Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 20 Issue: 4

Strategy for the Development of International Tourism in Modern Conditions

Andrei Aleksandrovich Sorokin, Moscow City University

Irina Abramovna Niderman, Moscow City University

Ekaterina Nikolaevna Goryacheva, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation

Aleksandr Vladimirovich Shelygov, Moscow Polytechnic University

Todor Todorovich Khristov, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics

Ekaterina Arturovna Blinova, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics


The study is devoted to the substantiation of the strategy for the development of international tourism in modern conditions. Today, it faces several problems due to the coronavirus pandemic. The current crisis is unprecedented in terms of expected losses and consequences, and significant deferred demand will accumulate in the industry by the time the pandemic ends and the borders open. Domestic tourism will be restoring first. However, most likely, the purchasing power of the population will decrease, leading to an increase in the demand for low-budget tours inside the country. As for inbound tourism, it may take much longer to recover. The subjects of international tourism need not only government support, but a strategy of survival, anticipation in connection with the upcoming significant changes in consumer preferences, focus on the domestic tourism segment, development of new offers and products focused on budget-friendly tourism, as well as individual tourism and tourism in small groups, and strengthening the travel safety.


Strategy, Development, International Tourism, Government Support, Infrastructure, Budget, Economy, Conjuncture.

Introduction and Literature Review

The modern tourism sector gradually develops, contributing to the socioeconomic growth of many countries of the world. The indicated trends significantly affect the development of a particular state. A significant rise is also observed in those spheres of the economy that in a certain way ensure the creation of the infrastructure of international tourism. Therefore, in some countries of the world tourism has become an important source of the state budget, in others – the leading sector of the economy.

However, as a result of different levels of socioeconomic development of individual countries and regions, international tourism is developing quite unevenly, since it reacts to any fluctuations in the market environment. Some countries or entire continents during these events suffer significant losses since tour operators refuse to cooperate with hotels, tourist flows are reduced, and incomes of both individual travel agencies and revenues to state budgets are falling.

Other countries, due to a change in modern priorities, on the contrary, are becoming centers of the tourism industry and rapidly develop the corresponding infrastructure. In addition, the demand in the field of international tourism remains at the proper level, despite the economic uncertainty in many large tourist markets, negative events in some countries or political unrest, or difficult weather conditions in certain regions.

The study of the development of international tourism is reflected in the works of Agamirova et al. (2017); Batyrova et al. (2018); Bulatovi? & Rajovi? (2017); Frolova et al. (2019); Mykola et al. (2020); Karaulova et al. (2017); Levchenko et al. (2018); Mubangizi & Mwesigwa (2019); Nikazachenko et al. (2018); Nikolskaya et al. (2020); Novolodskaya et al. (2018); Parfinenko et al. (2019); Semenova et al. (2017); Temirbulatova et al. (2019) and others. However, despite the significant interest of researchers in the topic, many aspects of its functioning require additional attention, in particular, the formation of a strategy for the development of international tourism in modern conditions.


The theoretical and methodological basis of the research is: an abstract-logical method, methods of induction, deduction, analysis, synthesis, systematization to substantiate approaches to the formation of a strategy for the development of international tourism in modern conditions; graphic method – for the study of the level and parameters of the development of international tourist flows.

The information base of the study is statistical data of state bodies, legislative and regulatory documents regulating the functioning of international tourism, approaches to regulating the main strategic elements of international tourism, and the results of scientific research (Karpova et al., 2020; Markova et al., 2018; Sheresheva et al., 2018; Zavalko et al., 2017).

In the course of the study, it is planned, based on analysis, to determine the role of international tourism in the system of the world economy, establish trends and the influence of various factors on increasing competitiveness of the world tourism market, as well as substantiate a strategy for the development of international tourism in modern conditions.

Results and Discussion

Tourism is still one of the important industries that support the economy and employment in many countries. Therefore, one of the main indicators characterizing the attractiveness of a country in terms of international tourism is the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, which is designed to assess the influence of various factors and political events on the change in the tourism industry in a particular country.

