2019 turned out to be the best year of tourism ever for Israel: a record-breaking number of 4.55 mln tourists visited the country. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 356,000 foreign visitors came to Israel in June 2019. In June 2020, this number plummeted to 5800 due to coronavirus.
Israeli tourism has already declined by 60%. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warns that this ratio might reach 80% in December if the pandemic won’t be over.
So far, the touristic sector had to face the following losses and challenges because of COVID-19:
- All 120 members of the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association had to either lay off dozens of employees or send them on leave of absence.
- Around 250,000 hotel workers and up to 5000 private tour guides hope the government could offer them temporary jobs, such as school teachers or public office clerks.
- El Al, the flagship air carrier, announced plans to place 4000 of its employees on unpaid leave, including 600 pilots out of 650, plus lay off 1000 workers.
According to the Israel Hotel Association, the total annual losses for the tourism industry might reach up to NIS 4.2 bln ($1.16 bln).
Encouraging domestic tourism
In June 2019, 837,000 Israelis traveled abroad. In 2020, this number shrank to 16,000. To motivate the citizens to travel domestically, the Ministry of Tourism ran an advertising campaign on a budget of NIS 2 mln ($585,000).
Tel Aviv municipality offered numerous perks to domestic visitors, such as free tours, free bicycle rent, two tickets to attractions for the price of one. The organizers of group tours declare a lack of demand for their services because people prefer individual trips for the fear of contracting coronavirus.
Among all the Israeli resorts, only Eilat is doing fairly well, some hotels are reported to be full. The occupancy rate of Jerusalem hotels is marginal, just around 25%. In Nazareth, 60% of the hotels had to temporarily close. Normally, international tourists would count for around 50% of the hotels’ occupancy.
Hopes for revival
The country might open its borders for international tourists on August 16. Those who enter Israel from the “green states” won’t need to take a corona test or spend 14 days in isolation — while those coming from elsewhere will. According to optimistic forecasts, the Israeli touristic industry might be able to recover in three years.Read More
CoVid2019 could not but touch upon the tourism industry in Israel. Every year, many tourists come to this country to relax at sea, learn more about history and culture of Israel, and see what the local life is like. Let’s see how CoVid influenced the development of tourism in Israel and why rural tourism on the local farms is a great alternative to the vacation abroad!
What is the current situation with CoVid2019 infection and tourism in Israel?
The pandemic situation in Israel is not easy. After the gradual lifting of restrictions in May, the number of cases of CoVid began to grow sharply, and every day more and more cases of diseases were recorded. Therefore, international air traffic was banned, and visits to crowded places were limited for several months. In total, about 80,000 cases of CoVid were registered in Israel. All this time, the country was closed to foreign tourists, and the Israelis themselves were deprived of the opportunity to travel abroad.
In early August, the Israeli government gradually began to open air connections with other countries, but Israelis are wary of traveling abroad and not ready to risk their health for a vacation in other countries. This contributed to the growth of interest in travel within their own country, and the so-called domestic tourism.
Rural tourism is the way
Rural tourism has gained unexpected popularity in Israel, because it involves living on a farm and doing certain agricultural work, immersion in the rural environment and local nature. This is a great opportunity to change the environment and take a break from the noise of the city, diversify your activities, meet new people and, of course, feel the atmosphere of rural life. Isn’t that what you need in such an anxious and stressful time?
Rural farm tourism in Israel can be divided into 3 types:
- Vacations on farms and kibbutzis mean helping the locals in some kind of agricultural work, for example, harvesting grain, fruit, producing agricultural products and much more! At the same time, you will be hospitably provided with accommodation and fed with delicious local food, which has a special flavor and absolutely differs from restaurant dishes and fast food. For many adults, this is a great opportunity to return to childhood or feel like visiting their grandparents and have a good time.
- Self-picking activities are a great way to have good time with your family on a farm. You are able to harvest various fruits and berries right from the farm and take home a few containers of your harvest. This is an especially cool vacation for children, because in this way you teach them to work, instill a love of nature and then the whole family can happily taste organic berries and fruits.
- Workshops on farms can help you learn a new craft and make a good weekend or vacation. You will be able to get acquainted with the basics of organic gardening, harvesting, cheese making, making clothes from natural fabrics and many other activities. Also kids will be able to try themselves as real fishermen, attending a master class on fishing. Choosing this type of vacation, you will definitely not be bored and you will return home with new skills.
Where to go with the family and kids?
The beauty of rural tourism is that you can have a great time in a rural environment with your family, while the children will be involved in interesting works and learn new skills. For example, they will master basic gardening and other agricultural activities. This is a great way to diversify family and children’s recreation, especially when children are used to spending a lot of time in front of the TV and computer. For example, check out The Solar Garden, Kfar Kedem and Ein Gev kibbuz!
How long can such vacation last?
You can choose convenient dates for your pastime on farms or kibbutzis. It doesn’t matter if you want to visit them for the weekend or spend a few days/weeks of vacation, you will be warmly welcomed!
How to book a farm?
Visit our website and use our catalog to find the best vacation spot! Using the filter, you can sort the results by location and type of activity. Choose the farm you like best and start preparing your backpack for an unforgettable and soulful vacation!
Despite all the hardships and anxieties caused by the CoVid19 pandemic, you should not be sad and despondent. Don’t let your vacation go by pointless, and don’t forget to take care of your health!Read More
In addition to world-famous attractions, beautiful beaches and traditional cuisine, Italy is also famous for agritourism. In the cultivation of this type of recreation, Italy, along with France and Spain, is considered one of the recognized world leaders. And what other visiting format will allow to penetrate the Italian way of life and traditions better than a holiday in the countryside?
Throughout the year, over 10,000 Italian villas, farms and estates are ready to host agrotourists. Here you can ride horses, stroll through the fragrant flower fields, visit the vineyards and, of course, enjoy plenty of gastronomic delights.
The history of agrotourism in Italy
According to one of the local legends, a foreigner set up agrotourism in Italy, who went to live on an Italian farm in order to diversify his too calm and full life. The case was in the post-war period, when the Italian villages impoverished as a result of the Second World War were just beginning to “come to their senses”. The farmer who sheltered the eccentric foreigner was satisfied, having received a good reward for his labors. Stories about excellent rest, wonderful natural food and Italian hospitality quickly spread out of the country, and soon they began to travel to Italy not only for its rich architecture and history, but also to taste all the delights of the colorful village life.
Entrepreneurial Italians, seeing in this niche market, began to equip their homes and farms, to create all the conditions for a decent holiday visitors. By the 70s of the 20th century, agricols began to appear in the country — existing farms that, in addition to producing wine, olive oil and other products, provided rooms for tourists in their homes.
Since 1985, agritourism in Italy has received official recognition and government support. Some projects even provide special grants. In the countries of the European Union there is a decree, which clearly states the rules of doing business for farmers who want to provide their farms for agritourism. To get permission to engage in this type of business, Italian farmers are required to complete a special course, designed for a hundred hours. In the course of the training program, farmers acquire knowledge of the basics of law, management, accounting, sanitary and hygiene standards, etc.
Today, agritourism in Italy is an already formed market. Every year, about two million people come to farms and farmsteads, which gives a considerable profit to the country’s budget.
The most popular regions of Italy for agritourism
Agritourism in Tuscany
The first position in the list of the most popular regions for agro-tourism in Italy is rightfully occupied by Tuscany, where a quarter of the country’s agricultural chips are concentrated. Tuscany is a paradise for travelers. Her villages and small towns are saturated with the spirit of the Middle Ages.
In addition to the picturesque nature, olive groves and wine plantations, agrotourists have a great opportunity not only to taste the dishes for which Tuscany is famous, but also to learn how to cook them under the guidance of Tuscan hostesses.
In the Tuscan cuisine are widely used fish, flour and sausages, and, of course, a variety of vegetables. However, an essential element of Tuscan cuisine is olive oil, which is considered one of the best in the country, and also Florentine steak, which is made from bull meat marinated in olive oil with spices. In addition, Tuscany is also the land of winemakers. Therefore, agritourism in Tuscany without wine is simply unthinkable.
Agritourism in Trentino – South Tyrol
Together with Tuscany in popularity in agritourism there is another equally famous resort –Trentino (South Tyrol). The key to the popularity of this province is the fact that Trentino is one of the largest European centers of mountain and ski tourism with a well-developed infrastructure. Agritourism in Trentino is an explosive mixture of picturesque landscapes, mild climate, mountain “crystal air”, sights, wine and, of course, excellent Italian cuisine.
If you go to Trentino – be sure to try the local pizzocheri paste, made from buckwheat flour with potatoes and savoy cabbage, generously seasoned with cheeses and herbs. Beef tenderloin called tagliata, pickled in spices and grilled, and also dried bresaola beef (Italian bresaola), cut into transparent slices.
Agritourism in Piedmont
The region in the north of Italy has glorified the country for its gastronomic delights. In addition to fine wines, cheeses and other gastronomy, it is in Piedmont that the world famous white truffles grow. Agrotourists who decide to go to this region of Italy will have the opportunity to stay in the agrikols of the legendary “hunters” for delicious mushrooms. If you’re lucky, you can even take part in the search for truffles or visit the famous truffle festival. Fans of “mushroom hunting” should be headed to the province of Lange, where, near the town of Alba, these agro-tourist estates are located.
Agritourism in Piedmont is also a wine tour, since winemaking has a special place in Piedmont. It is Piedmont that is the birthplace of the famous Asti Slumante wine and the wonderful sparkling Prosseco. While serving local Barolo wine, in addition to bread, butter, vegetables and several types of sausages, the guest is sure to be treated with white truffles.
And Piedmont is one of the largest producers of cheese. Indeed, in addition to the recipe, in the production of Italian cheese, one of the key roles is played by the vegetation that feeds animals, and the climate in which cheese matures. Only in this region can you try the real cheeses of Castelmagno, Gongorzola, GranaPadano, Taleggio, Robiola, Bra and TomaPiemontese.
In addition, agri-tourism in Piedmont is an opportunity to swim in hot springs, which the region abounds in. The thermal spas of Piedmont such as the Terme di Acqui, Terme di Agliano and Terme di Bognanco are famous for their sources throughout Italy.Read More
Agriculture is an economic and culturally important part of life in Australia. Many Australians are directly and indirectly associated with agriculture. Even for those Australians who are not connected with agriculture, there will still be links with the country’s rural and agrarian-economic history.
A brief overview of the history of agriculture in Australia
In the first few decades after European settlers arrived in Australia, farms developed mainly around early settlements. These farms mainly raised grain crops (wheat) and raised sheep, which were originally brought from Europe.
