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“Diamond way” to “Diamond Week”

  • Published in Society
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The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) - the largest constituent of the Russian Federation, which has no analogues in the world neither by its size nor by natural and climatic conditions.These unique features of the region are actively used for the development of the tourism industry.The seriousness of the attitude to tourism in Yakutia is proved by the fact that the relevant ministry of the Government of the Republic is engaged in its development and a specially designed operator - National Tourist Company "Yakutia".This careful attention to this area of the economy has been resulted in the emergence of a number of successful brands targeted at attracting visitors from different regions of Russia and abroad.One of the most striking and impressive brands is the traditional "Diamond Week of Yakutia".

kormilisinAbout its history and the future prospects of this, without exaggeration, unique event, we are talking with Minister of Entrepreneurship and Tourism of the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Ekaterina KORMILITSYNA.


- Ekaterina Ivanovna, what is the reason of such careful attention of the Republic's leadership to the development of tourism in this, frankly saying, extreme in many ways region as Yakutia?

Tourism, as an independent branch, is a powerful driver of the development of not only different segments, but also the economy of the Republic as a whole.Judge for yourself: tourists’ reception requires appropriate infrastructure that must be built. This all comes from the building complex and the building materials industry.It’s necessary to ensure transport accessibility to our places of interest, and we have quite a lot of them all over the Republic - it is the sphere of transport and logistics sector.Guests should be fed, and this is additional market and stimulus for development of agricultural production and processing of agricultural products.Finally, the hospitality industry is service sector and a wide field of activities for small and medium-sized businesses.So a synergistic effect from the tourism development industry is very, very significant - it means new jobs and additional income, and tax revenues.Not to mention creating positive image of the Republic, enhancing its attractiveness, including investment attractiveness.

And the very extremeness of our natural and climatic conditions, you are talking about - is another factor that, with proper approach, will not repel, on the contrary, it will attract tourists.
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- Today how can the Republic attract tourists?

When we jumped right into the thick of the tourism development problems, we were guided by clear and simple logic: a tourist would travel to Yakutia only for something that he couldn’t find anywhere else. And for the formation of “growth points” of the industry we have chosen some things that can be found only here.The first thing that comes to mind at the bare mention of Yakutia - is, of course, cold. The Pole of Cold is located in the Oimyakonsky region. This is the place where the lowest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere of the planet - minus 71.2 degrees Celsius was officially registered.That’s how this event tourism brand – the "Pole of Cold" Festival – was born, which has been taking place in March for several years, and is popular among Russians and foreign guests. Another brand, also connected with cold, is “The Russian winter starts in Yakutia”. It takes place in early December, when the calendar winter months come. Ded Moroz (Russian Santa) from Veliky Ustyug stays with our King of Cold Chyskhaan, then he starts traveling all over Russia.

Our third tourism brand, which every year becomes more and more popular, is connected with historical, cultural and spiritual roots of the Yakut people. This is the festival of Ysyakh (in Russian sounds like Yseh), symbolizing the arrival of summer, the rebirth of nature after long winter, purifying and renewal of human soul.This is the most mass celebration in Russia.Since mid-June it is celebrated in all districts and settlements of the Republic, and its culmination is Ysyakh of Tuymaada, which takes place in the sacred area of the Yakuts, Us-Hatyng, near Yakutsk in late June.During two days it is visited by nearly two hundred thousand (!) people. During the days of the Ysyakh of Tuymaada two world records were broken that were listed in the Guinness Book of Records.In 2012, more than 15 thousand people performed a traditional ritual dance osuokhay - Yakut dance.And in 2014, more than 11,000 people took part in the ritual of koumys libation, which was held according to all canons and traditions of the Yakut national culture.There is no such event anywhere in our country for sure.Even our friends from Buryatia, Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, where they have mass popular holiday sabantui - were impressed by the scale of our Ysyakh.

In addition, the festival is bound to major international events - conferences, symposia on the most pressing issues that the participants could see and understand that Yakutia - one of the most dynamically developing regions of Russia -in its driving forward is based on a solid foundation of rich national and cultural traditions. As a result - Yakutsk has now become a recognized international communication and debating platform for a discussion of a variety of problems of modern society.

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- And what is common between tourism and the "Diamond Week of Yakutia", which has already set tongues wagging?

They are linked in the most direct way. This is another event tourism brand of Yakutia, which we have created and actively promote.In addition to the cold, one more thing that is inseparably associated with our Republic - definitely the Yakut diamonds.In this regard, Yakutia is a unique place.Only here one can retrace all the process of transformation of a rough diamond to a gem, starting from its extraction from the bowels of the earth up to becoming a unique jewelry. It is not possible anywhere in the world.Because, for example, the diamonds that are mined in Africa, firstly go to Europe to be faceted, and only then scatter around the world to turn into jewelry. And this whole process can be observed here first hand, what is called, inside and out.

This realization of it led us to the fact that a few years ago, we developed and launched a project called "The Diamond Way". We implemented it in the city of Mirny.This is, if I may say so, "small motherland" of our diamond giant - ALROSA, which today occupies a leading position in the world’s extraction of diamonds.With the full support of the leadership of the Republic, which agreed with ALROSA to assist in the implementation of this project, the necessary infrastructure was created, substantial part of the activities was developed, and the advertising campaign was organized. And tourists started to come and visit us. Two museums, created by miners, are of great interest for them:Diamond Industry Museum and the Museum of kimberlites - rocks that accompany diamonds.The quarry of the kimberlite pipe "Mir" itself, the deepest quarry in the world, is a grand and impressive sight.Besides, there is the opportunity to visit the ALROSA sorting center (taking a guided tour) where you can see how they select and sort diamonds according to a variety of parameters.

