Moscow summarises the results of the first BRICS tourism forum

The first BRICS Tourism Forum, which brought together over 600 leading experts, and business and government representatives from the BRICS countries, has solemnly concluded in Moscow. As part of the business program, 12 commercial agreements were signed among representatives of the tourism business sector. The creation of the BRICS Tourism Cities Club was also announced.

On June 21, the BRICS Tourism Forum ended in Moscow – it was the first meeting of the working group to develop practical actions, with participation from all 9 member countries. The initiative to create this platform was first put forward by South Africa in 2018, and finally created under the Russian presidency in BRICS this year. The ideas expressed during the discussions will, in the future, form the basis of the concept of developing co-operation in the fields of innovation, sustainability, digitalisation and co-operation at a city level. Representatives of the participating countries’ tourism businesses held b2b negotiations that led to the signing of the first 12 commercial agreements.

Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of Economic Development of Russia, expressed confidence in the success of tourism development as a significant economic sector for the BRICS countries. He added that in Russia this year more than 90 million tourist trips were expected in the country, which was 30% higher than the pre-Covid figures. “The geography of trips is expanding – foreign tourists are travelling to Russia more often. The growth of foreign tourists’ movements in the first 4 months of 2024, compared to the same period last year, amounted to 50%”.

Since the beginning of this year, the Ministry of the Economic Development of Russia has launched a program to promote the tourist product of Russia under a single brand “Discover Russia”, which is designed to introduce foreign tourists to different regions of the country, to convey a truthful image of Russia. The “Discover Russia” brand has already been presented at key international exhibitions in China, India and Saudi Arabia.

“We believe that the establishment of the BRICS Tourism Working Group will promote new progress in tourism co-operation among BRICS countries and contribute to the development of BRICS countries”, Mr. Zhang Zheng, Vice Minister, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, People’s Republic of China, noted.

Following this idea, Mr. Amr El Kady, CEO of Egyptian Tourism Authority, said that tourism does not only create jobs for millions of people and provide profit for enterprises and the growth of economies, but also establishes bridges between nations and cultures and, most importantly, promotes peace, friendship and common understanding among people.

“Furthermore, by engaging and supporting local communities, we can ensure that tourism development is inclusive and benefits all stakeholders. This forum has reinforced the importance of sustainable tourism as a cornerstone for economic growth, cultural exchange and environmental stewardship among the BRICS nations”, Mr. Niraj Sharan, Assistant Director General of the Ministry Tourism of India, added.

Representatives of the Moscow City Government noted that they also bet on the development of multilateral co-operation with the BRICS countries. The Russian capital expands partnership formats and establishes new channels for organizing tourist flow from member countries.

“In the first quarter of 2024, our capital has already been visited by 129,000 guests from BRICS countries and, by the end of the year, we expect more than 600,000 tourists from these countries. If in 2013-2019, tourists from BRICS countries made up 20-30% of those who came from far abroad, in 2023 it was already 40%. We are focusing on the development of multilateral co-operation with the BRICS countries and expanding the formats of partnership,” said Evgeny Kozlov, First Deputy Head of the Moscow Government Office, Chairman of the Moscow City Tourism Committee.

Within the framework of the Forum, Moscow proposed an initiative for consideration to establish the BRICS Tourism Cities Club. It is planned that the association will serve as a driver for the development of inter-regional tourism and become a convenient platform for direct dialogue between BRICS representatives. “We hope that this initiative will be approved by our partners and will become an effective tool and a base for increasing mutual tourist flow,” Evgeny Kozlov added.



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