Agriculture in the 1800s
The government encouraged research and development of new plots of land and provided material support to this cause, and in the 1800s, farmers and settlers gradually began to move inland and occupy vast areas for grazing and growing crops.
The creation of railways from the 1850s greatly facilitated the delivery of products from remote farms to the markets of large cities.
Huge areas, previously overgrown with forests and shrubs have now been cleared for pasture along the coast of Australia and inland.
The dry climate and poor soil of Australia first presented problems for farmers, but they quickly solved this problem, the solution was the production of high-quality wool. Wool has become the cornerstone of Australian agriculture, and Australia, as is often said, “went on the back of the sheep” during the first years of its economic development.
Still, the key problems for farmers in most parts of Australia were drought and the issue of irrigation. After the construction of irrigation systems, new agricultural methods became viable.
In 1900, wool and wheat still dominated Australian agriculture, but cattle rearing was becoming more widespread, helped by a rich market for grains, fruits, and vegetable crops.
First, most of the crops were grown in the Eastern States, but then, Western Australia became the main grain producer by 1905. The production of sugar beet in Queensland and the cultivation of grapes in the Riverline region of New South Wales were also well developed by the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1901, the population census revealed that approximately fourteen percent of the total Australian population is employed in agricultural industries.
Enemies of australian farmers
During World War I, rabbits became the main enemy of Australian farmers. Rabbits spread north from Geelong in Victoria, and seriously reduced the productivity of Australian agriculture. Rabbit control is still the main problem for farmers and the government today.
Australia’s agriculture in the 20th century
In the 20th century, Australian agricultural production grew rapidly and produced a lot of products, which fully satisfied and even exceeded the needs of the Australian population. This increase in production has forced Australia to become one of the top food exporters in the world.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Australian government provided assistance to Vermer and primary producers in order to communicate production, employment and exports. The government also increased duties on certain goods to discourage imports. Despite the enormous damage from the Great Depression and the two world wars, Australian agriculture continued to grow steadily in the first half of the 20th century.
The importance of agriculture in the Australian economy declined by the second half of the 20th century. Only three percent of the country’s population is now hired in agriculture. Government aid was reduced, and wool became a less important and valuable commodity. Farmers were forced to innovate and diversify in order to survive.
Agriculture in Australia today
The Economic Importance of Agriculture in Australia
Agriculture is an important sector of the Australian economy that generates up to $ 39 billion in profits every year.
Australia’s agriculture employs approximately 370,000 people.
Although agricultural production is not as extensive as at its peak in the mid-1970s, farms still occupy about sixty percent of all land in Australia.
Farms in Australia have traditionally been family-owned firms that have passed from generation to generation. However, since the 1950s, international economic factors and changes in agriculture have led to the expediency of organizing large farms, which are more economically viable than small ones. The number of families engaged in farming has decreased, but the average farm size has increased.
Many modern farmers report that they are struggling to make a profit, and some of them have to admit that additional work from the farm adds income to the family budget.
Types of agriculture in Australia
Different types of agriculture are mainly concentrated in the areas that satisfy them best, depending on irrigation suitability and climatic conditions.
Livestock, mainly sheep and cattle, occupy most of the land in Australian agriculture. Sheep are found in New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria.
Approximately ninety percent of all cattle are used to produce beef. Queensland and New South Wales are the main beef cattle producers in Australia.
Most dairy cattle nakoditsya in the southern regions of the country, mainly in Victoria.
Wheat and other grains are equally distributed in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.
The main harvest of sugar beet falls on Queensland and New South Wales.
Fruit cultivation is common in all Australian territories, as well as the cultivation of vegetables.
Drought and other effects of the Australian climate
One of Australia’s most famous poems, called “My Country,” by Dorothea McKellaire, contains the lines “land … rains, floods and droughts …” For many people, these are warnings about the difficulties that farmers face in Australia.
Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world; only Antarctica has less precipitation. Large tracts of land everywhere in inland Australia are prone to drought, which can last for several years.
Irrigation is a very important factor in creating agriculture that is viable in the interior of the mainland. Extensive irrigation systems, such as the Snow Scheme, have been established so that water is brought into the country for agriculture. Water is also obtained by drilling wells and storing them in dams on farms.
Australian soils need fertilizer containing superfootvat and nitrogen. Farmers also face difficulties in dealing with soil erosion and salinity.
Many cities and settlements in Australia have annual agricultural exhibitions. In these events, exhibitors representing rural producers, organizations and companies introduce people living in cities to rural life and agricultural production.
The Sydney Royal Esther Shoo is the largest annual agricultural exhibition in Australia, as well as The Royal Melbourne Shoo, are the most anticipated exhibitions of Victoria. Every year hundreds of thousands of people come to each of these exhibitions.
Sustained popularity of agricultural exhibitions –
This is evidence that farms and rural societies continue to play a huge role in the life of Australia.
The importance of technology in Australian agriculture
Technology is having a huge impact on agriculture in Australia. Scientific and technological progress has helped make Australian farmers among the world’s leaders in efficiency and productivity.
During the 1800s, agriculture mainly used manual labor, along with horses and oxen. Today, a strong and technologically advanced machine replaced most of the labor of man and the labor of animals in agriculture.
Multi-Australian inventions and technological advances helped expand agriculture in the early twentieth century. Inventions such as the “jumping over the stump” plow, the combine and the “bush mower” helped farmers make the most of the wild Australian environment.
Irrigation advances, such as the discovery and use of groundwater from the Great Artesian Basin and the development of irrigation, have helped provide much-needed water to Australian farmers.
The effectiveness of Australian agriculture has also improved with scientific discoveries in genetics, irrigation and disease control. Drought-resistant varieties of cereal crops were developed. The animals had improved the quality of their meat and wool.
The discovery and introduction of new technologies remains vital for farmers to produce products of excellent quality at a low price. Farmers use satellite technology, discovering more efficient methods of delivering water to where it is needed.
Also in recent years, the use of information technology on farms has been increased. Now most farms have computers and Internet access.
Life on an Australian farm in the 21st century
Despite all the changes over the centuries in Australian agricultural production, today there is still a strong sense of tradition and pride among Australian farmers. While technological and economic factors have a huge impact on rural existence, many of the old-fashioned values of agriculture are as strong as ever for Australian farming families.
Allan Gardy has been engaged in agriculture in the Wimmer area of West Victoria since the 1950s. He and his wife, Pat, grow wheat and maintain a farm called the man, which Allan’s father handed to him. They also grow other crops, such as lentils, which are well suited to the dry conditions of Wimmera agriculture.
Like Australian farmers for decades in front of them, the Gardie family protects nature. Often the only thing separating a good year from a bad year is the good amount of precipitation at the right time.
While some of the tools and methods of agriculture have changed, others have remained the same as before. Allan is as proud of his working dogs as his high-tech farming equipment. An Australian farm dog is a tradition that has remained in modern agriculture because it is still a very effective way to guard and graze sheep and cattle. Working dogs are highly valued, but unlike most pet dogs, they are rarely allowed to stay in the house.
Like many other Australian farmers, the Hardy family is working hard. During harvest, work can continue even at night, using the lighting device on combines.
Despite hardship and hard work, the Gardy family is an active member of the farming community. They are always ready for communication when neighbors, family and friends drop in on them. They regularly play and chat at a local golf club. When Allan celebrated his 70th birthday at a local club, there were a lot of friends and their family members.
As in most farm families in Australia, when the children of Pat and Allan grew up, they began to leave the parents’ farm in the cities to find a prestigious and well-paid job. But their youngest son, Paul, has returned to the farm and is working with Allan now, successfully studying the art of agriculture. Pat and Allan are proud that their son will continue their family tradition of farm management.Read More
In Israel, more than a dozen varieties of strawberries are produced. Among them are Hadass, Tamar, Yael, Malach, Tamir, Barrack and Sirota, synthesized at the Agricultural Institute “Volcani” in Rishon Lezion, Yuval and Orly from the company Fertiseeds, as well as shaked and mouths grown on the “Meshek Yosef” farm.
And from about January all this begins to fill with color and maturity. It’s time to pick berries. You can, of course, buy them in the nearest market, but it is much nicer and more fun to get the whole family out into nature and personally collect them from the garden. At the same time you can eat from the heart. Where can this be done?
“Bag on the farm” (“Farm on the hill”) in Gedera invites you to pick strawberries grown without chemicals. The berries are clean and healthy, sweet and tasty, grow, as it should be in the name of the farm, on the hill. In case of rain or inclement weather there are beds inside the greenhouse. As an additional entertainment: a living area and the opportunity to ride through the fields on the tractor. The entrance costs 30 shekels (children up to 3 years old are free), food on the spot without restrictions, and each basket to take away – for an additional 20 shekels.
Farm Agronen, also located in Göder, produces not only fresh strawberries, but also other berries. At the beginning of January, only strawberries and raspberries are available in small quantities. The peak of ripening, according to the owners, will come on the holiday of Shavuot (this year it is May 19-20). In April, the medlar (shesek) is promised, and in June-July – blackberries, mulberries and plums. Open until only on Saturdays, but opening hours promise to expand on Friday. Entrance – 30 shekels, container for strawberries for 20.
“Bags-6” not far from Netanya in moshav Geulim invites you to one of the oldest strawberry farms in Israel, founded in the 60s of the last century. Long green beds, stretching across a huge field, daily meet guests with lots of sweet ripe berries, irrigated with well water. It is advised to come by 9 am – there are a lot of people who want it and by noon it is already full sold out. Entry costs 20 shekels. Price basket – 15.
Tal Bag is located next to Hod Hasharon and is open to the general public only on Saturdays. Here they are proud of 5 strawberry varieties (Orli, Tamar, Malach, Barrack and 295) grown using biological control methods. Berries do not even need to wash before eating. The entrance for the child costs 40, including a takeaway basket, parents can choose the option without packaging for 20 shekels. Each additional basket with a capacity of about 400 grams will cost 20 shekels. Food on site without restrictions. You can also pick oranges and carrots on the farm, but in January only strawberries are available.
You can also pick strawberries grown without chemical spraying at the Ruach She-Tut farm, at the entrance to the kibbutz Gan-Shmuel just east of Hadera. To protect against pests here use ladybugs and special bees. It is curious that part of the strawberry does not grow on the ground, but in boxes. The entrance costs 45 shekels, including unlimited strawberry eating on the spot and a 250-gram basket with them. Open daily, but pre-registration is required at the weekend.
