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Successful week with the Moscow scientist Natalia Shabalina

The visit of the associate professor of Recreational Geography and Tourism department of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Candidate of Geographical Sciences Natalia Vladimirovna Shabalina to our University is over. She visited our University by the invitation of department of Geography training students in the field of tourism. The program of N.V. Shabalina’s visit was very busy. The associate professor delivered lectures on “Hotel economy”, participated in an online seminar with members of the Russian Geographical Society on the topic “Current Problems of Tourism Development “. And during the round table devoted to problems and prospects of development of the hotel industry in Aktobe, the guest from Moscow shared her ideas. Not only students and lecturers of the University, but also representatives of the hotel business of the city listened to the lectures. During the visit Natalia Shabalina visited the editor’s office and answered the questions of journalist Gulnara Karasha.

Natalia Vladimirovna, the sphere of your scientific interest covers the modern directions of tourism. To what extent are they urgent in your country, in Kazakhstan and in the world today?

Modern tourism is a global phenomenon of the XXI century which is not only a form of rest and leisure activity, but also one of the most active forms of people’s communication, development of new territories and the key sector of economy. Modern tourism is the most important sphere of life support of people’s activity directed to recreation and development of their physical, psychological and intellectual forces. Tourism promotes increase in spirituality, formation of national identity, is an important link of patriotic education, acts as an effective means of protection of environmental and cultural heritage.

In post-industrial society emotions and impressions assume particular importance as a result of technological revolution, rapid development of digital technologies, creations of social networks. To see the native land with your own eyes, to hear and feel are important functions of tourism, they convey high humanitarian potential. Being an element of national diplomacy and “soft power”, tourism solves the problem of providing reliable information, dispelling of the settled “myths” and formation of a real image opened to friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between countries and people. Rapid development of tourism in the last 10–20 years is confirmed by the data on the growing number of international tourist trips (by 30%. in comparison with 2000) and 36-fold increase of the amount of arrivals of foreign tourists in the world. According to the forecasts, by 2020 the number of international tourist trips will have increased to 1.6 billion. The most intensive contacts in the sphere of tourist exchanges happen between the neighboring countries. Therefore, warm friendly relations between Russia and Kazakhstan only promote growth of intensity of tourist flows. For Russia, Kazakhstan is a strategic partner; it is confirmed also by the agreements

signed in 2016 in the sphere of tourism, and volumes of mutual tourist flows at the level of about 3 million trips. The present stage of tourism development implies new organizational forms of development of tourism – tourist and recreational clusters. Their efficiency is proved by the international and Russian experience. Today in various regions of Russia the network of tourist and recreational clusters which meet the requirements of the Russian Federation citizens for rest, travel, treatment, etc., and have received federal support according to the Federal Target Program “Development of Internal and Entrance Tourism in the Russian Federation 2011 – 2018” is being formed. During the implementation of the FTP, 46 tourist and recreational clusters got federal support as of January, 2017.

The Republic of Kazakhstan also keeps the track of clusterization of tourism, the use of mechanisms of public-private partnership, which is registered in the state and regional programs of tourism development. It is a close link of the business society (including scientific and educational institutions) and administration that defines the prospects for tourism development both in Russia, and Kazakhstan. Development of tourist and recreational clusters of different ranks – from local to national ones – will allow to create a uniform network of enterprises and organizations of recreation and tourism satisfying the demand of Kazakhstan citizens for rest.

Tourism is one of the priority directions of economic development of any country. Therefore training of qualified, competitive staff is the main issue of this branch. What graduates is your University proud of?

Development of tourism is impossible without personnel maintenance. In this regard development and improvement of the system of profile tourist education, including primary, secondary, higher and extended education have been conducted in the Russian Federation for 25 years. In M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University training for the tourist industry is conducted in two higher education directions:

“Tourism” (4 years for Bachelor degree and 2 years for Master’s program);

“Geography (“Recreational Geography and Tourism” profile) – a 4-year Bachelor program.

Programs of extended education in the sphere of tourism include short-term programs of professional development of 16 academic hours (“Classification of hotels and other accommodation means “, “Regional planning in tourism”, ” Regional geography and international tourism”, “Information technologies in tourism”, etc.). Programs of professional retraining (“Master of business administration in the sphere of tourism and hospitality”, “Innovative technologies of formation and management of hotel and tourist complexes”, “Regional

geography and international tourism”, “Tourism and excursion business”) last from 10 months to 2 years.

Upon completion of the programs listeners receive certificates and diplomas of M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Many programs have undergone public examination of professional non-governmental organizations (The Russian Union of Travel Industry, the Russian Hotel Association, etc.).

During the lifetime of the specialized Department of Recreational Geography and Tourism at the Geographical Faculty of Moscow State University (since 2004) over 100 experts have been trained, 5 graduate students; more than 250 people have completed the programs of professional development and retraining. Among the graduates of the major and extended educational programs of the departments are the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Tourism of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, the staff of Federal Tourism Agency of the Russian Federation, the staff of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the staff of mass media, representatives of hotel associations, tourist holdings, etc. It is important that Moscow State University trains conceptual specialists who consider tourism development at the system level. Complexity, good theoretical training and practical focus of education are the key to our graduates’ success.

In what higher education institutions did you deliver lectures to students and what attracts you in Kazakhstan?

The mobility of the teaching staff is welcome in Moscow State University. Therefore traditionally there are partner universities inviting teachers for lecturing and holding master classes within “Tourism” educational direction. In Russia I happened to deliver lectures and hold master classes in St. Petersburg State University, the Crimean Federal University, Ural Federal University, Smolensk Humanitarian University, the Russian International Academy of Tourism, in Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Plekhanov Economic University, Academy of National Economy under the Government of Russian Federation, etc.

Kazakhstan experience is attractive for several reasons:

1. new scientific and educational prospects of cooperation: joint practices, conferences, projects;

2. interested and appreciative audience – young people are eager to listen, ask questions, to absorb new knowledge, to discuss, etc.

3. a new view on the opportunities of tourism development – approaches, organizational mechanisms, directions.

In the course of work we do not only give knowledge, but receive new impressions and ideas for further scientific development.

What questions interested Aktobe students more during your classes?

Students of different years of education attend my classes and, therefore, they have different levels of training. But they are interested in the Russian

experience: What types of tourism are developed in Russia? What types of the hotel enterprises are developed in Russia? What types of hotel enterprises should be developed in Aktobe? What to begin the hotel business with? As you see, all questions are practical. Probably, concrete practical knowledge and abilities are particularly necessary for hotel business undergraduates now so that they could work in the specialty and succeed.