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Investing in tourism 2024: is it worth investing in the industry, and how to do it correctly

In 2023, business invested 800 billion rubles in tourism – a third more than a year earlier. The industry continues to grow and attract money. We will tell you in this article why it is worth investing in tourism now, as well as about the peculiarities of different sources of investment, promising areas and ways to minimize risks.

Chelter-Kaya Mountain (Crimea). Konstantin Mikhalchevsky / RIA Novosti

Investments in tourism – 2024: why, where, how

The unambiguous plus of the tourism industry is a loyal and stable demand. It is difficult to talk about how quickly investments in the tourism sector will pay off – it depends on the project very much. The money invested in equipment for the tourist route will be repulsed and will start making a profit in one season, which cannot be said about a resort hotel with an area of ​ ​ several hectares.

The last two years, tourism development has become driven by essentially negative factors: the rules for entering some countries have tightened, prices for flights and vacations at popular resorts outside Russia have increased. Unfortunately, tensions between countries are only growing so far, respectively, the demand for recreation will grow.

There are many vacant destinations in Russian tourism, without any competition and with critical shortage of supply. So, for example, the demand for rest in sanatoriums was satisfied only by 50% at the end of 2023, experts said at a conference of the Russian Union of Travel Industry. There is also still a shortage of room stock. What is this, if not a reason and not an opportunity for investment?

In his message to the Federal Assembly, the President said that by 2030 the tourist flow around the country should grow to 140 million trips a year, that is, almost double, while the contribution of tourism to the country’s GDP will increase to 5%. The state is interested in the development of domestic tourism and provides support to the tourist business. How long this policy of the authorities will last is unclear, you need to use the moment now.

Pros and cons of different sources of investment

Projects in the tourism industry can attract investment in many ways. Consider the features of some of them.

Public money

What everyone is hearing now. Indeed, grants and subsidies for the development of tourism projects are given and received. This year, the state promises 6.2 billion rubles for the development of 85 regions. The advantages are obvious – this is money that will not have to be returned, while the state does not need to allocate a share in the business. But not everything is so simple, there are also some disadvantages:

  • There’s no guarantee you’ll win the competition.
  • Grants and subsidies are almost always targeted – they can only be spent on certain items of expenditure.
  • You can’t build a business only with this money. It is important to understand the difference between a subsidy and a grant. A grant is something that comes before and a subsidy after. That is, it only compensates for expenses, it is necessary to have initial capital – subsidies will not be suitable for a business that does not have finances initially. However, this also applies to grant support.
  • And most importantly – you will have to report on every ruble of money spent. If the state suspects you of deception, at best – the money will have to be returned, at worst – you can lose your business and fall under criminal liability.

Private and crowdfunded investments

The same laws apply here as in other industries, but adjusted for the specifics of the industry. If we talk about equity investments, then the obvious disadvantage is that you have to allocate a share in the company and share the profit with the investor. The investor should study the project carefully, scrupulously approaching the choice of an object for investment. As in other types of investments, tourism uses Friends, Family and Fools investments, investment platforms, crowdfunding platforms, seeks investors in accelerators, etc.

Debt investments

If we consider banks as a lender, then you can take advantage of preferential lending conditions from the state for the travel industry. So, in March of this year, the selection of projects for the issuance of subsidized loans in the tourism sector was completed. In addition, preferential conditions for a loan can be obtained under SME support programs, for example, under program No. 1764.

Crowdfunding platforms are also available for obtaining a loan – it is relatively easy to take money here, but the percentage can reach 30 or more, and the loan term is quite short – from six months to 3 years.

Kazan Kremlin (Tatarstan). Maxim Bogodvid / RIA Novosti

What to look at to minimize risks

Tourism is a specific industry. It is attractive for businessmen with experience, it is difficult to start from scratch here. By the way, speaking of attracting investments, it’s great if it’s so-called smart money – money from an investor who has experience in this industry. This increases greatly the viability of the project.

In any case, the attractiveness of each specific object must be assessed individually and treated as carefully as possible. It matters the scale of the project, the stage of its development: is it a seed or an object that is already making a profit. If a business is at the design stage, proof of its viability is needed. It is also necessary to take into account subjectively tourist risk points. These include: the choice of the region, the availability of transport infrastructure, competition, natural features, challenges when choosing a location, which are introduced by the current geopolitical situation, a tourist niche. The last factor is especially important, a lot will depend on it.

Trending tourist niches

Beach tourism is still leading in the preferences of Russians. There is a state support program for the arrangement of beaches in 2024.

Glamping shot last year, tourists tried the format, modular housing will continue to be built – it is fast, relatively affordable and pays off well. Here, too, the state subsidizes businessmen.

Perhaps the most promising trend are large hotel complexes, resort hotels with entertainment infrastructure, restaurants, wellness and spa centers, swimming pools and business halls. These are complex objects, but it is for them that there is a demand and a shortage. The general trend affects the growth of living standards and higher requirements for comfort. Many people have experience of staying in similar hotels abroad.

Agritourism is becoming popular – apiaries, farms, petting zoos, fishing.

Gastrotourism – wine tours, cheese factories, strawberry tours.