PullGezer Farm, located near Kfar Saba, offers not only strawberries. You can pick carrots, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, beets, radishes, parsley, dill, mint and much more from local patches. The entrance to the vegetable part of the farm – 25 shekels, the strawberry – 35. When combining both options – a discount of 10 shekels. For the purchase of a basket of strawberries, they ask for 20 shekels, and for every kilogram of vegetables – 5. Food on site without restrictions. Open daily.
Farm “Stalbetut”, spread out at Hod Hasharon, invites you to gather strawberries only on Saturdays. The farm uses biological plant protection without the use of pesticides; here you can listen to lectures on the cultivation of strawberries and the difference in varieties. The cost of entry, unlimited eating from the garden and a small bast-basket with them is 40 shekels. If you wish, if you come with a child, an adult can choose the option without a basket for 20 shekels.
In “Sacks-77” near Netivot, not far from Beersheba in the western Negev, strawberry picking is open exclusively on Fridays. It is said that the berries are big, red, juicy and tasty. Here the entrance with unlimited eating on the spot and a basket of 250 grams costs 15 shekels, with a basket per half a kilo is 25 and with a basket per kilogram is 40. For an additional 10 shekels, you can make a tour of the farm on a tractor.
The Sadot farm, located at the entrance to the kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon, just northeast of Netanya, offers guests a strawberry field with 4 varieties to choose from: tamar, rotem, shaked and malach. The entrance with unlimited absorption of berries on the spot costs 22 shekels, and for another 15 shekels you can carry with you a basket, which, according to rumors, includes about a kilogram. Also on site you can do collecting anemones.
The Uri Tutim farm, located in Yesha moshav in the Western Negev, between Beersheba and the Gaza Strip, invites all southerners to pick strawberries growing in greenhouses not on the ground, but at the level of human growth. Here, for growing berries, a special hanging strawberry method is used, which makes it possible to do without soil, reduces the number of pests and improves plant health. Admission is only 10 shekels, a container for collecting with you – 25. Open from 8 am to 2 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
The farm “Here Gil” in Petahia moshav in the regional council Gezer (about which we wrote a little earlier) grows delicious cherry tomatoes in the summer, and in winter opens the season of picking strawberries grown in greenhouses by the hanging method without pesticides. Here, among other things, you will hear interesting stories from the owner of the farm about strawberries, about how to collect and choose the right one. Open on Fridays from 9:00 to 15:30. Entrance fee – 30 shekels. Picked berries are paid by weight.
The Ariel strawberry farm in the moshav of Kadima north of Kfar Saba is not satisfied with the general harvest of its berries and sells strawberries at 30 shekels per kilogram. However, according to the owners, in the very near future it is worth waiting for the announcement of the free collection of products. This place is considered one of the favorite among many residents of not only Gush Dan, but also in other parts of the country.
That’s probably all for now. The largest strawberry farm in Israel is “Yosef Bag” in Hod Hasharon, but, alas, it does not suit the “national harvest”, supplying all products to supermarkets and grocery stores in the country.
It should be added that it is desirable to come to each of the listed or any other places early and call in advance – you never know: rain, floods, a strike, a clean-up day, or all were destroyed by visitors yesterday. Published prices are valid at the beginning of January 2018 and may vary depending on the season.
- Australia has three times more kangaroos than people.
- In 1996, the Australian government banned the possession of many types of firearms. The number of armed robberies in eight years of the law has increased by 59 percent.
- Malaria was conquered completely, in the 70s.
- 53 people have died from sharks in Australia over the past 50 years, an average of 1.06 people per year.
- By quality of life, Australia is in the top ten.
- Australian “national” food – Vegemite. Vedzhimayt – it is processed yeast, brown mass with a pungent smell and very salty. Spread on the bread is very thin.
- Another national Australian food is Meat Pie, meat patties in the form of a basket of dough, on top of the basket is also closed with dough. Inside the stuffing with all sorts of additives and spices, very liquid usually. Meat Pies are sold in supermarkets as frozen semi-finished products.
- In Australia, a 50-cent coin at first contained silver for two million dollars.
- Australia is located at very low latitudes. Melbourne, for example, at a latitude of 37.5 ° S – and it is much closer to the equator than the southernmost part of Russia and the Black Sea. And the rest of Australia (except for the island of Tasmania) is even closer to the equator.
- However, do not say that Melbourne is a very hot city. In summer there is 20–30 ° C, and in winter at night +4, in the afternoon + 15 ° C. The weather is very changeable, often windy.
- The sun is very evil, a lot of UV light, it is easy to get burned.
- The largest tram network in the world is in Melbourne, Australia.
- The Australian economy largely rests on gas exports, ores and the government generously share profits. Social assistance is highly developed.
- If you have children, say 4, or better than 5, then the benefits are given so much that, in principle, you can already live without working.
- About 20 million tons of wheat is grown in Australia, about a tonne per person; A significant part goes, of course, for export. A very small percentage of the people are involved in agriculture: 3.6% of the working-age population. Agricultural labor productivity is incredibly high.
- Health care in Australia is rather strange compared to Russia. For example, doctors do not come to the call, even to the child (although the ambulance is, of course, for serious cases). It is necessary to take a sick child and go to the doctor. However, people rarely suffer and live long.
- In Australia, right on the street, you can take household items for free: a microwave oven, a vacuum cleaner, a stereo system, a computer, a printer, chairs, and other furniture. There are a lot of TV sets for different tastes and sizes. People put these things near their home – it means you can pick up. Things are often almost new.
- In Australia, you can sometimes bargain in the store.
- It is necessary to vote in elections, otherwise it is a fine.
- The head of state is the British Queen. On the coins it is depicted. On old coins she is young.
- In the country the prime minister is the main one.
- Also in Australia there is a debate over the new flag – which may not be any more British Union Jack.
- Even in Australia there is the “Flag of the Aborigines,” he recently became the official. Now even at school hangs next to the usual Australian flag.
- They are trying to help the natives here, there are special educational institutions, social assistance.
- Among the natives are many alcoholics, criminals, hooligans.
- The drive is left-hand, and the cars, respectively, are right-hand drive, as in the UK, Ireland and Japan.
- Very good roads.
- Old people often ride on such small wheelbarrows, something between a typewriter and a wheelchair on wheels.
- An immigrant here is perfectly normal, as more than half of Australians are immigrants, or children of immigrants, or grandchildren of immigrants.
- The day of the death of the naturalist Steve Irwin who died tragically in 2006 in Australia is considered a universal day of grief.
- Everyone is very welcoming, everyone is smiling. There are no ethnic conflicts.
- Young people are not bullies.
- Smoke a little and cigarettes are very expensive.
- The vast majority of Australians live in separate houses with a small green area.
- Cars are cheap, insurance is also inexpensive.
- The Australian car company is called Holden, a division of General Motors.
- The price of gasoline often changes, in addition, the price is different on weekends and on weekdays.
- Australian dollar is the same price as the American one.
- Australian money is made of durable plastic film, they have a small transparent window. Australia was the first to make that kind of money.
- There are also coins. The smallest coin is 5 cents.
- Coin 50 cents – large and 12-coal, they are anniversary, with different pictures, often used as a souvenir from Australia.
- Bulbs in the houses are of two types: either screwed as in Russia, or with a bayonet base.
- The voltage in the outlet is 240 V.
- Outlets here are not the same as in Russia / Europe, not the same as in the UK, and not the same as in the USA.
- In the houses there are often sinks with two separate faucets – for hot and for cold, without a mixer. This is a British tradition.
- Houses in Australia are expensive, judging by the report of the organization Housing Affordability Survey – the most inaccessible houses in the world, but much more accessible than in Moscow or St. Petersburg.
- The salary of an engineer or doctor is approximately from 70 to 130 thousand AU $ per year.
- If you rent a house, then the average price for a house for a family is about $ 300 a week, this is in a not very distant decent suburb.
- The price of housing is not very dependent on proximity to the sea. Although many newcomers of course dream of living by the sea, but living there is colder, windy and wet. The price depends more on the proximity to the city, and on the prestige of the region.
- In Australia, cold houses are poorly insulated, and when the street is lower than +15, the house is cool.
- Therefore, many Australians walk right at home in clothes and shoes in winter (in Uggs, for example)
- All houses are covered with ceramic tiles.
- Hot water enters the house from a gas boiler.
- With cats and dogs here strictly, there are no stray animals in the city.
- Australians have long suffered from animals brought here. Either sheep, rabbits, and now huge toads from South America are spreading from the Northeast ever wider and wider, eating all the local small animals, and none of the predators eat these toads – poisonous.
- In Australia, there are feral camels, about 1 million heads. They were once brought here, and they live in the steppe and desert, they run wild.
- Regarding the importation of any seeds, insects, etc., the Australians are very wary. At customs, this is strictly controlled.
- Going to Australia for shopping is pointless – everything is quite expensive and the choice is less than in Europe or the USA.
- Many Australians order items through the US www.amazon.com or similar websites – even with the cost of shipping.
- High quality products.
- Very expensive bananas. After storms and floods in the state of Queensland, the price of bananas rose to 12-14 dollars per kg.
- In stores, products are sold from different countries.
- Public transport is more expensive than in Russia. Although the payment scheme is somewhat different. Here you buy a ticket not for a “bus” or for a “subway”, but for a time: for 2 hours or for the whole day. And it is also necessary to take into account the zone, where you will go. 1st zone – within a radius of 10–12 km from the center, everything further is the second zone.
- If at the bus stop there is a disabled person in the seat, then the bus, approaching, descends to such a level that a person can call in without problems.
- Trains that travel in the city and suburbs are called “Metro”, but they do not go underground, only on the surface. They go about once every 20 minutes, according to the schedule.
- If a disabled person in a chair needs to take the train, he must drive to the first door of the first carriage. Then the driver will exit the train and put a special metal ladder between the apron and the car so that you can enter directly into the car.
- Australians are very welcoming, both adults and children. Very popular question “What is your favorite color?”.
- The Australian Government takes great care of the children. Schools are very good, clean, beautiful, with good playgrounds, computers.
- Children spend the same time in schools 5 days a week, every day from 9 am to 3.30 pm.
- Children at school are sitting on the floor. At the table on the chair – only when it is necessary in order to do something, glue for example.
- In schools, changes of varying duration, there is one big change that lasts about an hour.
- Children at school are not allowed to go outside without a hat, due to the active sun. They say “No hat – no play”.
- The school curriculum is not very complicated, there are almost no homework assignments. Therefore, parents often worry that children have little knowledge and if parents want the child to “come to success,” then you need to look for a school with a more serious program.
