Tourism Clusters in Russia: A Network Perspective
The purpose of the paper is to discuss problems and prospects of tourism clusters development in Russia. The Russian tourism market has huge potential, due to its history, culture, extremely diverse landscapes, rivers, lakes, mountains, flora and fauna, “hidden gems” of small towns with their ancient churches, original local museums and unique sights. In the last decade Russia has witnessed rapid quantitative growth as well as significant changes in strategic development of the tourism industry. Russian Government initiated a number of Federal target programs important for tourism and hotel industry development. In particular, tourism clusters are now in the focus of interest. In 2008, the Russian Government adopted the Concept of cluster policy in the Russian Federation, laying the cluster approach in the basis of the strategy of socio-economic development and considering it as a tool to raise competitiveness of industries and territories. However, the formation of clusters in Russia faces a number of problems due to the peculiarities of the Russian institutional environment. The main challenges facing tourism clusters development in Russia are described. The importance of development joint marketing strategy is underlined. The case of "Big Volga" tourism cluster in the Nizhny Novgorod region is presented.