1. bookVolume 12 (2020): Issue 3 (September 2020)
    Special Issue: Cultural Tourism and Rural Development
Journal Details
First Published
24 Feb 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

The Role of Cultural Tourism in Development of Depressed Regions in Russia: The Case of Plyos, Ivanovo Region.

Published Online: 08 Oct 2020
Page range: 384 - 407
Received: 01 Feb 2020
Accepted: 27 Jul 2020
Journal Details
First Published
24 Feb 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

The article analyzes the impact of cultural tourism on the development of municipalities in depressed regions through case-study of the small town Plyos in Ivanovo oblast in Russia. The town-planning composition of Plyos is determined by the Volga river and the complex highly rugged relief. The unique combination of architecture and natural landscape makes the town and its surroundings attractive for cultural tourism development. The connection between the development of culture and tourism in Plyos has been noted since the beginning of the 1970s. Since then, from decade to decade, these spheres have constantly strengthened each other’s development. A number of market factors have been identified for effective involvement of historical heritage and cultural landscape in various types of cultural tourism and their transformation into a resource for sustainable development of the settlement. These market factors can be summarized into three groups: marketing, institutional and investment. The bet on market-based and diversified development of cultural tourism made by the authorities of the municipality and the region in 2005 has produced significant positive results by 2020. The structure of cultural tourism in Plyos has changed qualitatively, and the importance of event and creative tourism has grown significantly. Over the past 4–5 years, the tourist flow has changed radically in the direction of a significant increase in the share of individual and most solvent categories of tourists. Increasing the duration of cruise ship stay and lengthening the period of attendance in Plyos for individual tourists provides an increase in the load of tourist infrastructure in the summer season, and the boom in expensive seasonal real estate and the expansion of the offer of services for types of tourism related to cultural, contribute to leveling the seasonal load. However, these successes have a downside, when Plyos is an “island of prosperity” in the “economic desert” of its depressed regional environment. There are several ways in which it is possible to influence the development of a depressive surroundings. For the Ivanovo region, Plyos acts as a “point of entry” for investments in the tourism sector, a promoter of all-Russian events in the field of cultural tourism and a market place for products of local producers, including products of world-famous art crafts.


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