One of the key aspects of the Russian state policy in Primorsky territory is the establishment of Advanced Special Economic Zones (hereinafter ASEZ). The academic community is highly interested in ASEZ as part of the Primorye territorial structure determining the development of focal points for the implementation of processes aiming at an accelerated social and economic development of the region. These can be represented by compact territorial entities where the implementation of the key economic goals for Primorye, including investment attraction, establishing and supporting free enterprises, creating new and developing the existing recreational facilities is taking place. The goals are achieved through the development of transport infrastructure and the establishment of a cooperative recreational link system to identify the types of tourism activities popular among the residents of the Primorsky territory and the visitors from the adjoining regions of the Far East and the Asia-Pacific countries. The analysis of focal points identifies the areas of tourism establishment and growth that are the most attractive in social and economic terms and yield the largest flows of investment and tourists. This research analyzes the recreation and tourism sectors of the Primorsky territory that are directly linked with the development of ASEZ and the attraction of investment flows for their further economic growth. We identified the social and economic conditions of recreation facility and activity attractiveness for tourists, investors, and other social and economic players in Primorye. We also determined the prospects of further development for the tourism industry in the Primorsky territory.
Keywords: Tourism, advanced special economic zones (ACEZ), territory structure, focal point, investment, structure-and-function approach
Following the Federal Law of Russia on the Areas of Advanced Social and Economic Development in the Russian Federation of 29.12.2014, the following zones were established in Primorsky territory: Nadezhdinskaya, Mikhailovskaya, Bolshoy Kamen, Muravyinaya, Shmakovskaya, Khasanskaya, Vladivostokskaya, as well as the Free Port Vladivostok. The establishment of ASEZ became a kay project of Russian state policies in the Far East. Its main goal was to establish and support free enterprise and attract investment for the development of the region. Recreational activities are among the most promising investment areas in Primorye. The statement of the Primorsky territory administration of 25.12.2019 No. 903-pa claims that the tourism sector ‘makes a great contribution into supporting sustainable social and economic development and social stability, it is important for the development of small and medium businesses, workplace creation, and employment of residents. The tourism sector is developing at rates greater than the world's average and it is stimulating the related sectors of the economy’. (Primorsky territory state program for the Development of Tourism…, 2021).
This area of activity is a key development indicator for the focal points in the territorial structure that feature the development of the tourism sector in Primorye. These focal points include Vladivostok as the center for tourism activities, the Muravyinaya Bay as one of the popular recreation spots for the Far East region, the Shmakovka resort famous for its health centers and spa retreats (Zhemchuzhina, Izumrudny, and the military Sanatory Shmakovka). There is also the Khasansky center, an important tourist facility in Primorye, where the Teploye More hotel resort is established and developed, and the first water park in the region is being constructed. The implementation of projects in tourism ASEZ helps attract the flow of tourists and investments and develop the tourism and recreation infrastructure, which ensures the formation of economic focal points in the territorial structure. One of the key development factors for those is the Primorsky territory’s vast natural resources, state nature reserves, parks, health tourism facilities, mountain tourist trails, adventure holiday opportunities, fishing tours, and cruises. All of these attract tourists to the Far East and motivate the rearrangement and economic growth of the tourism focal points. The demand for tourism in Primorsky territory increased dramatically due to the construction of the key APEC-2012 summit facilities.
The Primorsky Territory is in the top five regions of Russia in terms of investment potential. The residents of advanced development zones and the Free Port Vladivostok brought 330 billion rubles in investment to the region. Tourism is one of the key investment attraction areas in Primorye (Beljaeva, 2010).
The recreational areas of the Primorsky territory were visited by 425.6 thousand foreign tourists (9.3%) as of this day. The majority of tourists come from the APR countries. The leaders include the Republic of Korea with 299.7 thousand people visiting Primorye in 2019 (35% increase) and Japan with almost 35 thousand people in 2019 (70.8% increase). Tourists from China visit the Primorsky territory every year. In 2019, they totaled 370.7 thousand people (1.4% increase). The significant increase in the number of foreign citizens visiting Primorye had a great impact on the development and growth of the region's economy. This is confirmed by the increase in the number of small and medium tourism and recreation businesses over 2019 that amounted to 1783. The number of employees increased as well and totaled 45.1 thousand people working in various types of tourism, i.e. new workplaces were created (The annual report on the implementation and efficiency assessment of the Primorsky Territory State Program …, 2019).
The active economic development of ASEZ and the growth of small and medium tourism and recreation businesses due to the increase in the number of foreign tourists helped establish and support the focal points in the territory structure to ensure the development of the economies of the Primorsky territory and the Far East region.
Following the presented analysis of indicators set out in the reports of the Primorsky territory administration, we must note that the internal recreation industry is prevailing in Primorye. The increase in international tourist flow and the growth of profitability of companies dealing with various aspects of tourism shape the region's policies to develop this economic sector, which is confirmed by the development and successful implementation of a Primorsky territory state program for the Development of Tourism in the Primorsky Territory in 2013-2021 (Primorsky territory state program for the Development of Tourism, 2021). The social and economic development of tourism in Primorye is based on the focal points of territory structure represented by a system of interconnected tourism and recreation activities within compact territorial entities where the ASEZ investment projects concerning the development of the tourism industry in Primorye are implemented. The city of Vladivostok is an example of such territory, as it is an integral part of the free port Vladivostok, and in the Primorsky territory, the following ASEZ can be found: Muravyinaya, Shmakovskaya, Khasanskaya, and Vladivostokskaya (Baklanov, 2014).
