A Tourism Forum was held in the Ukrainian city of Sumy on November 9, aimed at assessing the prospects for creating ‘Sumy Tourism Cluster’ and better promoting the region online. The Forum was held at the congress centre of Sumy State University, organised by the Sumy Business Support Centre as part of the EU4Business initiative of the European Union, supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The forum brought together representatives of business and government not only from the Sumy region, but also other regions of Ukraine.
The President of the National Tourism Organisation of Ukraine, Ivan Liptuga, noted that, despite the fact that Ukraine lags behind in the development of tourist services, the country has the fundamentals of nature and human potential.
"The tourism industry is actively developing in Western and Central Europe. Unfortunately, little is known about Ukraine today in the world. And what people know is connected mainly with military tensions, and not with something positive. Therefore, everybody needs to do everything for Ukraine, which is in the centre of Europe, to develop the tourism industry. Tourism means economic growth, creation of new jobs, preservation of cultural heritage. Tourism is also a factor in maintaining peace in the territories," Liptuga said.
The head of the tourism industry of the Sumy region, Yuri Gladenko, noted that the region was high in tourist potential, with major archaeological sites such as the Scythian burial mounds, and a rich history. But nobody outside Ukraine is aware of this potential, whereas other cities in the world, which are similar in size and population, are known across the world.
The forum included five thematic panels: on-line promotion of tourism business, development of business in the field of tourism by association, the role of territorial communities in the development of tourism in the region, promotion of tourism, active tourism of Sumy region.
The Sumy Business Support Centre is part of the EU-funded Network of Business Support Centres, which aims to improve the competitiveness and bankability of Ukrainian SMEs through the provision of business advice and capacity building. It also supports BSOs in 15 regions of Ukraine in setting up a network of EU4Business Business Support Centres (BSCs). At least 30,000 SMEs and entrepreneurs benefit from the project.