Tourism As A Universal: Heritage Of Culture And Challenges Of The Era


The article examines the concept of "tourism" as a socio-cultural phenomenon that belongs to the system of cultural universals. The authors use cultural and philosophic methodology in their study. Tourism is interpreted as a result of the transformation of the initial concepts of "wandering" and "travelling". The research studies different approaches of the significant scientists and writers in this field. They present the history of the development and transformation of the universal of tourism in connection with the socio-cultural, economic and political content of the development of the world and society as a whole. Different types and spheres of tourism are analyzed. Domestic tourism and its regional aspect, which is of a particular importance during the period of a pandemic and isolation, is reflected in the article. The authors point out the unique nature of a local tourism product for the era of globalization, and for the formation of values of patriotism and the preservation of historical memory.

Keywords: tourism, local tourism, universal, culture, heritage


Tourism has become a socio-cultural phenomenon that affects all aspects of human life - our lifestyle, employment, sports, the Olympic movement, trade, transport, construction, production of consumer goods. For many countries it is the main source of income. In the global economy, tourism can be compared with the export of oil in terms of profit; it surpasses even such a big industry as the arms trade. But unlike the latter, tourism brings life, knowledge, and health. People want to travel, get new impressions, learn about the culture of other countries. Tourism also influences art and science.

Moreover, tourism became one of the cultural universals (Zakharova & Kononova, 2015). This phenomenon is based on our need to go beyond the limits of the everyday life, to know ourselves and new people, to perceive the nature. Our inborn curiosity makes us travel and learn the world. Migrations and traveling in the past have led to modern tourism in all its forms, which should be studied as one of the main universals of the modern world.

Heritage of culture and challenges of the era play a great role in development of tourism as a universal in our global world, where we have opened borders and therefore an opportunity to learn something new, travelling and communicating, getting to know the world and people around us.

It is necessary to study tourism as a cultural universal essential for our lives and well-being.

Problem Statement

Tourism is closely connected with culture. Over the course of time, it has rapidly turned into a phenomenon of socio-cultural institution. The existence of tourism is firmly entrenched in the way of life of the majority of the population of the developed countries. Tourism is becoming an element of human service. The service appears to be treated as a resource of the new economy and a source of development of the society as a whole.

Tourism has also acquired a mass character and become a need for the majority of the population of industrial countries. Now there are a hundred times more connections between Europe and Asia than before; Europe alone was more dismembered than the entire Earth is now (Afonin, 2016). In fact, we are talking about the emerging processes of modern globalization. That is why it is important to look at it as a whole and explore all the factors related to it.

Research Questions

During the research, we tried to answer the following question: Why is tourism considered to be a universal, what cultural heritage and challenges influence the development of this phenomenon?

Purpose of the Study

Thus, the purpose of the study was to examine tourism as one of the cultural universals and the influence of culture on the development and transformation of tourism, to analyze different types of tourism and prove the unique nature of local tourism for global processes;

Research Methods

To study the phenomenon of tourism, we used general scientific methods (analysis, synthesis, idealization), as well as the methods of social and humanitarian sciences (historical, logical, comparative).

In our research, we name tourism a universal of culture as it has become common not only in the culture, but also in the habits, and traditions of many people globally. It is widely spread and strengthened. That is why we considered this phenomenon in the context of the culture.

The analysis of literature proves the fact that tourism is a phenomenon of urban culture, which is a generative and reproducing basis of tourism (Minina, 2016). Free time occupies an important place on the scale of values of the modern personality - more and more people want to realize themselves not only in work, but in their favorite pastime, in expanding and improving social contacts. Tourism gives an opportunity for an individual to get something that is impossible in his working life. The experiences of visitors are an important issue. Many researchers have identified “empathy as an important part of visitors' experiences” (Light, 2017).

We looked at tourism from the historical point of view, compared different stages of the development of this phenomenon.


In our research, we found out that not only different values can influence tourism, but also needs and demands. Nowadays, in the tourism sphere there is a trend on the development of excursion activities and event tourism. Excursions and events are some of the factors of cultural shift, renewal of the social and cultural way of life. Local authorities pay attention to the development of regional tourism. It has been proved that this sphere brings not only the profit to the budget, but also increases the level of cultural education. People get to know the history and culture of their native region.

Tourism programs, routes and events are being actively developed. Tourist flows are growing up, so it is causing a need to create new forms and techniques in the implementation of different projects. New challenges are being formed in tourism activities that need to be met with new, creative ideas. “Major visitor attractions stand out as the strongest pull-factors of a destination and are considered as key destination resources for development and marketing. They are often defined as flagship and/or iconic objects/structures/projects, which draw a relatively large number of visitors to their premises and/or to their region” (Ram et al., 2016).