In early 2020, all countries were seized by the coronavirus pandemic, announced by the World Health Organization. The virus, the first outbreak of which was recorded in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019, has spread to all countries and continents. The borders of the countries were closed, air and rail links stopped, and a regime of general self-isolation was introduced in many cities.

The current situation has had a significant impact on all spheres of the world economy, including international tourism. Now, the task of developing strategic directions for the development of international tourism has become paramount, which will largely depend on the effectiveness of government support measures. In this case, we divided the directions into three interrelated blocks:

1) Managing the crisis and mitigating its consequences (preserving jobs; supporting the liquidity of companies; revising taxes and fees associated with the international tourism industry; protecting consumer rights; increasing the digital skills of workers in the tourism business; integrating tourism into general strategies for saving the economies of various regions and states, creating anticrisis management mechanisms);

2) Stimulating the accelerated recovery of the international tourism industry (stimulating investment in tourism; ensuring the preparation of tourists for travel, including with the existing level of risk of pandemics; creating new jobs; considering the environmental sustainability of tourist regions; understanding the market and prompt actions in the market of tourist services; increasing the role of marketing; creation of a special governing body to regulate the restoration of international tourism);

3) Preparation for the near future (diversification of markets, products, and services, investments in market research and digital transformation systems; improving the efficiency of international tourism management at all levels; ensuring preparedness for crises; investing in human capital; transition to a zero-waste economy and the adoption of goals for sustainable development).

As post-crisis measures aimed at the fastest possible recovery of the international tourism industry, one can propose:

– Subsidizing shares to reduce the cost of a tourist product, to make it more accessible for mass tourism after the end of the pandemic;

– Subsidizing social tourism – organized trips of socially unprotected groups (schoolchildren, students, people of retirement age);

– Partial subsidizing of international flights for groups to tourist regions that are inaccessible due to the high cost of the flight;

– Support for entrepreneurial initiatives to create tourism products, and tourism infrastructure facilities to create additional jobs and increase tourist flow.

With all the negative consequences of the current crisis, it is important to note the following point: the modern international tourism industry has been on the verge of significant changes for a long time. The coronavirus pandemic is likely to only accelerate the impending transformation. Therefore, for example, the trends of more active implementation of virtual reality technologies, as well as the economy of impressions, will become relevant. The tools to meet the needs of tourists will change, although, the needs themselves remain the same (needs for movement, communication, new emotions, and knowledge).

The international tourism market will recover relatively quickly after the pandemic, as people need positive emotions. Although, it is impossible to give an accurate prediction, especially in the context of changes in exchange rates. The approach to life, in general, may likely change – methods of remote communication online will become commonplace. The segment of digital projects in international tourism is becoming more active, which will help the formation of deferred demand and work when all restrictions on tourist travel are removed.

In recent years, the importance of using electronic information systems and platforms in the tourism services market has only increased. The digitalization trend implies a gradual reorientation of all market participants to the online sphere with a corresponding reorientation of financial flows and the creation of prerequisites for increasing the profitability of the international tourism industry. Therefore, at present, the development and promotion of digital products for both traditional and new tourist destinations seem to be a promising direction.

In the Russian Federation, museums that offer online excursions also make a significant contribution to the development of digital tourism projects. Museums are also moving online, offering to visit exhibitions remotely. We developed a system of integrated marketing of international tourism, which provides forecasting of the tourism market and demand (Figure 1).

Figure 1 System of Integrated Marketing of International Tourism

The positive trends in the development of international tourism have recently been accompanied by several problems: complicated political events in the most popular destinations (Karpova et al., 2020; Gravis et al., 2020; Shirokikh & Humpage, 2019; Vinogradova et al., 2018). The increased demand of tourists for the so-called “last minute travels” is noted. Due to the economic crisis, which caused a slowdown in the growth of the international tourism industry, tour operators were forced to offer a variety of tours, the most affordable, attractive, and therefore more competitive.