There is a trend towards combining agricultural and tourist activities. For example, glamping plus farm, plus cheese production with tasting. The option is all the more attractive because the Ministry of Agriculture also implements agricultural tourism support programs.

Health tourism is gaining momentum – baths, sleepy tourism, relaxation tourism.

It is also worth paying attention to the development of road infrastructure and the trend towards the development of “unnotorious” locations.

The wall of the Naryn-Kala fortress in Derbent (Dagestan). Alexey Danichev / RIA Novosti

Promising areas for investment

Based on the combination of the above factors, the following most favorable areas for investment can be distinguished: Krasnodar Territory, Dagestan, Republic of Tatarstan.

Krasnodar Territory

This region became the leader following the results of competitive selection for the allocation of state support: its total amount reached 6.2 billion rubles. Krasnodar Territory is an undisputed favorite among Russians considering beach resorts. The main deficits of the region are the lack of room stock and the lack of offers for recreation with children. As part of the Five Seas program, it is planned to build the resort town of New Anapa. With territory of 1.6 thousand hectares, 100 hotels with a number of rooms up to 25 thousand rooms, and a 17-kilometer sandy beach, the project has already been called “Russian Dubai”.

In the Krasnodar Territory, the tourist flow is unevenly distributed – this is another growth point for the region. For example, Sochi and Anapa are quite busy, and Tuapse is less, but their natural features are similar. Tuapse is currently a more profitable investment destination, as there is less competition. Investors understand that the one who enters the region among the first will be able to get the maximum benefit. Already this year, it is planned to begin construction of a premium hotel complex in the village of Agoy, in Tuapse district. Investments in the project will amount to more than 8 billion rubles.

Of the inhibiting factors, underdeveloped transport infrastructure can be distinguished. People in the industry here are looking forward to the construction of the Sochi-Dzhubga highway, which, according to forecasts, will help to increase significantly the flow of tourists. When erecting buildings, it is necessary to take into account the seismic hazard of the region.


The region, which became the first in the country in terms of tourist growth. In 2023, the tourist route “Legends of Dagestan” is recognized as national one – this increases the prestige of the region and attracts investment.

A large-scale project for the all-season resort “Caspian Coastal Cluster” in the Derbent region is planned to begin construction in 2025. “Кавказ.РФ” has developed a concept, within the framework of which 28 hotels with 7.2 thousand rooms, shopping centers, restaurants, sports, entertainment buildings, and parks will be erected. It is planned to attract 70 billion rubles of private investment.

The proximity of the Caspian Sea allows to implement projects related to the development of beach tourism. The mountainous landscape offers endless opportunities for hiking and hiking. Rafting routes, gastronomic tourism, glamping and camping, an unusually rich history and culture – all this can be successfully developed in Dagestan. The region is open to both larger and smaller investors.

Taking into account the potential of the region, already in the summer period of 2024, Nordwind will expand the geography of points from where you can fly to Makhachkala to 20.


Here the main tourist artery will be the water area of the Volga and Kama. By 2028, they plan to build on the banks of the Kuibyshev reservoir “Kazan Marina”. Investments in the project are estimated at 21 billion rubles. The tourist cluster will include a marina for 300 yachts, 1.2 thousand rooms, sports and entertainment infrastructure. The cluster is being built with the support of Туризм.РФ as part of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry national project. The Volzhskaya Trail route for hiking is already operating and plans to become a serious driver of development. Professionals of the Republic of Tatarstan engaged in the industry note as promising areas for business now: an increase in the number of rooms, the construction of glamping in conjunction with hiking and retreat tourism, the creation of family recreation facilities and event tourism. The opening of M12 and M7 routes will also contribute to the development of tourism, including automobile one.

How else to protect yourself before investing in tourism

Choose what is closer to the investor himself and where he has more competencies. It is optimal to start with small projects, gain experience and move towards larger ones.

The tourism industry is a multi-component activity: construction, creative component, service, not to mention financial issues. A strong and experienced team is needed.

You can think about finding a cofounder – with the help of a partner, it is good to close flaws in the examination and attract missing investments. At the same time, it is important to assess initially how much the partners’ views on doing business coincide, to ubderstand whether they will be able to negotiate. This also applies to collective investments – you need to distribute roles and assets correctly in advance.

Before starting, it is worth assessing the practice of protecting investments in the selected region – alas, now controversial situations are not uncommon even with public agencies. Search for information and collect information, preferably firsthand, about how problem cases are solved in the region. Are such situations numerous, including those related to property rights? Are they described in the public space, in the media? Be sure to consult with lawyers who work in the region.

And of course, you need to remember about the detailed study of the concept and project plan. Before doing this, do close research on your target audience. Work out the financial model as accurately as possible. It should indicate the possibility of break even, even if something goes according to the worst scenario. After you have compiled all these documents, be sure to show them to several disinterested persons for evaluation.

Tourism is an unambiguously promising industry, which you need to join the sooner the better. However, without losing your head and not succumbing to excitement: a detailed calculation and an objective view of possible risks is the best strategy for investing in tourism.

By Alexandra Noy, General Director of the developer company Turbaza Volna JSC

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