PERSPECTIVE OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM INDUSTRY IN THE UKRAINIAN CARPATHIANS
The problem of development of the national tourism market is urgent in the world tourism industry. Ukraine has great potential for tourism.There are great opportunities for developing different types of tourism in the Ukrainian Carpathians. This is due to the unique natural, historical, cultural, ethnographic, economic features of mountainous region. But today Ukraine implements these features only partially.
Therefore, in my speech I will discuss prospects for the development of tourism as priority direction of social and economic development of the Carpathians. In fact, development of tourism significantly affects such sectors as transport, trade, communication, construction, agriculture, consumer goods and more.
According to estimates of the World Tourism Organization, in 2001, Ukraine was on the 22d place in the world in the number of arrivals of foreign tourists (5,8 million people, that is nearly 1% of world tourist arrivals). According to forecasts estimates on the development of tourism in Ukraine to 2020 year, their number will increase up to 15.0 million people.
What is the main tourist potential of the Carpathian region?
availability of necessary natural resource base (the region has more than 800 sources and wells with therapeutic mineral waters of all known types, many of them are unique);
great potential for development of different types of tourism (picturesque landscapes and relief of the Carpathians);
advantageous geographical position (the geographical center of Europe is located in the Ukrainian Carpathians in the town of Rahiv, Transcarpathian region);
factor of territorial demarcation of labor (in fact, there are two regions in Ukraine, which conditiond allow to meet social needs in terms of recreation services: they are the Black sea and Azov areas (Причорноморсько-азовський) and, of course, the Carpathians);
relatively high environmental safety of the region (as compared with other regions, nature of the Carpathians suffered less losses and in many places preserved its original condition, what is very important for the development of recreation and tourism);
socio-economic specificity of mountains (in the mountainous areas of the Ukrainian Carpathians live about 1.3 million people, and the mountains create specific, extremely difficult living conditions and economy, so I’d like to stress the extremely acute problem of employment);
economic competitiveness of recreational areas.
What main types of tourism are really promising for the development in the Ukrainian Carpathians?
I believe that the range of tourism that could be successfully developed in the region is very wide.
Ecological and rural green tourism are the most popular in the world today.
This is a relatively new type of recreation and relaxation for Ukraine in the countryside, during which campers have the opportunity to learn the nature, culture and history of the region, engage in recreational activities.
Rural rest especially attracts residents of big cities, as they wish to get acquainted with true national traditions and enjoy nature in clean environments.
Green rural tourism is a unique chance to return to nature. Our vivid and multicolored Ukraine can offer everyone such opportunity!
In the Carpathian location you can observe interesting traditions for tourists for instance looking for the flower of edelweiss as a symbol of love, meeting a dawn high in the mountains, fishing, walking through the Carpathian meadows, gathering healing herbs, berries and mushrooms, riding horses, trying to feel the silence of the countryside, learning the traditions and crafts, tasting delicious Ukrainian national food (cuisine) [7, p. 22].
According to statistics in the field of rural tourism about 1,100 families with varying degree of service quality work in the Carpathians.
Countries of Western Europe notice the perspectives for international tourism development in the Carpathians. The benefit of international funds, for instance, the Fund of Carpathian Eurorigion Development, Programme TACIS and others are very important nowadays. European Union opened the credit line for 100 thousand euro for the development of small private hotels for rural tourism in the Ukrainian Carpathians.
Really promising is the development of adventure tourism. Most ecotourists admire remarkable attractions of nature (mountains and canyons, caves, lakes and rivers). Also, here is realized sports tourism, mountaineering, skiing, horseback riding, hiking and other types of active and passive recreation.
No less promising is the association of special accommodation facilities such as spa, medical and recreational facilities and temporary accommodation facilities such as hotels, campgrounds, etc., as well as other objects of the service sector. This can extend the range of services provided, to facilitate the emergence of a new tourism product.
Tourism contributes to the employment of mountain population, development of market relations, international cooperation, preservation of ecological balance. Tourism development improves the investment environment, becomes a source of replenishment of state and local budgets.
Skiing is the most popular type of rest among tourists and guests of Carpathian region.
Currently the most popular areas for the development of ski tourism in the Carpathians are: Bukovel, Yablunitsa, Slavske and Dragobrat locations.
The most popular is Bukovel Resort. It is located in the village Polyanitsya, Ivano-Frankivsk region, at an altitude of 900 m above the sea level. The name of this ski resort comes from the mountain pick (1129 m), on which slopes it is located.
This is the best technically equipped ski resort in the country. The total length of its lines is over 20 km. Bukovel important feature is that all ski slopes are connected with each other.
The infrastructure is perfectly developed here: hotels and spa centres, multistory parking, restaurants. 16 ski lifts of this resort can serve about three thousand people an hour. Owing to this benefit 12 thousand guests can be on the slopes at the same time without feeling discomfort because of such number of tourists.
Bukovel is well equipped with rope and chair lifts. There installed on the slopes web cameras provide information online to skiers about the weather conditions and snow cover features directly on the slopes.