- Australian Christmas holidays fall in the middle of summer.
- The streets are clean, but only because they clean. If they don’t remove them somewhere, then Australians will quickly shower them all with empty bottles.
- In streams, rivers and reservoirs in the city a lot of garbage. Often seen in the water overgrown with trolley from supermarkets. However, crayfish are found in the creek – it means the water is clean, there is rubbish, but there is no toxic waste.
- On the streets a lot of eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptus is not one type, but hundreds. They tend to have hard bluish leaves with a strong ethereal resinous odor. The leaves are usually narrow, but there are also swell. The fruits of eucalyptus trees are diverse, sometimes interesting: fancy boxes, pipes or jugs.
- Parrots fly right on the street, beautiful, but they scream very loudly. They feed on eucalyptus fruits.
- In the evenings you can often meet huge bats – this is fruit bats, their wingspan is about 70 cm.
- Opossums live in Melbourne. These are marsupial animals the size of a cat. They eat fruit and are active mostly at night. They carry their babies first in the bag and then on the back, very cute.
- Around the city there are many parks with braziers, so that people can grill sausages. The braziers are free, you put the sausages, you press the button, the gas turns on inside, then it automatically turns off after a while.
- Many private and small businesses.
- Business is strongly encouraged here. According to doingbusiness.com, Australia is one of the most convenient countries to do business with.
- In Australia, local producers are encouraged. Many products with a special mark “Made in Australia”.
- Internet is expensive here. It is most advantageous to buy the entire “package” from the provider at once, that is, Internet + phone + cellular + TV + VoIP, it will be about $ 100 a month.
- In Australia, all of the Australian fiber optic network NBN is being built, so the Internet should become cheaper and better in the future.
- Australians tend to have a very relaxed lifestyle.
- In their clothes, Australians are not picky (frayed pants, slippers). Well, in general, since many expatriate clothes all very diverse.
- But for an interview with the employer, it is customary to come in a suit and tie.
- The Australian Parliament Building in Canberra is one of the largest buildings in the southern hemisphere.
- The average age of an Australian bride is 28.9 years and the average age of the groom is 30.9 years.
- 34% of the male population and 32% of the female population of Australia never marry.
- The Australian coat of arms depicts a kangaroo and an emu ostrich. The reason for this was the fact that kangaroos and emus do not have physical features to move backwards, and they can only go forward.
- Australia has one of the highest percentages of urban concentration.
- At the same time, despite the overcrowding of cities, on average Australia has 1 person per square kilometer, thus making up the smallest population in the world.
- According to recent surveys, 22% of the adult population of Australia will never have children, and 16.2% plan to have only one child.
- In 1838, a decree was issued prohibiting swimming on city beaches during the day. This law was valid until 1902.
- The Great Barrier Reef is the longest reef in the world and its length is more than 2010 kilometers.
- Any immigrant, in order to obtain Australian citizenship, must have lived in Australia for at least 2 years.
- Australia – the lowest continent in the world, its average height above sea level is 330 m.
Australia is a sunny continent of antipodes with amazing animals. Diving on the Great Barrier Reef, excursions to Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne, the sights of Sydney and Aboriginal villages are all about Australia: visa, photos, tours and maps.
Do you know which globe you can buy in Australia? Inverted, with the South Pole on top. And, by the way, it is no less correct than our traditional one: after all, there is neither top nor bottom in space, and for Australians we are exactly the same antipodes walking upward as they are for us. When you will be there, we advise you to bring a couple of such globes to yourself and your best friend: installed within the line of sight, it perfectly eliminates egocentric errors.
Well, except for a flip-up globe from Australia, you can bring a complete little box of completely unique impressions. What is one monolith of Uluru, blood-red in the rays of the day sun and acquiring a completely extraterrestrial view at sunset! Then you should see with your own eyes endless BBB archipelagoes with some desperate tumult of underwater life, wide beaches with postcard waves for surfers, lively koala plush toys, and finally, platypuses are irrefutable evidence of God’s sense of humor (you will understand this when you will see these animals yourself).
Add to this recognizable silhouettes of attractions such as the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge, a bunch of interesting things that you can take with you, including aboriginal exoticism, and ease of communication with local people: basic English will be quite enough for this trevelling. “Ossi, I’m Coming!” we exclaimed and thoroughly studied the Southern Continent for you.
Regions and resorts of Australia
The capital of Australia is Canberra, the political center of the country: the Australian government sits in the masthead building of Parliament. Canberra is cozy and green: there are no factories here, but there are many parks, memorials and museums. In Sydney, tourists are attracted to famous attractions (from the opera house to the Harbor Bridge), Paddington boutiques and Bondi Beach beaches. Other major cities are also good for excursions: many-sided Melbourne, hospitable Brisbane. And in Adelaide, Cairns and Perth, it is nice to combine cultural recreation with relaxation on the seashore.
The most popular beach resorts are the Gold Coast with fashionable, party and family zones and the Great Barrier Reef – a spill of beautiful islands in the Coral Sea. The center of the country is covered in red desert, where there is a Grand Canyon – the sacred mountain of Uluru, or Ayers Rock. In the north, adjacent to the aboriginal settlements, there are numerous national parks. One of the best places to explore authentic nature and culture is Darwin with historic buildings and amazing landscapes. All the details about the cities and resorts of Australia – on the page “Subtleties of tourism.”
Australia’s climate varies greatly by region. In the north, the climate is tropical, in the south – temperate. The hottest time of the year is from November to January, when the temperature throughout the country is from +20 to +32 ° C, and in the central regions it reaches +38 … + 42 ° C. In this case, after 1.5-2 hours after sunset, it can become cold by 10-12 degrees. It is relatively cold in June-August, at this time the temperature does not rise above +15 … + 18 ° C, and in the temperate zone it sometimes drops to 0 ° C, it often rains.
The best time to visit the Gold Coast is the Australian summer (Russian winter). In June-August a big wave rises there, strong winds blow and it rains. At this time it is better to swim and sunbathe on the BBR. See also the current weather forecast for the main Australian resorts and in the cities for the coming days.
Visa and customs
To visit Australia, citizens of Russia and the CIS need to apply for a visa and insurance for the entire duration of their trip.
Cash in the amount of 10,000 AUD or more (or an equivalent amount in another currency) must be declared upon arrival and upon departure. Prohibited the importation of food, drugs, materials of animal and vegetable origin, firearms, weapons and ammunition, the inhabitants of wildlife or objects made of protected animals, some medical preparations (including substances containing sports stimulants). Prices on the page are as of October 2018.
In personal baggage you can, without paying customs duties and taxes, transport goods in the amount of 900 AUD (or 450 AUD for children under 18). Also, persons over 18 years can import to the country up to 2.25 liters of alcoholic beverages (of any strength), 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of other tobacco products, if all this is in their baggage.
The export of animals and plants, corals, shells, seeds and nuts is prohibited. Without a permit, you can not remove items of historical value, as well as products made of wood, bamboo, leather, bone, feathers of birds, shells and corals.
The Australian equivalent of Tax free is the Tourist Refund Scheme. If the value of goods purchased here exceeds 300 AUD, if you carry them in your hand luggage, you will receive a tax refund (about 12%). To do this, before flying out of the country, a special check issued for the purchase, passport and boarding pass must be presented at the TRS office at the airport. The tax is returned from goods purchased not earlier than 60 days before departure, alcoholic beverages (except wine), tobacco products and things that are fully or partially used in Australia are excluded from the list. The amount due can only be received by bank transfer, the money arrives on the card within 5-7 days.
How can you get to Australia
There are several international aviation hubs in Australia, the largest of which, Kingsford Smith Airport, is located 10 km from the center of Sydney. The road from Russia is a long one: you can get to the green continent only with transfers. The cheapest tickets from Moscow are from Hainan Airlines and China Eastern: 551 USD one way with departure from Sheremetyevo and connections in Beijing (30 hours). Qatari Airlines travels from Domodedovo via Doha, tickets start at $ 720 one way, and travel time starts at 22 hours and 40 minutes. The fastest route is offered by Singapore Airlines: 18 hours 45 minutes with a transfer in Singapore for 777 USD in one direction.
Flights with two connections are slightly cheaper: Aeroflot, Dzhetstar and Scoot have options for 450 USD one way (transfers – in Phuket and Singapore, 42 hours on the road), Air Asia and Turkish Airlines ”- for 530 USD (it takes 50 hours to get from Vnukovo via Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur).
It is also cheaper to fly from St. Petersburg to Sydney with two transfers: Aeroflot and Dzhetstar are taken from Pulkovo via Moscow and Phuket for 597 USD and 37 hours one way. Flights with one connection – from 872 USD in one direction (Hainan Airlines and China Eastern, 36 hours and 40 minutes via Beijing). You can save your time with the help of Emirates, delivering via Dubai in 22 hours (tickets – from 950 USD one way).
Canberra Airport serves only domestic flights. Aeroflot, Virginia Australia and Dzhetstar have routes from Sheremetyevo from 706 USD one way (connections – in Phuket and Sydney, 40 hours long). With Qantas and Qatar Airways, it is almost twice as fast: 24 hours via Doha and Melbourne, tickets – 860 USD in one direction.
From the Russian capital to Brisbane, it’s more convenient to travel with Thai Airlines: 34 hours via Bangkok for 680 USD each way. It is cheaper to fly from the northern capital with the same carrier in tandem with Turkish Airlines (770 USD one way with connections in Istanbul and Bangkok, 37.5 hours), faster with Belavia and Etihad (24 hours, 950 USD via Minsk and Abu Dhabi).
Traveling over long distances in Australia is most convenient by air. An extensive network of routes covers the entire country, and, besides, competing with each other, local airlines sometimes offer very attractive fares. The key carriers are Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia. Tickets from Sydney to Brisbane cost from 94 AUD, to Canberra – from 138 AUD, to Melbourne – from 108 AUD.
Railway transport in Australia is relatively poorly developed, but despite this, the tickets are not cheap. In the Sydney area, only suburban transportation and tourist routes are well established. Great Southern Rail has the most impressive prices (official website in English): a trip from Adelaide to Darwin will cost from 966 AUD. With NSW TrainLink (official website in English) you can get from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane for 81 AUD, to Canberra – for 41 AUD.
Melbourne and Tasmania have a ferry connection. The cost of the crossing is from 130 AUD one way, you can find out the schedule and tariffs on the carrier’s official website (in English).
The cheapest, but also the longest way to travel between cities – buses. The most advantageous to buy travel cards Greyhound (official website in English.), Allowing you to travel on a given route as many times as you like within 30 days. The fare from Adelaide to Alice Springs costs 230 AUD, from Sydney to Brisbane – 140 AUD.
Public transport inside cities
City buses run from 5:00 to 23:00. Travel is paid for with cards that can be bought at kiosks and at stations. Tourists are more profitable to purchase weekly cards (17.50 AUD), suitable for all types of transport and valid from 9:00. In Sydney there is an extensive metro network (from 2.50 AUD per trip), a monorail in the city center (5 AUD) and passenger ferries plying the bay (from 6 AUD).
Taxis are easy to catch on the street or book by phone even late at night; large hotels, central stores and public transport stops have their parking. When ordering a taxi by phone, as well as in the presence of bulky luggage, the fare increases. Tariffs – 3.50-3.60 AUD for landing and 2.50-4 AUD for each km. Transfer from Sydney Airport to the center – 47-57 AUD.
Rent a Car
To rent a car in Australia, you need a driver’s license (either domestic with a translation into English or an international model) and a credit card of any of the most common systems in the world. Sometimes it is possible to rent without a credit card against a cash deposit. The tenant’s driving experience must be at least one year, at least 21 years old for passenger cars and minivans (25 years for all-wheel drive cars) and no more than 75 years.
You can take a car at any airport, train station or bus station. If necessary, the car will be delivered directly to the house. In Australia there is a rental and camper vans, but only for a period of 7 days or more. Rent a standard car in Sydney will cost from 56 AUD, SUV – from 80 AUD per day. In Canberra, prices start from 58 AUD per day for a compact model and reach 122 AUD for a minivan. The cost of gasoline – 1.32 AUD for 1 l.
The movement in the country is left-sided. The use of seat belts is mandatory; special chairs are necessary for children. The roads are modern and in excellent condition. In the center of Sydney, it is better to walk on foot or by taxi: it is almost impossible to park there.
Australia is among the world leaders in the number of personal transport per inhabitant, so that congestion in large cities occur often. The distances between settlements are serious, but it is quite comfortable to move along even, well-groomed highways. Parking costs an average of 3-4 AUD per hour, payment is made through special parking meters accepting coins and bank cards.
Communication and Wi-Fi
The largest Australian mobile operators are Telstra, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile and Optus. Prepaid SIM cards priced from 20-50 AUD are sold in branded salons, almost all packages include free national calls and Internet traffic. The operator Optus has an international My Prepaid Ultimate tariff (30-40 AUD) with calls to Russia at 0.30 AUD per minute. For comparison, Telstra subscribers will pay 5 AUD for negotiations with their homeland over the same period of time.
Not all Australian rural areas are covered by a GSM network, so that in the middle of nowhere you can remain without communication.
There are many payphones on city streets that accept both Telstra’s telephone cards and Telstra phone cards of 5-50 AUD, sold in stores and newsstands. The minimum cost of a call is 0.40-0.60 AUD, international calls are more expensive.
In Australian cities, more and more points with free Wi-Fi appear: you can connect to online coffee shops and eateries, hotels and public institutions. To tell the truth, the connection speed is low, so it is more convenient to use the mobile Internet on prepaid sim cards. Alternative – Internet cafes, providing access to the network for 5-10 AUD per hour.
Hotels in Australia
Hotels in Australia are classified in accordance with international standards, but they have not “stardom”, and classes: 5 * – de luxe, 4,5 * – superior first class, 4 * – first class, 3 * and a half – superior tourist class, 3 * – tourist class. In the rooms there is always a kettle and iron, and the service and decor correspond to the level of hotels. In large cities it is recommended to book the hotel closer to the center. It is there that most of the sights are located, and from the central stations it is easier to go on long excursions.
Most hotels offer accommodation without a guesthouse, breakfasts are extra paid. The system of “all inclusive” in Australia can be found only on the “island-hotels”, where there is no place to eat anyway.
In Sydney, a hostel’s bed will cost from 47 AUD, a double room in a 3 * hotel – from 69-79 AUD, in the fashionable “five” – from 117 AUD per day. The most budget accommodation in Canberra offers hostels with private double rooms for 89-190 AUD per day, the most expensive – five-star hotels: from 240 AUD per night. Accommodation in the “threes” of Brisbane – from 100 AUD, in the “quartet” of Melbourne – from 105 AUD per day.
The voltage in the network is 220-240 V, 50 Hz. Three-pin sockets (so-called “Australian”), but adapters are sold in all stores. In addition, they can be rented at the hotel, leaving a deposit of 15-20 AUD.
Monetary unit of the country – the Australian dollar (AUD), in 1 dollar 100 cents. Actual exchange rate: 1 AUD = 45.44 RUB (1 USD = 1.42 AUD, 1 EUR = 1.59 AUD).
The most convenient way is to take American dollars with you and exchange them at banks, bank branches at the airport or the Singapore Money Exchanges (without commission), Thomas Cook and American Express exchange offices. In the exchange offices of hotels you can find a slightly less favorable exchange rate. Credit cards are accepted in central areas almost everywhere, but in small private shops, especially in the provinces, they are likely to be useless. It is unprofitable to pay with travel checks: banks charge high fees for cashing them.
The country has an extensive ATM network. Banks usually work from Monday to Thursday from 9:30 to 16:00 (until 17:00 on Fridays), Saturday and Sunday are days off. In some states, banks are open on Saturday morning.
Tipping in Australia is optional, but no one will refuse them. In restaurants, people usually leave 5-10% of the bill, in hotels – 1-2 AUD, and paying the taxi driver, you can simply round the amount in a big way.
How to avoid problems
The Australian sun is very active. In the first days of your stay in the country, it is better to avoid direct sunlight, use protective creams and dress in light white cotton clothes (this, by the way, will help you avoid hypothermia in the heavily air-conditioned rooms that are typical of Australia). Sunglasses are recommended at all times of the year. You should swim only on the calmest parts of the coast, this applies to currents and waves. These sections of the coast are marked with green or yellow-red flags. Monochromatic yellow or red flags mean an increased danger – it is better for inexperienced swimmers not to climb into the water.
You should not walk barefoot through the grass and walk in the parks at dusk – in Australia there are poisonous insects and snakes active at night. You should also be extremely careful when dealing with marine life. When traveling to the states of Queensland and the Northern Territory, it is recommended to use mosquito repellents and protective nets: mosquitoes can be the carriers of such dangerous diseases as Dengue fever and Ross fever.
Before traveling to Australia, it is better to be vaccinated against yellow fever, which is carried by insidious mosquitoes. Vaccination against tetanus, typhoid fever, diphtheria and rubella will be useful, although there are no serious threats to health in the country.
In public places, including in all restaurants and cafes, smoking is prohibited. Alcohol consumption is possible only in certain places and at certain time.
Useful phone numbers
- Embassy of Russia in Canberra: 78 Canberra Avenue, Griffith, tel .: (2) 629-590-33, website.
- Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Sydney: 7-9 Fullerton Street, Woollahra, tel .: (2) 936-353-91, 932-617-02.
- Australia’s free call center service — 013, in Sydney (Visitors’ Center) —923-524-24 or 925-517-88.
- Police, fire service, ambulance and other emergency calls – 000 (from any phone, free of charge); from mobile phones – 000 or 112.
Australian beaches are worthy of loud praise: the clear waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the purest sand, developed infrastructure – all this is the perfect combination for relaxing with pleasure. The most populous areas are concentrated on the Gold Coast near Brisbane. The most fashionable local resort – Main Beach with expensive restaurants and a whole range of marine entertainment. Surfers Paradise fully justifies its name: the best place for the conquerors of the waves simply can not be found. Broad Beach is more democratic: it is quieter, more comfortable and, which is important, cheaper.
Rental centers for umbrellas and loungers – a rarity, the average price per set – 15-25 AUD.
Bondi Beach is the center of Sydney parties: idle resort visitors and celebrities huddle in a small area. Safety is paramount: lifeguards are on duty on the shore, coastal waters are protected from sharks with a special net. One of the most beautiful beaches is Cable Beach in the vicinity of the town of Broome with snow-white sand and azure water, almost always warmed up to +25 ° C. But it is better to admire the virgin nature on the islands of the Great Barrier Reef: Lizard, Whitsunday and other beauties seem to have left idyllic postcards.
The conquerors of the waves have long considered Australia their second home: only here you can ride on the board at once through two oceans – the Pacific and the Indian. Surfers pile on the southeastern and southern coasts of the continent. Popular destinations are the Gold Coast (the Snapper-Rocks waves are the longest on the planet), Cape Bellarin in Victoria, the beaches of Cape Fleurier in South Australia, Trigg Island near Perth and the beaches of Tasmania Hobart. However, you can surf in Australian and not leaving far from civilization: beautiful waves are caught on the coast of Sydney. Numerous surf schools and a lot of specialized shops work there.
A one-day surf course costs from 70 AUD, a three-day intensive course with lectures, group and individual practical classes – from 300 AUD. Some schools offer two-week packages with accommodation in campsites and daily skating on a board under the supervision of an instructor for the 2500-3500 AUD.
Diving in Australia is a must-have item for everyone who collects vivid impressions. Here both beginners and pros dive, enjoying underwater beauty regardless of the season: if the coast of Cairns from October to May teems with poisonous jellyfish, then around the islands of the Great Barrier Reef is safe all year round. It is these scenic spots that attract divers from all over the world: turtles, stingrays, groupers, nautilus, moray eels, hermit crabs, rare species of sharks and octopuses are found here. Underwater visibility is 10-30 m, the most popular locations are Lizard Islands, Whitsunday, Hyman and Hamilton. In the west, the Ningalu Reef is famous, in the south – the Dangerous Reef. The cost of diving with an instructor in the open sea – 150-300 AUD, integrated coastal courses cost 600-700 AUD.
Australia’s business card is precious and semiprecious stones: opals, sapphires, pink diamonds (they are mined only here), pearls. In addition, of course, crafts Aboriginal: the inevitable boomerangs, little things made of wood, earthenware. We also recommend you to pay attention to products made of sheep wool and crocodile leather: sweaters, hats, scarves and other warm accessories, raincoats, hats, shoes and belts.
Gourmets should grab a package of Australian herbal tea, a jar of fruit jam (for example, from cockatoo plums) and spices: mint, anise myrtle, etc. Coffee that is grown in Byron Bay is very popular, King Island cheese is also popular among tourists. Eucalyptus oil and Varan oil will help to overcome the northern ailments, and various products of Australian manufacturers of natural cosmetics, such as soaps, creams and balms, will help preserve the health of the skin. And of course, do not forget about the real uggs – authentic sheepskin boots on a flexible sole.
Sales in Australia are traditionally held twice a year: in June and after the Catholic Christmas. Promotions are often arranged when opening or closing stores: bright signs on the shop windows signal the sale of sales people. Sydney, Melbourne and other megalopolises have outletlets with products of international brands at reduced prices. In small private shops you can also run into discounts at any time of the year.
Mode of operation of stores in different states is different. As a rule, large stores are open from 9:00 to 17:30 on weekdays and from 9:00 to 17:00 on Saturdays. One day a week (Thursday or Friday) they close at 21:00. Some outlets operate on Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00. In large cities there are markets where you can buy almost everything: from food and clothing to souvenirs.
Australian cuisine and restaurants
The main national dish of Australia – fried meat. Everything else – seafood and poultry, exotic fruits and local cheeses – serve only as a kind of complement. A selection of delicacies: shark lips, crocodile meat, opossum fillets, blue crab meat and freshwater oysters. In the country, Asian cuisine with its extremes is popular: the product is either consumed almost raw, or, on the contrary, is processed beyond recognition.
Authentic Australian dessert – “lamington”, doused with chocolate and sprinkled with coconut crumb sponge cake. Local wines are not inferior in quality to the best European varieties, and some beers are even exported to many countries. To get acquainted with the Australian cuisine in all its manifestations, true gourmets will have to travel all over the country: each state has its own signature dish.
On the plantations of Cairns, called “the cup of exotic fruits,” tropical trees from around the world grow and abundantly bear fruit. Here you can taste delicious mangoes, pineapples, bananas, lychee and po.
In Australia, there are establishments operating under the BYO system (bring your own): they do not have a license to trade in alcohol, and therefore visitors are allowed to bring a bottle or two of wine or beer with them. True, the pleasure is not entirely free: you have to pay 2-15 AUD of “cork collection” for each container, but it still comes out cheaper than buying alcohol in a restaurant. Asian eateries are open in major cities, offering generous portions of Indian, Chinese and Japanese hits. Traditional English pubs with meat and beer, as well as vegan and vegetarian places are popular. Snacking in fast food costs 10-15 AUD, lunch in a cafe – at 25-30 AUD per person, dinner at a restaurant with alcohol – 150-160 AUD for two.
Entertainment and Attractions
For most overseas tourists, Australia is an unexplored continent: imagination draws pictures of endless spaces along which kangaroos and koalas randomly move. Well, to some extent this is true: the expanses are really endless and very picturesque, and in honor of funny marsupials even an entire island is named (although there are snow-white beaches, bizarre rocks, and even mini -desert). But the sights in Australia are much more: the original urban architecture, museums and natural wonders deserve the most careful study.
The richest in tourist locations is tireless Sydney. It is easily recognizable by the wavelike arches of the opera house, resembling either a frigate under sail, or a white stone lotus. This city is also recognizable by the iron beams of the Harbor Bridge: locals jokingly nicknamed the world’s largest metal arch “coat rack”. By the edge of the 305-meter TV tower, which offers a magnificent view of the city. And here there is a giant aquarium and Paddington and Belmeyr quarters with festive Victorian architecture.
Canberra has the impressive Parliament building with a mast on its top, the Australian War Memorial with a sculpture garden, Black Mountain Hill with a television tower and the best viewing platform in the city, as well as the National Gallery with a rich collection of Australian art. Acquaintance with Melbourne should start on Federation Square, and then enjoy the dizzying view from the Eureka skyscraper, stroll through the Royal Garden, go to the zoo and tickle your nerves in the Old Prison covered with grim legends.
Darwin is an excellent place to study Aboriginal culture: the Museum of the Northern Territory exhibits vivid examples of folk art, and rock paintings of primitive people are preserved in the surrounding Ubir and Nolanji mountains.
Australia’s abundant wealth is concentrated not only in the cities, but also beyond. The Great Barrier Reef, an immense system of 900 islands and 2,900 individual reefs in the Coral Sea, is ideal for excursions, diving and relaxing on exotic beaches. The red rock of Ayers Rock once served as a place of worship for the aborigines, and today it is impressive in scope and atmosphere: for miles around there is only a ringing silence. Cape Byron, discovered by James Cook, is recognizable thanks to the snow-white lighthouse and incredible sea view. And along the Great Ocean Road, limestone columns jutting out from the sea lined up – the 12 Apostles of Victoria, guarding perhaps the most beautiful Australian coast.
9 things to do in Australia
- See the famous Opera in Sydney with your own eyes.
- Visit the Ayers Rock monolith, which at sunset looks at least Martian.
- Do traditional Australian bangui jumping and zorbing to a state of easy disorientation.
- Do not forget about mind-blowing diving at the BBB.
- Look at one or two of the national park.
- Buy a dozen or two boomerangs from the Bushmen.
- In Tasmania, go through the “convict trail” and trace the history of almost every prisoner who once served his time in the famous prison on the island.
- Well, turn to the beach for a day or two, yes. If time remains.
- Add in confidence: the first thing that every new guest from the Northern Hemisphere does in this country is checking which way the water in the sink is spinning.
Australia is called the land of contrasts, promising its guests unforgettable impressions and truly exciting adventures. It is for them that the travelers go to the national parks – full possession of nature, striking a riot of colors, a variety of landscapes and the grandeur of landscapes. Modern megacities peacefully coexist with deserts and dense forests, farms. It is in this continental state that the endemics are represented – koala, kangaroo, emu, and platypus.
The Blue Mountains is a unique natural reserve listed as a UNESCO. Covered with eucalyptus forests, the mountains here from a distance really seem blue. Daintree Reserve is one of the oldest natural parks. In this primeval forest, you can see a variety of animals, including the glowing green frog, possum and glowing mushrooms growing on tree trunks.
Kakadu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the most wilderness spots in Australia. He is in the management of the Australian Aboriginal and preserved in its original form. Even closer to get acquainted with the centuries-old Aboriginal culture can be in the national park “Namaji” – on its territory people have been living for more than 21 thousand years. Rare animals with intriguing names live here: a wide-toothed rat, a false toad and a marble gadops.
Hunter Valley, located 180 km from Sydney, is famous among lovers of good wine. Sandy slopes and a special microclimate here create excellent conditions for the best Australian vineyards. Canberra National Park, Black Mountain and Eucalyptus Grove also deserve attention.
Holidays and events in Australia
In January, the famous Festival of the city with dances, booze and other indispensable attributes of the holiday takes place in Sydney. And on the last Monday of January, the whole country celebrates Australia Day. In February, they organize a shocking festival of sexual minorities “Mardi Gras”. The second Monday of June is the Queen’s Birthday, and in August they celebrate an unusual and very funny holiday – Darwin Beer Regatta. During it passes a whole series of races of watercrafts built entirely from beer cans and barrels.Read More
AGRAITURISM! WHAT IS “ECO-REST”?
In Italy, some vacation spots in the name contain “Agriturismo”. Driving past private farmland, you can periodically find a similar sign. If you like to watch the sheep, feed and iron them; If you like to walk among the olives and lemon trees, then you should try agro-tourism!
Eco-vacation not far from civilization
The point is that you live in a villa, in an estate somewhere in a rural area or far from the center (in the mountains, for example), and communicate with nature – animals, beautiful views of olive groves, lemon gardens, maybe even a pool … highly dependent on location.
Also from the pros can be food that is prepared from products grown on the same farm. Fresh air, walks among the trees, the opportunity to stroke a donkey, ride a horse, drive geese and enjoy the newly born goats.
You can just chat with the hosts, learn to cook Italian dishes from them, or take part in other country activities (all by prior arrangement).
If we talk about Azienda Agrituristica Vivi Natura, then the prices there are ridiculous – a room for three with breakfast is 60 euros, parking is free. And, in general, in such places, cheaper than in the center. And, of course, such a stop brings diversity to the trip. On the way to Rome this time – just what was needed!
Be sure to read the reviews before booking. Now more and more people are resting in the estates, so there are enough reviews and more and more places are available.
What is caravanning and jailoo tourism? Where can you become a farmer for a week or a movie star for an hour? How can you fly free to Mars. Skyskaner tells about the adventures and unusual types of travel, infinitely far from packet tourism. Choose what is closer to you, or offer your options.
- Rural tourism
Rural tourism returns to the basics. Instead of an alarm clock – cocks, instead of a coffee machine in the office – a cow to be milked, and instead of rubber vegetables from the supermarket – fresh food straight from the garden. You can arrange a rural tour yourself, find a local guide or trust in agencies that specialize in agritourism. Some companies focus on individual regions, others organize adventures for every taste in all corners of the world.
In agriturismo.net they know everything about Tuscan farms for riding enthusiasts, and the American Agrotours is literally ready for everything: from “Take me to places where there are no skyscrapers and cars, I will disconnect the phone and look after the flowers” meat farms in Australia are arranged.” The slogan of the Indian Agri Tourism says: “To change, you need to go back to the roots.” And indeed, India is perhaps the best country in the world for those who want to return to the very roots. And in Israel, the Ministry of Agriculture is engaged in the development of agro-tourism, its website contains 16 ideas of adventure – from fishing to beekeeping.
- Jailoo tourism
From Kyrgyz “jailoo” is translated as “mountain pasture”. Jailoo-tourists travel to untouched corners of the planet – the mountains and steppes of Asia, the forests of Siberia and North America, the Amazon jungle and reserves of Africa – to forget for a while about the benefits of civilization. You can start from the homeland of this type of tourism – Kyrgyzstan, but do not choose extreme routes if you do not have experience hiking in the mountains. It is safer to find a local guide who takes you to the high mountain pastures between the Issyk-Kul and Son-Kul lakes on the right path. The best time to travel is from May to September, although warm clothes are useful there even in summer.
Jailoo-tourism can be combined with ethnic – stay overnight in a shepherd’s yurt in the Mongolian steppe, settle in a reed hut in a deaf Indonesian village, or stay with a good-natured tribe Dramrayg in northern Tanzania. The “family adopted” traveler lives the daily life of the indigenous population, follows local traditions and rituals and adopts skills such as grazing cattle, making pottery, or making fire not from a cigarette lighter.
The film tourists want to be the characters of their favorite movie for a while, and there are two ways. You can follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes in the UK or rent a red Chevrolet Impala and ride in yellow glasses along the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas heroes. And you can be right in the scenery of your favorite movie. For example, explore every corner of Tolkien’s Middle-earth in New Zealand, see the alien landscapes of Star Wars in the Tunisian Tatavin, Matmata and Towazar. And Woody Allen fans can arrange a whole “staircase tour” in Europe and sit first on the very staircase at the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, where the hero of “Midnight in Paris” was transferred in the 1920s, and then on the Spanish Steps from “Roman Adventures”.
- Festival tourism
Music lovers practice another kind of tourism – festival. And in Europe for one vacation, you can visit several concerts at once. Many festivals go on for three days, so campgrounds and caravan sites are near the stage. Among the cult musical events are the Spanish Primavera (end of May – early June), the British Glastonbury (end of June) and the Hungarian Sziget in August. You can choose a festival like on the Festicket website.
To some extent, festival tourism includes trips to grand events like the Brazilian or Venetian carnivals, encerro in Pamplona, Oktoberfest or the Edinburgh festival Fringe.
- Gastronomic tourism
Cooking courses and ethnic restaurants are everywhere, but it is more interesting to get acquainted with the recipes of national cuisines in their homeland. Perhaps the point here is in the setting and perception, but whatever one may say, the masaman curry is tastier in Krabi and the khinkali in Kazbegi. Yes, and for the recipe for the right pizza, you should go to the south of Italy and try to ask the owners of family restaurants to arrange a master class (but you can’t do without basic Italian in this case).
Traveling in France is definitely worth diversifying with acquaintance with cheeses and wines. The “cheese” regions are considered the birthplace of Camembert Normandy and Burgundy, where Napoleon’s favorite cheese was created – the epuas. The perfect pair of soft aromatic cheeses will be wines of Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne. And to learn to understand tea, go to the Chinese province of Fujian, famous for its oolongs and red teas, the home of Puer Yunnan or trekking in Sichuan with its green and yellow teas.
- Ecological tourism
Adherents of this type of tourism are spiritually enriched by being alone with nature. As a rule, eco-tourists serve as a hut in a national reserve, and wild animals serve as neighbors. The goal is to contemplate from a safe distance and do no harm. There is even an international community of ecological tourists who want to benefit the environment during their holidays.
However, ecotourism can be very extreme. Take, for example, the so-called “shark tours”, when you are immersed in a special cage in the sea, where predators already carnivorously grin at all three rows of teeth – entertainment is not for the faint-hearted!
Caravans are called motor homes, and it is very convenient to be a homebody and a traveler at the same time. This way of organizing life came up with American immigrants in the 1930s. Moving from place to place, they carried with them folding furniture and household utensils in covered wagons. Gradually, special campsites for caravaners began to appear – such as small communes. And still in the USA and Europe there are a lot of those who are not ready to exchange the trailer for an ordinary apartment or house.
If you are easy going and have always dreamed of embarking on a car trip without stopping in hotels, this is what you need. This type of tourism is also good because it gives complete independence from the timetable of traffic, and with it you can take everything you need, including bicycles, surfboards or downhill skiing.
- Spiritual tourism
The purpose of spiritual tourism is not so much to change the situation as to change oneself. This is an ascetic kind of travel for those who want to find inner harmony and bring thoughts in order. Such tourists travel to countries with a mild climate – usually to India, Thailand or Indonesia – to practice yoga and spiritual practices in a peaceful atmosphere.
- Industrial tourism
Who in childhood did not climb into semi-burnt houses and empty construction sites? Urbex (from urban exploration), a type of tourism based on urban research, is called upon to resurrect those quivering feelings. Industrial tourists are digers who study the underground and underground utilities, roofers who walk on rooftops, and stalkers who penetrate abandoned objects, and not only industrial ones. For example, a stalker can go to the ghost town of Kadykchan in the Magadan region or to the prototype of Silent Hill – the town of Centreilia in Pennsylvania, where the underground fire has been burning for more than half a century.
Those who are interested in objects of religion that have lost their sacral significance also have their own tourist movement: postpalomniki find and explore forgotten temples. A separate subspecies of industrial tourism – nuclear. Atomic-era fans go to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, to the abandoned Pripyat and slowly begin to penetrate into the Fukushima prefecture.
- Gloomy tourism
It is also called “dark”, “black” or dark tourism. Meaning – traveling to places associated with death, destruction, mysticism and tragedy. “Dark tourists” get impressions, walking through the cemeteries and battlefields, they are attracted by all the sinister and supernatural.
Among the attractions of dark tourism are the former death camp in Auschwitz, 60 km from Krakow, the French ghost town of Oradour-sur-Glane, destroyed during World War II, the place of mass executions of Choeng Ek and other Death Fields in Cambodia. In the US, trips to Alcatraz prison where Al Capone sat are popular. And in Romania, “dark tourists” roam the ruins of the Poenari fortress: historians consider it, and not Bran, the real castle of Dracula.
- Backpacker Tourism
The purpose of backpacking is the most economical journey. You can identify a backpacker from a distance along the backpack behind your back (and often also on your chest) and the Lonely Planet guide in your hands. Backpackers ride by car or by public transport, and spend the night in hostels, tents or each other – there are special services for this, like kouchsurfing. In developed countries, traditional time is set aside for such tourism – the gap year, the “drop out year” between graduation and the beginning of a career. But to become a backpacker is never too late: a backpack by the shoulders – and more!
- Space tourism
In contrast to the backpacking of traveling into space – the most expensive form of tourism, it is just like cosmic money to match the name. The world’s first space tourist Dennis Tito in 2001 paid $ 20 million for a flight to the ISS. Now state monopolies on space are in the past, private companies are building their space centers and spacecraft, and some are already selling tickets for future suborbital flights. Virgin offers 2.5 hours in space for $ 250,000, XCOR Aerospace – for $ 95,000.
Another interesting initiative is the Mars One project, whose members can go to Mars for free without a return ticket to establish the first Martian settlement. The first crew of four will fly to Mars as early as 2024, then flights will become regular – once every two years.
Rural tourism is one of the directions of development of domestic and inbound tourism, it is a relatively new and promising direction. The development of tourism in rural areas is a socially important type of business that contributes to the sustainable development of rural areas: infrastructure development, improving the quality of life, increasing local incomes, creating jobs, maintaining and maintaining traditions and culture, and preserving the environment.
Today, there is no universal definition of this type of tourist activity, but the definition generally accepted in the world is approximately as follows: rural tourism (agrotourism) is a journey of citizens from a permanent place of residence to rural areas with accommodation in rural guest houses, rural estates and on farms with tourist goals and without engaging in activities related to generating income from sources at the place of temporary residence.
Rural tourism, as a vacation in rural areas, is not only a fad, but, one might say, a necessity – a dynamic and intense rhythm of life in cities, pollution of the urban environment, makes the city dweller want rest and solitude among the pure natural environment. Such a vacation gives a person the opportunity to get closer to nature, to relax, to gain strength, and in addition, it allows to satisfy such specific hobbies as the study of historical, cultural, ethnographic, as well as architectural heritage, customs and crafts characteristic of the region, acquaintance with the local folk clothing, cooking, collecting folklore, learning the local language or dialect, amateur photography, collecting herbs and minerals.
It should be noted that rural tourism can effectively develop and function not everywhere, but only in regions not covered by activities that pollute the environment in such areas as villages and hamlets; small towns with typical traditional architecture, way of life, culture; agricultural farms; forest estate; natural parks and specific protected areas; recreation areas and summer areas; natural phenomena; monasteries and sacred sites; sights of folk culture in the open.
Interest in rural tourism is ubiquitous in the world. A good example of the development of rural tourism can serve such countries as Italy, France, Holland and the UK. In these countries, tourist trips to the countryside already occupy the second place after a sea holiday (which cannot be said about Russia, where sea holidays are still the most preferable).
One of the reasons for the rapid development of rural tourism in Europe is the crisis in the agricultural sector. In the modern era, the process of productivity and automation of agriculture leads to a decrease in jobs. In fact, in many rural regions in Europe, agriculture has ceased to be the most important form of land use and the most important activity of the rural community. The share of communities operating in the agricultural sector in Greece is 30% of their total number, in Portugal – 24, in Spain and Ireland – 17, in Italy – 12, in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK – from 2 to 7%. Consequently, it was necessary to find new activities that would replace or complement agricultural activities. The search for approaches to this task explains the heightened interest in rural tourism, which with rapid development can revive many rural regions. Statistical studies show that 35% of citizens in the EU prefer to leave in rural areas. In Holland, their share is particularly high – 49%. Rural tourism creates new jobs and brings real income to the regions – Italy in Europe ranks first in rural tourism, with an average profit of $ 350 million. Rural tourism also makes it possible to find means and means to conserve nature. In many countries, the development of this type of tourism has become the main focus of the protection and recreation of national rural landscapes – this is how the beautiful alpine meadows of Switzerland, the mills and canals of the Netherlands, the old parks and villas of Italy were saved. Today, using the example of Italy, the EU sees in agritourism a way of saving agriculture in the countries of Western Europe. They are written about in the media: “Rural tourism is now a top model. The people enjoy with might and main, and not only for the summer, but also for Christmas, Easter, etc. The old houses are being converted just for such holidaymakers. Pampered tourists are ready to accept any conditions .”
The growing popularity of rural tourism has led many English farmers to organize themselves in order to offer more diverse services in their homes. Rural tourism in England is becoming more attractive also because it offers extremely affordable prices and special discounts for children. In the south-west of England, old farmhouses are being restored for tourist purposes, they are luxuriously equipped, with heating, household appliances, televisions and partly preserved old furnishings, and they enjoy great success with tourists. In Ireland, rural estates are subject to mandatory certification and receive “stars” as hotels, the walls of their houses are decorated with the appropriate number of green leaves. Find “green housing” help special indexes, directories, catalogs.
In Hungary, a host who takes a rest, incomes from 10 beds are not taxed; in Romania, the question of exempting such owners from taxes for 15 years is being considered; in Austria, the peasants who are engaged in the reception of guests, have tax privileges for the past 40 years; Poland does not tax income from providing tourists with a maximum of 5 rooms for accommodation and meals.
In Germany in the early 1980s. The concept of a tourism mechanism in peripheral regions was developed. Its main goal is to offer cheap outdoor recreation in the tourist market, without using expensive infrastructure and providing comfortable living conditions.
In Italy, there is growing interest in staying in monasteries or monasteries or Pestalnitsky monasteries, near which there are special hotels. Illustrative example of a monastery near Siena, where the hotel is served by Augustinian nuns. The daily routine of tourists is associated with the sun: tourists get up at dawn, go to the morning service, work in the monastery garden. Life flows slowly, calmly, in a rural way.
