Tourism clusters in Russia: What are their key features? The case of Vologda regionстатья

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[1] Anna A., Yury V. Tourism clusters in russia: What are their key features? the case of vologda region // Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes. — 2016. — Vol. 8, no. 3. — P. 346–358. Purpose This paper aims to review tourism cluster initiatives in Russia, particularly, tourism cluster formation processes, and investigate the role of local and federal government in promoting domestic tourism destinations with the help of tourism clusters. Design/methodology/approach This paper is formulated using a case study approach based on the lessons learned and the common practices in the Vologda region of the Russian Federation. Some results and key findings from field research were also used in the paper, as well as analysis of local and federal government activities, in attempting to promote domestic tourism in Russia. Findings Based on the analyses of the case study and review of common practices of tourism cluster creation and management, the paper draws on a review of the Vologda tourism cluster and profiles its main characteristic features: The context of “cluster” in Russian economy; Vologda tourism cluster was created by state initiative; Vologda tourism cluster indeed has its unique set of local (natural) competitive advantages; The rights of private companies (cluster members) are only consultative; Considerable funds are allocated by the Russian Federal Government and local government to cluster development; Vologda cluster is in an initial stage of formation, by the number and composition of members, Vologda cluster could be defined as a small cluster; There are no established cluster-specific quality of service standards; There is no defined cluster core in Vologda cluster; Cluster efficiency is measured by a set of metrics (gain in number of tourists, hotel rooms, etc.); Among the factors limiting Vologda cluster development, disunity on the federal and local government levels is substantial. Research limitations/implications This paper is currently limited in scope to the Vologda region case study and some results and key findings from field research selected by the researchers. The conditions for the selected case studies may not be identical in other Russian tourism clusters and locations (such as the Altay region cluster), and thus, the findings cannot be applied to other Russian tourism clusters without comparison studies. Originality/value The main output of this paper is a review of Russian tourism cluster formation and development based on the example of the Vologda region. It is of value to practitioners, researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders specializing in cluster research and tourism cluster development. [ DOI ]

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