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Ecotourism (nature-exploration tourism), outdoor recreational activities, hiking trips to natural landmarks, and adventures away from civilization constitute a fast growing segment of the travel industry. Every year the number of tourists who prefer that kind of travel increases by dozens of percentage points. In many countries ecotourism has become mainstream, offering ample opportunities for both business and socio-economic development at the local and even national levels.

In Russia, the market for quality ecotourism services is taking its very first steps. Challenges facing the domestic industry of outdoor recreational activities have an impact on a number of sectors, including government regulation, tourism services, environmental protection, infrastructure development, equipment and technologies, professional competencies, and educating the new generation.

Sustainable Tourism: Global Challenges and Discovering Russia, an international conference, will take place in Sochi from the 17th to the 20 th of October. Well-known subject-matter experts, managers of natural protected areas, specialized tour operators, experienced guides, industry representatives and environmentalists from all over the world will gather for a comprehensive discussion about challenges, opportunities and milestones on the path towards sustainable development of ecotourism in Russia and worldwide; they will also outline a plan to cooperate in order to achieve further progress.

Conference organizers include: Slava Foundation of Vyacheslav Fetisov, the UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Arctic and the Antarctic, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia, the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism), Sports Tourism Federation of Russia, Vedomosti Publishing House and the Interros Group.

Detailed information about the conference is available here: or at