It usually snows much in Bukovel early fall. This is one of the biggest natural preservations over the Carpathians with excellent curative climate, phytoncide vegetation, fresh air, breathtaking scenery that positively affect both healthy and sick people in all seasons of the year.
The Ukrainian Carpathians is the promising area for the development of extreme tourism due to favorable natural conditions, climate and topography. Ukraine surely has enough resources and for extreme relaxation as well. But the low level of tourism infrastructure and social standards of the population cause the situation that extreme tourism goes behind global trends. Nevertheless, international image of extreme tourism in Ukraine is constantly increasing. Hospitality and rich cultural heritage of local community attract international tourists. Unfortunately, such factors as low living standard, insufficient technical provision, poor English of local citizens are still quite common in our regions.
Cycling. The most popular are the routes along the passage of Montenegrin ridge peaks Hoverla, Pip Ivan, Petros, Gutin, Borsha, Maramuresh, tourists also visit mountain lakes Brebeneskul, Nesamovyte, and Maricheika.
Bicycle tourism – one of the first extreme sports. This is not only speed and exercise, but also communication with friends, evening campfires, breathtaking views of nature .
Extreme kinds of active rest in the Carpathians also are: ATV (quadrocycle, quadro bike) riding, jeeps riding on mountain ranges, horseback riding, paintball, passing the rope park etc.
Boating – a rest and adventure on the water when using kayaks, boats, catamarans. In the Carpathians water tourism is gaining popularity, every year there are new rafting routes .
The most popular among tourists is the water route of the Dniester Canyon and rafts along the rivers Prut, Cheremosh, Soames, Bistrita, Ribs of Salauta.
In recent years, rafting is actively developing. This sport aims at overcoming obstacles on an inflatable boat (boat) along a mountain river.
The Cheremosh river, in Verkhovyna district is the most suitable for rafting.
International boating competitions are held on this river in spring. The Cheremosh river belongs to the 3rd category of complexity on the 6-point scale.
A recently constructed recreation complex «Voda» can also be reffered to water rest of in the Ukrainian Carpathians. I must mention a large freshwater lake, which is situated in Bukovel as well. Its six-meter depth allows to organize a number of advantures - from boating and catamaran riding to tricks on jet skis. It is planned to launch another lift for wakeboarding and water skiing. The lake water is crystal clear and cold, like in mountain rivers.
VODA day&night club is a unique recreational environment that has waterpark and all-season pool with heating. Every day complex is capable of hosting about 500 visitors on its deck chairs near the lake and the large pool. Moreover, guests may enjoy night shows and live performances on the unique sunken stage.
Health tourism. The Carpathian region is rich in curative mineral waters, which contribute to recreation and rehabilitation of tourists: mineral springs "Goryanka" in the village of New Mizun (Dolyna region), "Burkut" in Verhovyna region, "Cherche" in (Rogatyn region) and Okna Suhutaha in Maramuresh .
Nostalgic tourism is a temporary departure of persons from their permanent residence proceedings without paid employment at that location . The main motivation in such kind of tourism is nostalgia.
History of the Carpathians is closely linked with numerous migrations of its citizens, so there are the prospects for the development of nostalgic tourism .
Ukrainian Diaspora is always willing to get home. It’s a well-known fact large Ukrainian diaspora is found in the USA, including the Appalachian region who often visit Ukraine. So I believe extremely important is the development of interesting nostalgic excursion tours to Western Ukraine for representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora, who originated from the Carpathians.
Cognitive sightseeing tourism – learning traditions of mountain land.
The following events are interesting for tourists: International festival “Christmas in the Carpathians”, Easter in village Kosmach, Kosiv district, Festival of blacksmiths in Ivano-Frankivsk, Festival of "Easter egg" in the village of Kolomyja, Summer mountain valley in the village of Verkhny Jaseniv, the festival of extreme sports "Mizunska Zvyhoda" in Novyi Mizun, International Hutsul Festival, Feast of bread in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, Bojkivska bonfire in Rozhnyativ area, Feast of honey in Dolyna district and many others.
Hospitality and rich cultural inheritance of local citizens attract international tourists greatly. Unfortunately, there is quite an avarage living standard here, insufficient technical provision, local citizens speak foreign languages on a rather low level and more. An important task of tourist industry is to arrange villages.
What are the problems of tourism industry in the Ukrainian Carpathians? 
Improving infrastructure, including reconstruction of roads, which is the business card of the tourist region.
Diversifying the various categories of leisure travelers.
Information support of the tourists. Creating a network of local history tourist centers with qualified experts who possess good knowledge of foreign languages.
Popularization of various types of tourism in the Carpathians and development of tours for foreign tourists.
Increase of investment programs to promote tourism in the Carpathians.
Sports, extreme and adventure tourism are important means of promoting social and labor activity of the community. They can provide recreation opportunities, educational and cultural exchange. International communication, establishment of friendly relations between nations will lead to strengthening peace in the world.
undergraduate of Institute of Tourism, Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine