Bashkortostan boasts various natural resources suitable for rest and active recreation, and possesses a good potential for creating a high-quality tourist product.
Geographically, the Republic of Bashkortostan is part of the Urals region. Its tourist resources are virtually unique: the territory of Bashkiria of today numbers 300 karst caves, 600 rivers, 800 lakes, numerous mountain ridges, 3 state sanctuaries and one national nature park. 3,000 history sites, objects of arts and culture, archaeological monuments constitute the basis of culture and cognition tourism.
Of great medicinal and health-improving significance are mineral water springs of various compositions, thermal and mud outcrops that are found in abundance within the territory of Bashkortostan.
The combination of these factors conditioned the successful development in the Republic of a powerful health-improvement complex capable of accommodating up to 250,000 people a year (31 sanatoria and resorts, 170 recreation facilities). Among them are specialized resorts that are famous well beyond Bashkortostan - "Yangan-Tau", "Krasnousolsk", "Yumatovo", "Assy", which are multi-profile treatment and health-improvement complexes.
Beautiful newly erected buildings, comfortable living quarters, efficiently organized treatment and recreation arrangements make the sanatoria and rest homes increasingly popular. The Republic's resorts meet the highest standards of service quality and have good prospects of further growth.
The current tendencies of the development of Bashkortostani sanatoria and resorts are targeted at improving their equipment and expanding services they offer. It appears reasonable to utilize sanatoria and resorts when forming tour packages in such a way as to undergo diagnostic examinations and to receive health-improvement procedures during the trip.
As a result of the joint research undertaken by scholars and entrepreneurs, the Republic formulated the concept of the optimal location of the South Urals' tourist mega-complex, this concept actually to become a program for strengthening economic potential founded upon the tourism industry. A regional pilot project has been developed named "Golden Ring of Bashkortostan" which creates the organizational and legal basis and the business plan for shaping the developed infrastructure of the tourism industry.
The project incorporates feasibility studies and identifies the Republic's districts to be included in "Golden Ring of Bashkortostan". The assessment takes various factors into consideration: economic self-sufficiency, availability of tourist resources, including natural, climatic and geographical conditions, as well as of the services infrastructure, communications, hotels and public catering. Carefully scrutinized are such issues as the inhabitants' structure and employment status, districts' ethnic composition and their peculiarities, availability of cottage industries, the social environment, ecology, etc.
"Golden Ring of Bashkortostan" is a system of sanctuaries and nature parks scattered all over the South Urals, as well as of montane, aqueous, biological, archaeological, historic, ethnographic, religious, cultural, resort and sports objects and facilities connected by recently-laid asphalt roads and supported by the tourism infrastructure which is being created.
The principal peculiarities of "Golden Ring of Bashkortostan" are the large scope and systemic nature. "Golden Ring of Bashkortostan" means a qualitatively new development level of the tourist services market.
"Golden Ring of Bashkortostan" is created as a branch of Bashkortostan's economy, whose development will naturally induce a corresponding growth in construction, services, hospitality business, transportation, road construction, insurance, banking services, fabrication of goods for travellers and in many other spheres and industries.
The "Golden Ring of Bashkortostan" Project is seen as an interconnected and mutually supplementing system of tourist facilities and services encompassing the whole of South Urals. The economic potential of the system will be comparable with that of petrochemistry, agribusiness and machine building.
The length of the "ring" is over 1,500 kilometres, and the area involved is about 100,000 square kilometres, in view of which the "Golden Ring of Bashkortostan" route is split into regions with "hubs", i.e. tourist complexes with comprehensive sets of tourism-related facilities and the well-developed services infrastructure.
Within the complex, one can assess with a high degree of accuracy the necessary auxiliary infrastructures: the equipment of camping facilities, construction of hotels, diners and other services outlets. The "Golden Ring of Bashkortostan" project is thus a system of tourist resources united into the tourism industry infrastructure.
All facilities are now aimed at tourists enjoying active recreation throughout the year. Bashkiria has several fully equipped mountain skiing centres that will be developed further to create an infrastructure similar to that of mountain resorts in Austria, France and Switzerland.
Bashkortostan ranks 3rd in the Russian Federation in the number of horses next to Altaiski Krai and Sakha-Yakutia. The number of equestrian routes on horseback in summer and on sledges in winter is therefore increasing.
Water routes highly popular in Russia are organized along the Belaya and Bolshoi Nugush rivers, the latter flowing into a big artificial lake located in the mountains. These sailing trips down the rivers are well planned.
The world-famous "Shulgan-Tash" Cave, Mount Iremel and the ancient site Arkaim are excellently suited for ecological, mountain, waterway and extreme tourism.
The investment attractiveness of Bashkortostan's tourist industry is on the rise, which is proven by a number significant investment projects currently implemented in the Republic. These include the construction in Ufa of a new hotel complex for 700 guests and the upgrade of the tourist-camping facility located in one of the most picturesque locality in this Republic. Other projects involve building of mounting skiing centres and chains of mini-hotels and tourists' shelters to giver hospitality and comfort along the route, in the natural environment.
There is another factor, which adds to the appeal of Bashkortostan as a tourist area: the Republic is most conveniently situated at the junction of Europe and Asia. It is easily accessed from the Russian capital (about 24 hours by train and 2 hours by plane). This fact makes it possible for foreign travellers to combine their visits to the capital Moscow with field trips to one of Russia's most interesting and beautiful regions. Such a combination will greatly enhance the general impressions of visiting the country. Besides, there is a direct Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Ufa, and there are plans to organize similar air services from Austria and Great Britain.
The years 2005-2007 will see refurbishments of the Ufa International Airport and the city's railway station.
The demand for tourist and excursion services is constantly growing and the Republic is geared to elevate this industry to a qualitative new level.
There is every prerequisite available in the Republic for the tourist industry to develop in an accelerated manner: Bashkortostan's economic development boasts high ratings, the region is stable and calm both politically and socially, the natural environment is most diverse and attractive, the main asset being the people and their high potential.
Ufa is the capital of Bashkortostan.A bit of history: Ufa was established as a fortress in 1574. In the years of peasants’ rebellion, it was occupied by Pugachev. Then there appeared the Muslims spirit union, and then the Eparchy of Ufa. During the Second World War here were ministeries of the Union (theatres, universities and so on). The city began to develop quickly in the 20-30s years of the last century. Ufa has become one of the biggest exhibitional cities in Russia.
The city, with the square of 753.7 km2, is situated on the banks of the White River, the Ufa River and The Dema River. Ufa is located under defense of water.
The climate is continental with warm summer rains and long-lasting temperate winter.
Ufa is an important traffic centre: railway, water, automobile and air traffic connect the Republic with other Russia’s regions. So, it is not a problem to get here.
There are big and small hotels with comfy rooms and favourable prices in the city: "Rossiya" (Russia), "Bashkortostan", "President-hotel" and so on.
There are many interesting things are in the city. You can visit the Bashkirian historical and regional museum, M.V. Nesterov art museum . A lot of different theatres create special image of the city. Also there are a lot of monuments in the city: M. Gafuri Bashkirian academical drama theatre, Russian drama theatre, "Nur" Tatar republican theatre, Ballet and opera theatre, National youth theatre, Bashkirian state Philharmonic Hall.
There are also plenty of historical and architectural monuments: house-museums, shopping arcades, the House of the Governor, mansions, churches and so on. In wooden art of Bashkortostan can be met different architectural styles. There are also a lot of parks in the city. Wandering and shooting is such a pleasure!
The first sculpture in the city was a monument to V.I.Lenin. A Friendship monument was put up in honour of the Bashkiriya joining Russia 400th anniversary. A national hero Salavat Yulaev is not forgotten. Besides mentioned one there are also a lot of other monumental sculptures.
Being a city-millionaire it has a lot of cultural and sport centers, night clubs, restaurants and hotels.