As the result of the conducted investigation, we would like to present the prospects of developing regional tourism on the example of a small town situated not far from Tyumen. The town is Yalutorovsk. It was founded in 1659, later it became a center of the development of a large agricultural region in the South of Western Siberia. In a short period of time Yalutorovsk also became a tourist center.

In 2009, a unique tourist building was recreated in Yalutorovsk. It became the main tourist attraction and the hallmark of the town. The combination of historical heritage and interactive component makes this town unique. Yalutorovsky ostrog, or burg, is located in its historic place, fenced with high frequencies with watchtowers, an artificial ditch, and a drawbridge across it on the area of 0.7 hectares. This building is a precise copy of the burg that used to stand here many centuries ago.

The idea of restoring the burg, from which the Siberian town began, belonged to the local residents. Financially it was supported by the town and regional authorities, who invested almost 70 million rubles into it. The historic site of almost one and a half hectares turned out to be available, and therefore the architects had a unique opportunity to rebuild the burg in its original form. The burg, the first documentary description of which dates back to 1701, was constructed according to the drawings in the state archive of St. Petersburg. The construction took almost two years, and by the 350th anniversary of the town the burg opened its gates.

Yalutorovsky ostrog has become a new tourist attraction of the town, with both cultural and educational purpose. The atmosphere of the burg is saturated with the time of foundation and the beginning of its development.

Guests of Ostrog can plunge into the world of peasant’s life, to feel and enjoy the traditions of Russian culture. There are guard towers, workshops, an exhibition hall, a house of earlier settlers, a dungeon with archaeological exhibits, a barn with household items and tools, a blacksmith, a shooting gallery, an observation deck, a souvenir shop, etc. on the territory of the burg. There are a lot of services offered to tourists in the complex:

  • Sightseeing tour of the historical town of Yalutorovsk;
  • Themed tours of Ostrog (group and individual);
  • Master-classes on decorative-applied creativity for adults and children: painting on wood, pottery, making amulet dolls, braiding people's belts, etc.;
  • Sale of Souvenirs of masters of Yalutorovsk and the organization of exhibitions and sales;
  • Wedding ceremonies: ransom and departure of the bride in family life in the Russian folk tradition;
  • Organization of photo shoots on the territory of the burg;
  • Organization of business meetings, press-conferences, round tables and other events.

It should be noted that tourist complex is the main tourist destination, where guests of the town go first. In addition to the current work, the complex hosts various events including children's themed quests, folk festivities, theatrical performances. It can be said that the ostrog is the hallmark of Yalutorovsk.

Event tourism is one of the most important types of the modern tourist industry. The research conducted by the scientists of Bournemouth University also demonstrates the “critical relationship that exists between events as a bridge between the market for visitor attractions created by tourists and the use of events to fill the gap left in the off-peak season by a seasonal drop in tourism demand, as residents and domestic visitors provide a substitutable form of demand stimulated by events” (Getz & Page, 2016). That is why we can say that Yalutorovsk attracts a lot of tourists. It is popular not only due to its rich history, but bright events, too. They are unique in their form and organization. In other words, the tourist receives bright and exclusive emotions.

The following events can prove the significance of Yalutorovsk for both tourists and inhabitants (these are just some examples of the local events):

  • Winter quest "Berendeevo Tsarstvo" (December-January):

Fascinating quest for magic kingdom in the style of Russian fairy tales.

  • Festival of Father Frosts (December):

There is always a special magical and comfortable atmosphere in Yalutorovsk before the New Year. The Santa Claus Festival is a truly colorful event in the city. On the eve of the long-awaited holiday, the main characters and symbols of the New Year walk along the central street to the sound of a brass band.

  • Regional Festival "Sibirskaya Maslenitsa" (February):

The most famous event in Yalutorovsk, which attracts tourists from all over the world. Traditionally, the giant pancake bakery is held as a part of the carnival on Sretenskaya square. In 2019, a giant frying pan on which a pancake was baked entered the Russian book of records as the largest pancake in Russia. Therefore, the city was given an unofficial name: "the pancake capital of Russia."

Every year, the National Calendar of Events ( holds a popular vote, which results in users determining the best events. For 10 days, there is an online voting on the official portal of the calendar. The event project "Siberian Maslenitsa" in Yalutorovsk presents the Tyumen region in the popular vote for the second year in a row, and as a result becomes the "Best Event of the Year".

  • Interactive action “Рancake party” (March):

Interactive rich program with mobile games, folk fun, craft workshops, tea parties with "mother-in-law" pancakes, and great holiday at the fairground.

  • Folk fest "Krasnaya Gorka" (April):

The festival takes place on the Sretenskaya square, where interactive platforms, exhibitions, a concert program and a fair of crafts are presented.

