Siberian Federal University: Experts discussed the role of the hospitality industry in the development of the region

On the first day of the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum, experts discussed topical issues of the gastronomy and hospitality industry. Decentralization and Sustainable Development in the Hospitality Industry: the Role of Regional Integrators panel discussion brought together representatives of the restaurant business, regional authorities and the academic community.

The experts noted the role of the Siberian School of Gastronomy in the formation of the brand of the region, touched upon the issues of decentralization and the choice of a suitable strategy, presented the existing world practices in the transformation of the creative economy of the region and emphasized the role of the SibFU’s School of Gastronomy in the formation of talent pool for the Russian hospitality industry.

The discussed topics are directly related to the implementation of the Gastronomic R&D Park strategic project implemented by Siberian Federal University within the framework of the Priority 2030 program. Project manager Natalia Bakhova shared her opinion: “The hospitality industry today is not only about the restaurant business. This is a huge area of fundamental research and breakthrough innovative developments aimed at improving the quality of life, increasing the availability and quality of nutrition at every stage of person’s life, and increasing labour productivity. Today, in accordance with the strategy of Siberian Federal University, we are forming a gastronomic R&D park which should become an integrator of competencies of all aspects of gastronomy and bring to the industry the necessary level of knowledge intensity and technology, which will become a driver for the development of entire regions of the country.”

According to the expert, the result of this work will be, among other things, new startups in the industry and the formation of an entrepreneurial strategy.

Alexey Gorensky, co-founder of Bellini Group, director of the School of Gastronomy of Siberian Federal University, said that the Russian hospitality industry is now facing various challenges, primarily a shortage of qualified personnel: “It is indicative that 80% of students of the School of Gastronomy came to us from other regions. They are attracted by the possibility of educational internship in contexts as close as possible to real working conditions. Here we don’t just teach how to cook well. In fact, work covers the field of tourism, entrepreneurship, culture, and science. The School has become a place of unification of various industries.”

The participants agreed with the position of Mr Gorensky that “restaurateurs in the regions should act independently, and not wait for the next trend to reach us from Moscow or St. Petersburg.”

Denis Ivanov, Russian restaurateur, owner of restaurants in Moscow and Novosibirsk, head of the catering department of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, the organizer of the Russian House project at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, stressed: “We used to think that fashion; restaurant in particular, appears in Moscow. And then, with a delay of several years, it reaches the regions. Until recently, everything was like that. But now we are witnessing how this order of things is changing. Now the uniqueness of each region is becoming visible — and the School of Gastronomy is an example of this. After all, the School appeared in Krasnoyarsk, in Siberia, and not somewhere in the European part of Russia”.

The participants of the discussion noted that it is not necessary for one or another region to claim the title of gastronomic capital. Sometimes, it makes sense to become the first in expert fields, for example, in education.

The position of the regional authorities in relation to the nascent hospitality industry was expressed by the deputy head of the administration of the Governor of Krasnoyarsk Territory Yulia Verkhushina.

“Today, the gastronomic attractiveness of our region is on a par with historical, cultural and natural attractions. Undoubtedly, this is a great merit of our restaurateurs. They not only create unique festivals , which themselves become points of attraction for tourists, but also organize their own festivals and gastronomic expeditions. Thanks to this, specialized gastronomic tours appear,” said Ms Verkhushina. “Gastronomy is a sphere of creative industries with the greatest potential in Krasnoyarsk Territory. Its development needs to involve many areas: education, scientific research, business, cross-cultural communications. I hope that by the end of this year we will not only host the Federal Forum on Gastronomy in Krasnoyarsk, but also present a full-fledged program for the development of the sphere.”.

The panel discussion will result in a resolution with the main proposals of experts on the development and decentralization of the hospitality industry.

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