Tourists generally bought tickets in advance, taking advantage of discounts and “last minute” offers. However, the difficult economic situation in the world did not affect the industry of sea cruises at all. On the contrary, cruise tourism is increasing the flow of tourists and the volume of cash receipts every year. These positive statistics prompted the main cruise operators to build two dozen modern liners. The main cruise destinations in Europe are still Mediterranean countries.

Now, with the intensification of the integration processes in the field of international tourism in the world, there is a gradual monopolization of the market. In this case, the forms of international integration of enterprises in the tourism and hospitality industry are highlighted, affecting the tour operator, restaurant and hotel business, as well as tourist carriers (Figure 2).

Figure 2 Forms of International Integration of Enterprises in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry

As a rule, problematic aspects of international tourism are caused by the following groups of factors: 1) managerial nature; 2) economic origin; 3) social origin; 4) environmental nature; 5) technological origin. The factors that impede the normal functioning of international tourism are the legislative and regulatory framework in many countries in which international tourism is declared, but is not recognized as a priority component of the economy. Moreover, there is no integrated system of state management of tourism and inaccuracy in the definition of the tourism industry in the legislation.

The recession in the development of international tourism is caused by the inertia of investment processes in the development of the material base and the unsatisfactory state of the tourist, service, social, and information infrastructure of potential zones and international transport corridors, and the lack of research support for the industry. It is impossible to ignore the influence of seasonality, the destructive composition of the tourist offer, and the lack of integrity and diversification, as well as an appropriate service infrastructure for the development of tourist activities in rural areas.

The harmonious development of international tourism is also hampered by the low tourist culture of consumers, as well as insufficient awareness of the economic opportunities of tourism in the regions. When attracting foreign tourists to the Russian Federation, problems arise due to the language barrier. There is a shortage of highly qualified specialists, and the participation of educational institutions in the development of Russian tourism is low.

To change the situation, it is necessary to improve the mechanisms for regulating economic activity, considering the experience of countries with the developed tourism industry. The most important step for the formation of a strategy for the development of international tourism is considering the following principles: 1) ensuring the safety of tourists; 2) ensuring the rational use and conservation of tourist resources; 3) the formation of international tourism as a highly profitable branch of the economy; 4) creation of an effective system of tourism activities to meet the needs of domestic and foreign tourism; 5) improving the regulatory framework in the field of tourism in accordance with international norms and rules; 6) creation of economic conditions that would stimulate the development of international tourism; 7) attracting national and foreign investments in the development of the tourism industry; 8) supporting the development of tourism in the regions, determining the status of individual tourist centers, creating conditions for the priority development of the tourism industry; 9) development of cooperation with foreign countries and international organizations, participation in international tourism development programs; 10) development and conclusion of bilateral international and multilateral agreements in the field of international tourism; 11) preservation of natural historical and cultural resources; 12) accelerating the pace of development and increasing the frequency of expected income from the tourism sector.

There are two main directions of the state policy for the development of international tourism in the Russian Federation:

1) Ensuring bilateral tourism cooperation with foreign countries (tourism in the Russian Federation develops in a market way and provides a significant economic effect, the development of related industries, entrepreneurship, in particular medium and small, employment of the population, ensure that the economy is out of the crisis, national and cultural revival of the state);

2) Ensuring multilateral tourism cooperation with international organizations (the potential of multilateral cooperation stimulates the development of cooperation at the regional local level (between the regions of the Russian Federation and other states), which is carried out through the development of an interregional contractual base, implementation of joint marketing, the creation of corporate interregional tourism products, regional exhibition and scientific-practical events (fairs, seminars, presentations), implementation of joint projects to develop regional tourism infrastructure.