The project got off the ground, as we say, it was noticed and appreciated. Not only by tourists.In addition to the diamond mining in Yakutia, silver and gold are mined here as well, there is a long tradition in the jewelry business, and the lapidary industry is actively developing. And that just were our diamantaires and jewelers who addressed with a proposal to expand the "Diamond Way" project through their participation in it.So, on the basis of the "Diamond Way" the "Diamond Week of Yakutia" had started, which will be held for the third time this year.

Modification and extension of the format of our event tour significantly increased international attention to it.Last year, for example, the "Diamond Week of Yakutia" was attended by representatives of more than 30 countries.In addition, now we are waiting for visitors from China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Bavaria and Montenegro.

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- Who is responsible for the organization and conduct of the "Diamond Week of Yakutia"?

The main organizer is still the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).At the same time the financial participation of the authorities is minimal.For example, last year the costs of the national budget for organization and conduct of the "Diamond Week of Yakutia" amounted to a total of about 150 thousand rubles.They were spent on advertising.All other expenses, and they are considerable - about 10 million rubles – are paid by business.Our strategic partners in this project are OJSC ALROSA, "Guild of diamond and jewelry manufacturers of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)", and JSC “National Tourist Company “Yakutia”,General partner of the "Diamond Week" for the second consecutive year is the "Yakut Diamond Company» (YDC).And there was one more company at the origins of the "Diamond Week of Yakutia" - our famous Diamantaire Company EPL "Diamond".

It should be noted that we have selected a sensible and effective team in which everyone clearly knows what he's doing.And it has a positive impact on the preparation and organization of such a very difficult, frankly, event such as the "Diamond Week of Yakutia", organizational level of which is growing every year.

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- What is the difference between the "Diamond Week" and the "Diamond Way," and what’s the secret of the Week’s popularity?After all, agree that two years - this is a very short period that the event could become widely known, but it achieved prominence already, of course, thanks to which you and I are talking about it.

There are differences, significant ones. Firstly, with the advent of the representatives of jewelry and lapidary communities, it has become more pragmatic, more focused on the final result.Jointly with businessmen we did a great job, which resulted in the "Diamond Week of Yakutia", there is a serious business constituent and a powerful component of the commercial aspect, which has become a significant factor in the growth of interest in the event.

As for the business part, in the framework of the "Diamond Week of Yakutia", in partnership with the International Business Club there was established and operates Contacts Exchange.It is no secret that the way to us is not short and cheap, and of course, the participants of the "Diamond Week of Yakutia" try to make maximum use of opportunities presented, including the establishment of business contacts.And they are not necessarily directly related to diamonds and diamond jewelry business. In Yakutia connections are established in the field of science, commerce, industry, medicine, culture and other areas.In addition, this year the guests of the "Diamond Week", representing business circles of different countries, will be able to take part in the International Conference "Development of diamond cutting and jewelry industry of Russia in new geopolitical and economic conditions".We believe this will also contribute to the establishment, strengthening and development of the economic relations of the Republic with our Russian and foreign partners.If we talk about the commercial component of the "Diamond Week of Yakutia", it is also quite attractive. For both serious business and our guests-tourists.So, as part of our tour event ALROSA holds international auctions to sell exclusive rough diamonds.Compared with the usual practice of the company, here stones for auction are of higher characteristics (size and purity).In 2012, when such auctions were held for the first time, ALROSA sold diamonds for $ 2.2 million.Last year - for $ 2.7 million. We think that this year's results will not be worse.

Jewelers delight visitors with special offers that are acting in the "Diamond Week of Yakutia".This is unprecedented discount in all jewelers of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).This is an opportunity to see and get an exclusive collection of jewelry made of gold, platinum and silver with colored precious and semi-precious stones.Our General Partner - "Yakut Diamond Company» (YDC) - with the participation of the Guild diamonds and jewelry manufacturers of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is organizing the "Diamond Opening Day" - the exhibition-sale of diamond jewelry.Works of our jewelers are in great demand. For example, last year for 4 days of active work our jewelry companies made money by selling their jewelry for more than 20 million rubles.Secondly, the geography of the event expanded, now it takes place in Mirny and in Yakutsk. Expanded opportunities for our guests.Today, in addition to visiting the ALROSA sorting center in Mirny, we can offer them to see the actual sacrament of conversion of a rough diamond into a polished and cut diamond at the diamond cutting factories of our partners in Yakutsk.Also, tourists will be able to experience firsthand the work of jewelers who create amazing jewelry, and, if desired, even facet on your own a stone of your dreams.Our guests have the opportunity to visit the pearl of Yakutia - our famous Natural Park "The Lena Pillars", which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Finally, our event has a social component.In accordance with the tradition, the completion of the "Diamond Week of Yakutia" is crowned by the "Diamond Ball", which certainly has its own star - Person of the Ball.Last year Lubov Kazarnovskaya, our internationally famous singer, became the Person of the Ball.What star will adorn the "Diamond Ball" this year – is still a mystery.

There’s much to talk about the "Diamond Week of Yakutia", because there are a lot of interesting, informative and pleasant nuances in it.But the best way to learn all about this event - it's just to visit it in early September.Come and you will see everything yourself, fully enjoy special atmosphere of the "Diamond Week of Yakutia" and appreciate greatheartedness and hospitality of the people of Yakutia.

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- Good luck to you, and thank you very much for your interesting and fascinating story.

You are welcome.

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