The analysis of focal points of territory structure will give us an opportunity to identify social and economic conditions of recreation facility and activity attractiveness, determine the key areas of tourist and investment flow concentration, and assess the prospects of further development for this sector of the region's economy (Martyshenko, 2018).
Until recently, researchers did not study the tourism focal points of territory structure in the Primorsky territory. Because of this, it is difficult to determine their patterns and specifics, as well as the conditions of tourism industry establishment and development within an ASEZ or identify the types of recreation and tourism activities that would be attractive for tourists and investors in the Primorsky territory in social and economic terms.
This article focuses on the advanced development areas in the Primorsky territory as the bases of development for the recreation sector focal points in the territory structure.
Purpose of the Study
This work aims to produce a comprehensive analysis of the recreational focal points in the territory structure for the development of ASEZ through attracting investment. To do this, we have to address the following objectives: examine the entire system of recreational activities available in the Primorsky territory, identify those of them that can help develop ASEZ and form the investment base for their further growth, draw up a list of tourism activities popular among the residents of Vladivostok and the tourists from the adjoining regions and the APR countries.
The authors used the structure-and-function approach to perform a comprehensive analysis of the tourism industry focal points in the territory structure as a uniform system of developing the recreation industry of the Primorsky territory. The methodological framework of the research is based on the analysis of tourism and recreation activities within the Primorye ASEZ.
The authors analyzed the tourism ASEZ of Primorye and assessed their social and economic attractiveness for the tourists from the Far East and the APR countries, and prospective investors. It showed that the Primorsky territory's economic and geographical situation makes the development of recreational and tourist activities in the region highly promising. There is a number of unique natural sites here that attract tourist and provide a great opportunity to develop the recreational industry. Cultural facilities play an important role in improving the territory's attractiveness for tourists. Primorye can boast eight professional theaters, a branch of Mariinsky Theatre (Primorsky Opera and Ballet Theater), and Primorsky Territory Philharmonia. There are 198 operating museums, 489 libraries, 460 culture and leisure facilities, 14 cinemas (seven of them in Vladivostok), and Vladivostok circus (The official website of the government…, 2020).
The Primorsky territory is a center for the formation of various types of domestic tourism including ecological, sport, hunting, cultural, and business, which requires investment. To this end, the government of the Primorsky territory has developed and is implementing a state program for the Development of Tourism in the Primorsky territory in 2013-2021. Its main goal is to develop the tourism market and improve the competitive edge of the Primorye tourism sector, as well as to establish six recreation and tourism clusters to attract tourists to the region and thus increase the incomes of the regional budget (Osipov et al., 2018).
These clusters are established based on the focal points that act as impulses for tourism development. The ASEZ investment projects are implemented in them specifically, and their functions are expanded through the development of tourism and recreation infrastructure and the growth of small and medium businesses. They can be analyzed to determine the conditions for the development of this industry sector, as well as formulate the objective factors of the region’s attractiveness and identify tourism facilities that bring the key investment flows, and assess the further development prospects for this sector of the economy (Miroshnikova et al., 2016).
Today, the Primorsky territory is one of the most popular recreation areas for the residents of Vladivostok, the adjoining parts of the Primorsky territory, the Far East, and APR countries. Besides, the Primorsky territory features the Primorye gambling area that targets the tourists from China, Korea, and Japan, and is one of the key investment projects in Primorye that aim at the development of tourism. The analysis of the social and economic development level carried out by Kim (2007) shows that Vladivostok is the leading recreational area in the Primorsky territory and one of the key focus points for tourists. It has met a sufficient number of conditions for the development of tourism to serve the recreational needs of local residents, domestic tourists from the Far East, and visitors from the APR countries (Kim, 2007; Baldina et al., 2017).
Taking into account the concentration of tourism resources in the Primorsky territory, it is necessary to identify promising areas to create tourism and recreation clusters (special economic zones):
- Khasanskoye coast (the coastal territory from the Nazimov Spit to Bezverkhovo);
- Yuzhnoye More (the coastal area from Fokino to Preobrazheniye).
- create an extra cluster specializing in winter sports.
The establishment and development of tourism-and-recreation clusters are based on the mechanism of private-public partnership. The state provides budget funds for the development of tourism infrastructure (road, electricity, etc), and investors deal with tourist facilities (hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, new tourist attractions, etc). (Miroshnikova & Taskaeva, 2017).
The analysis performed shows that the advanced special economic zones serve as a basis for the development of recreational focal points in the territorial structure, business enterprises, and the growth of various tourism companies (Martyshenko & Kim, 2017). ASEZ can improve the competitive edge of the tourist products of the Primorsky territory. Currently, there are 6 tourism ASEZ in Primorye. Within those, sustainable tourism development conglomerates are formed based on the focal points of territorial structure. We established that the comprehensive implementation of cluster investment projects for tourism and recreation, the creation of tourism focal points in Primorye is efficient (Nigay & Lebedinskaya, 2019).
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21 June 2021
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Blizkiy, R. S., Lebedinskaya, Y. S., & Koshevaya, E. S. (2021). Primorye Asez As The Development Base For The Focal Points Of Tourism. In & N. G. Bogachenko (Ed.), Amurcon 2020: International Scientific Conference, vol 111. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 551-556). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.06.03.74