Undoubtedly, the liberalization on a reciprocal basis of the formalities associated with the travel of Russian tourists to other countries is a necessary prerequisite for the development of international tourism, obtaining real economic effects from tourism and strengthening integration processes (Prigoda, 2019; Shaimardanova et al., 2019; Shishanova et al., 2020). The problematic aspects of international tourism in the Russian Federation are due to the influence of factors of a managerial and environmental nature, economic, social, and technological origin. Therefore, it is possible to form the main strategic directions for the development of international tourism and a systematized set of tools for their implementation, which, in turn, will contribute to the formation of a positive tourist image of the Russian Federation in the world tourist space (Table 1).

Table 1 Strategic Directions for the Development of International Tourism in the Russian Federation
Strategic directions Tools for implementation Institutional support
Legislative, managerial, and administrative Study of international experience in tourism management. Improvement of legislation in the field of tourism. Legislation and practical observance of state guarantees and the security system of foreign tourists. Preparation of projects and conclusion of new intergovernmental agreements, as well as agreements between specialized national and foreign governing bodies of cooperation in the field of tourism. Federal Agency for Tourism. Functioning of the Committee on State Policy, Industry, Innovative Development, and Entrepreneurship. Activity of the representative office of the State Committee for Physical Culture and Tourism Abroad.
Economic Creation of economic and legal mechanisms for priority support of inbound tourism. Development of legal acts on the provision of state regulation of international trade in tourist services. Increasing the size of government subsidies for the implementation of tourism projects. Formation of a favorable climate for enhancing business, investment, and innovation activities in the tourism industry. Implementation of a special investment regime. Stimulating the development of small and medium-sized businesses. Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. The functioning of tour operators in Russia. Activities of the National Tourist Association and the Russian Hotel Association.
Social Development of the socioeconomic sphere due to the full realization of the tourist potential. Development of a mechanism for state support for the introduction of a tourist product of a social nature. State support for the sector of socially oriented tourism products (tourism for disabled people, orphans). Creation of a balanced network of consumer services, primarily those that provide social services. Creation of a structural department for socially oriented tourism as part of the Federal Agency for Tourism. Functioning of the Russian Association of Social Tourism.
Technological Modernization of the existing hotel base. Implementation of progressive technologies of tourist services. Improvement of regional tourism infrastructure. Creation of the Association “Tourpomosch”, as well as the coordination council for the development of tourism.
Organizational Official recognition of the priority of international tourism. Development and implementation of state complex target programs for the development of international tourism in the Russian Federation. Development of regional programs for the development of tourism. Functioning of the National Tourist Corporation. Activities of tourism departments in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

Having implemented these directions, it is advisable to prepare projects and conclude new intergovernmental agreements between specialized national and foreign governing bodies on cooperation in the field of tourism, which means that all methods of implementing these directions are interconnected. We also consider it expedient to refer the mechanisms of legislative, managerial, and administrative directions to the competence of the Federal Agency for Tourism, since its main specialization is the implementation of state policy in the field of international tourism.


Summing up, the development of international tourism faces several problems due to the coronavirus pandemic. The current crisis is unprecedented in terms of expected losses and consequences, significant deferred demand will accumulate in the industry by the time the pandemic ends and the borders open. Domestic tourism will be restored first. However, most likely, the purchasing power of the population will decrease.

As for inbound tourism, it may take much longer to recover. In this regard, it makes sense to concentrate the efforts in the segment of domestic travel, studying and promoting potentially promising directions and developing new offers. Along with this, due to fears of large crowds, mass tourism is likely to become more individual; the popularity of ecological tourism, which previously had great potential, will increase. Another expected consequence of the crisis will be more attention of tourists to travel safety and sanitary and epidemiological situation.

The subjects of international tourism need not only universal government support but a survival strategy, anticipation in connection with the upcoming significant changes in consumer preferences. It should include the following key components: a shift in focus to the domestic tourism segment; development of new proposals and products focused on budget tourism, as well as individual tourism and tourism in small groups; strengthening the aspect of travel safety (considering the sanitary and epidemiological situation of the place of stay, the quality of the insurance product); digitalization of the services offered (use of mixed and augmented reality technologies, QR codes, multimedia applications for display objects).


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