelle Lepoutre

Sustainable Development Dept., Vanoise National Park

Olga Lyakhova

Deputy General Director
for Strategy and Development, Rosa Khutor

Maxim Mironov

ANO Norilsk Development Agency

Vladimir Moshkalo

UN Environment Russia Office

Ekaterina Nazarova

Social Projects, ASI

Viktor Nepomnyashchiy

Khakassky State Natural Rezerve

Vladimir Omelchenko

Deputy Director
FCCYTLH, Member of the Public Council of Rostourism

Olga Pegova

Deputy Director
Caucasus Nature Reserve

Alexander Pestryakov

Norilsk City Council of Deputies

Konstantin Prosekin

FSBI «Taymyr Nature Reserves»

Vasily Sarana

Leading research fellow, The Federal State Budget
Institution «Joint Directorate of Taimyr’s Nature Reserves »

Daria Seykina

Deputy Director
Big Adventure in the Krasnodar Territory

Vyacheslav Shcherbakov

Stolby State Nature Reserve

Lev Shagarov

Deputy Director
Natural ornithological park in the Imereti lowland

Sergey Shevelev

Caucasus Nature Reserve

Ivan Shmakov

Department of State Policy and Regulation of Development in SPNAs

Peter Shpilenok

Kronotsky State Nature Reserve

Ivan Sidelnikov

Geographer, film director

Alexander Sinitsyn

Center for Strategic Research

Erik Solheim

Plastic REVolution Foundation

Svetlana Sutyrina

Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve

Tengiz Tarba

‘Highland Abkhazia’ Foundation

Denis Terebikhin

Husky-tyal community

Anastasia Terebikhina

Husky-tyal community

Alexander Zheleznyak

Association for the Development of National Pathways

Alexei Yaroshevsky

First Vice-President
Federation of Sport Tourism of Russia

Nornickel volunteers

Uliana Lomakina

Advisor, Press-service, Bystrinskoye Mining Company,

Ekaterina Panova

Chief specialist of the production bureau of the Pechenganickel smelter,

Olga Zyppelt

Specialist of the Planning and Economic Department,

Julia Manchuk

Specialist of the HR department of the Polar Division,