The success of France in supplying a specific product such as recreation in the countryside — of the 37 million foreign tourists who visit the country every year — about 7 million are indisputable. give priority to just relaxing in the village.
Rural tourism is one of the important directions in the development of the village, because it is an alternative to its industrialization and a means of keeping the population in industrially underdeveloped regions. In the West, two types of rural green tourism have emerged – “mixed” and “pure”. The first is based on peasant (farm) farms that grow livestock and vegetables and additionally receive tourists. This gives approximately 25% of the profits to the farming family. Moreover, most of these funds are reinvested in home improvement, interior renovation, creating conditions for guests. The second is exclusively the activity of serving tourists, providing them with hotel services in houses that serve as mini-hotels.
It should also be noted that, from a functional point of view, rural tourism is closely related to other types of tourism, primarily recreational, cultural, specialized types of tourism – skiing, hunting, fishing, religious, etc. All this allows rural tourism to be included in the combined tours that multiplies the demand for a traditional tourist product.
The main factors behind the success of agro-tourism in Europe are the political support of agro-tourism from national states and the European Union, since agrotourism was initially viewed as a social cushion in restructuring the agrarian sector of the economy, allowing for the creation of new jobs in rural areas. In a number of countries, there are special agrotourism laws, which greatly contributed to the development of this sector of the tourism industry, or special state programs to support agro-tourism and the organization of this type of activity are being implemented.
In Europe, at the international level, common, internationally recognized approaches to quality standards and special guidance guidelines for the classification and standardization of accommodation facilities and services in the field of agro-tourism (rural tourism) are being developed. Moreover, this work is carried out not within the framework of state or supranational agencies (national ministries or EU directorates), but within the framework of EU international programs with the most active participation of associations of agro-tourism actors (eg EUROGITES European Federation of Farm and Rural Tourism, ECEAT). agritourism, etc.)
Another important factor in the successful development of the agro-tourism sector was the fact that the agro-tourism product met the demands of a new consumer with average incomes, which constitutes the largest segment of effective demand. In addition, it should be noted that the microeconomic model of agritourism has been very effective. Compared to other sectors of the tourism industry, the production of tourist products looks extremely low-cost, which means that agritourism could compete in terms of price-quality ratio with other tourist products. With regard to the prospects for the development of rural tourism, according to expert estimates, the average indicator of the potential is 55.8%. Such a high figure shows that more than half of the country’s landscape-geographical and climatic resources can be used to develop various tourist destinations taking into account the needs of tourists (for comparison, Turkey has a tourist potential of 38.4, Greece – 35, Italy – 49, France, Spain and Germany – slightly more than 50%). Thus, Russia is a very promising country for the integrated development of tourism.
Today, “rural tourism” in Russia is the recreation of citizens in rural areas in guest houses (“mini-hotels”) created by a rural family on the basis of their own residential house and garden. Since the mid-90s, this model has been implemented in many regions of Russia from the Kaliningrad region to Yakutia. The network of guest houses is developed in the Altai Territory and on Lake Baikal, in the Krasnodar Territory and in Karelia, in Yakutia, in the Kaliningrad, Moscow and Leningrad regions. In North Karelia, where there are a lot of forest lakes, rural type tourism is spread in small cottages for one family of 2 to 8 people. The houses are equipped with all the necessary adequately cost. Usually they consist of a living room and several bedrooms. The cottages have hot and cold water, a small kitchen equipped with necessary appliances. Most cottages have fireplaces, saunas. Tourists are provided with rental boats, fishing equipment, ski equipment. All this allows in quite comfortable conditions, but at the same time actively relax in nature.
Unfortunately, despite the real examples in the Russian Federation of organizing agro-tourism activities, it should be stated that there is practically no regulatory framework specifically governing agrotourism activities as such:
- In the existing federal regulatory legal acts regulating activities in the field of tourism, and federal program documents in the field of tourism, there is no mention of the concept of “agro-tourism” (rural tourism, “green” tourism, “eco-agritourism”, “farmer tourism” or other terms used in our country and international practice to refer to the type of tourism activity under consideration);
- Special federal legislation regulating agrotourism in the Russian Federation is not yet available;
- There are no standards and regulations applicable in the field of agro-tourism as a specific sector of the tourism industry and – at the same time – an additional (non-agricultural, non-productive, alternative) form of income for the rural population. It should be particularly emphasized that the standards and regulations in force in the Russian Federation in the field of hotel and recreational business cannot be mechanically transferred to the small family hotel business sector in the countryside due to the specifics of the latter;
- The mention of agro-tourism in the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of August 2, 2011 No. 644 “On the federal target program “Development of domestic and inbound tourism in the Russian Federation (2011–2018) ”as one of the supported types of non-agricultural activities in rural areas, unfortunately , has not yet received development in the form of a developed system of concepts and norms.
It is worth noting that the lack of a regulatory framework is not the only problem in the organization of rural tourism:
– insufficiently developed infrastructure or its complete absence in a number of rural areas;
– lack of awareness of rural residents about the possibilities of developing rural tourism;
– low resource security of villagers who want to organize rural tourism;
– a critical reduction in the number of able-bodied rural population;
– carriers of culture or at least its individual surviving elements (lack of jobs in the countryside, drunkenness, outflow of youth);
– lack of guarantees for the safety of tourists;
– lack of qualified personnel for the organization of rural tourism;
– lack of state non-commercial advertising;
– lack of cooperation between all participants in the development process;
– lack of a unified national program and financial support for the development of rural tourism.
To solve the existing problems, proceeding from the global practical experience, in our opinion, the following areas (models) attributable to eco-agrotourism could be promising in Russia.
- Creation of regional agrotourist networks through the development of small, family and individual businesses on the basis of existing tourist resources in rural areas: accommodation facilities (small family hotel facilities) and infrastructure (including various objects and types of business related to the provision of agrotourism). The organization of an efficiently operating network of private agrotourism farms in the territory of the region implies the creation of a system of state support at the center level or at least at the regional level.
- Recreation of the socio-cultural environment of the historical settlement – “historical village”, “national village”, nobility and merchant estates, monasteries, etc.
- Creation of large and medium-sized specialized agro-tourist facilities, aimed at receiving tourists and organizing their valuable rest, for example, cultural and historical complexes.
- Creation of state and private agricultural parks as large multifunctional tourist, exhibition, advertising and expositional, cultural, propaganda, research and production and similar complexes with accommodation facilities and appropriate infrastructure.
All of the above models could be implemented in the Russian Federation when a number of key conditions specific to each of them are fulfilled.
The system of these conditions and priority models should be designated by the national concept of agrotourism development in Russia. If 10-15 years ago, emphasis was placed on creating guest networks, and the state did not provide system support, there were no necessary conditions for the normal functioning of this type of business, now the interest of large investors is directed to other forms of agrotourism, primarily large privately owned agro-tourism facilities.
Such objects are cultural and historical theme parks, ethnocultural complexes, etc. The implementation of such projects has not only economic benefits, but is able to solve a number of pressing social problems. It is necessary to clearly realize that today’s generation no longer wants to associate itself with the Russian state, the concepts of people and state in our country are no longer identical, the concept of patriotism loses its meaning, young people break away from their culture, stretch to the culture of the West, lose interest in their own history. The current state of the village, to put it mildly, is pitiable. A part of the working-age population leaves their native places, the rest simply drink. Solving all of the above problems requires political support from the authorities – at least at the regional level, this, as the experience of the West shows, will be enough to launch a market mechanism in the agro-tourism sector – the construction of cultural and historical complexes can be a driving force in the development of rural tourism in the regions.
However, all these problems are certainly more literate, easier and more likely to be solved if there is political support from the center – the relevant state program (subprogram of agrotourism development as a “point of growth” of the Russian province), which implies the corresponding legal and financial support:
– The state concept of rural tourism development and the village support program;
– state system of preferential crediting or even subsidizing tourism facilities at the initial stage;
– government programs for improving the macro-infrastructure of tourism, financing the infrastructure of rural areas (primarily, roads, electricity and water supply, telephone, Internet);
– creation of a public or state association uniting rural tourism entities (functions: advising those who wish to engage in agrotourism on all issues; registration; organizing microcredit channels for agrotourist facilities; organizing primary information support — cartographic, etc.; organizing advertising and marketing activities in the agrotourism sector ; transfer of the tourism product into an information form; certification in perspective), financing of the programs of the required professional flax training (retraining);
– promotion of the tourist product to the market (formation of large-scale interactive databases on the basis of these associations, which in fact create an arbitrarily wide market for local tourist products in the information form), an active promotional campaign.
The development of rural tourism, the implementation of large-scale cultural projects will have a serious social and economic importance and a positive effect.
For the state:
– increase tax revenues;
– Improving the welfare of citizens providing services;
– improving the health of citizens using services;
– the revival of cultural traditions;
– the preservation of small settlements;
– improving the living conditions of the rural population;
– increase the income of rural residents;
– reduce the migration flow from the village to the city by creating additional jobs;
– stimulating the study of folk customs and rituals;
– revival and promotion of traditional values and lifestyle;
– development of folk crafts;
– preservation of the cultural and historical heritage of the territory;
– performance evaluation from the perspective of a host providing rural tourism services
– additional income;
– expansion of production;
– production development;
For residents of rural settlements:
– for a number of social groups, especially children, it becomes important to realize the historical and cultural significance of their own “small Motherland”, pride in its fame in the camp and in the world;
– solving the problem of employment of local residents, providing them with jobs, sharing the values of international culture, including through interpersonal communication;
– support of socially unprotected segments of the population; – improvement of the housing stock;
– expansion of sales of agricultural products;
– cultural development, familiarity with the history, traditions, religion, rituals, cuisine of the local population;
– the acquisition of skills, abilities in a particular area of activity;
– additional resting place;
– the diversity of nature;
– the possibility of improving health;
Based on the above, this activity should be considered as a strategic socio-economic and socio-political project to support the Russian village and the Russian province as a whole, requiring a political decision at the level of government and interdepartmental coordination, as well as a balanced approach in the selection of projects. It is necessary to approach not from the position of a rapidly changing fashion and from other tactical considerations, but taking into account historical, cultural, socio-cultural, ecological and other aspects unique to the territory, which as a result builds the most economically promising strategic line in tourism. Making decisions for the sake of illiterate investors is fraught with the destruction of the historically established socio-cultural environment, such strategically valuable factors in the formation of a tourist product, such as landscape, historical-architectural environment, etc.Read More