  • Festival "Singing summer in Ostrog" (June):

Ostrog at this time will be immersed in the atmosphere of universal fun, songs, dances, the sounds of folk instruments.

  • Festival "Zelenyye svyatki" ("Green Yuletide") (July):

On the eve of the day of family, love and loyalty, a truly very warm and sincere ethno-holiday takes place in Yalutorovsky ostrog. This ancient Slavic holiday is celebrated in the format of folk festivals. "Green Yuletide" is a performance of creative teams, a noisy fair of handmade Souvenirs, aquagrim, craft shops, tasting of spicy tea, master classes in archery, walking on stilts, weaving wreaths of wild flowers and much more.

  • Tourist quest “Riddles of Yavlushi” (September):

The tourist complex in honor of the day of tourism invites guests to a fascinating journey into the mysterious world.

Thus, Yalutorovsky ostrog has a number of competitive advantages, such as: a combination of historical and cognitive and interactive component. It is characterized by the presence of historical factors and conditions for attracting tourists. The availability of active recreation areas and the range of services provided is a particularly important element, which allows you to carry out on-site entertainment.

The analysis of the events implemented in Yalutorovsk gives us the right to say that they form a positive image of the town, work to promote and attract the attention of potential tourists. That is very important for the development of the economy in Siberia, as well as in Russia.

Speaking about Yalutorovsk, we should also mention such service as an excursion. There are lots of forms of its implementation in the ancient Yalutorovsky ostrog. The interactive excursion is very popular among tourists. It is the tour program assuming active inclusion of tourists in action, interaction of all participants among themselves in the modern Museum space.

Today, interaction is a principle of the organization of any system, the purpose of which is to exchange elements of a system by sharing information. The degree of interaction is an indicator of how quickly and conveniently the tourist can perceive the action. Its elements are all items of the interacting system, through which there is interaction with another system/person (user).

Interactive excursions allow to involve participants in active interaction with the guide and to push them to "independent" research of an object or objects of an excursion. This significantly increases the sharpness of perception of the material and makes the tour more interesting and memorable.

In Yalutorovsky ostrog, this type of excursion is loved by foreign guests. Every year it is visited by 150 to 500 people. Guests are welcomed by the staff, who sing national songs and treat them to a loaf. Next, they introduce the underground gallery of Ostrog. Then visitors attend creative workshops, where they learn the main types of folk art of Siberians.

We try to immerse participants of the interactive tour in the life of Siberian peasants as much as possible. In the end, they visit the Russian home and learn a story about Russian life. After the tour, guests are invited to cut wood in the backyard, feed a goat, girls are offered to carry water with a kingfisher. At the end they are treated to Siberian cuisine: dumplings, lard, sauerkraut and many others. The journey ends with a dance - a dance of friendship and unification.

This type of an excursion is very popular and interesting. Specialists prepare for the tour in advance, the performing roles are distributed, then the selection of costumes takes place.

Therefore, an interactive tour is not just a show and a story, but a whole event that requires careful preparation. Interaction brings the originality to the tour, highlights and emphasizes important moments of the story. As a rule, tourists get to know all the uniqueness and beauty of the building in just one hour.

Tourism in Yalutorovsk is developing, improving, and thus raises the scale of its importance in the eyes of tourists.


Thus, the phenomenon of tourism is one of the permanent phenomena of culture, its universal. The basis of this phenomenon is a person's need for knowledge, curiosity about the world around him, other people. At different times and in different countries, there was an ambiguous attitude towards travelling and tourism, people have always had different goals and values. Some tourists are looking for a way of enrichment, others – for knowledge, the rest – for spiritual enlightenment. The variety of values is characteristic of any universal that accompanies the cultural history of any nation. Travelling is not just about changing geographic locations. It is always a search for one's identity, as well as acquaintance with the culture of other people, enrichment of the picture of the world, as well as the path to knowledge and truth.

Now that the pandemic has forced people to lead a closed, and even isolated lifestyle, the role of tourism as a way to avoid communication deficits is increasing. At the same time, the responsibility for travel safety is growing. Tourism faces new challenges, which will entail a change in its forms, including virtual ones. A good example of this is Yalutorovsk as it shows Siberian historical and cultural picture of the world. Virtual tour to this town is a vivid evidence of amazing opportunities of travelling for people who can see the world from home without even going to the places of their interest.

Tourism, like all universals, is constant and at the same time changeable.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


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31 March 2022

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Zakharova, L. N., Kononova, T. M., Lazareva, O. P., Akulich, E. M., & Balina, L. F. (2022). Tourism As A Universal: Heritage Of Culture And Challenges Of The Era. In I. Savchenko (Ed.), Freedom and Responsibility in Pivotal Times, vol 125. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 802-808). European Publisher.