Subject. The article focuses on socio-economic, socio-cultural disparity between regions and lack of the appropriate institutional environment. Objectives. The research studies the need for development, role of culinary tourism in Karelia, and its impact on the region’s economy. I also reveal the specifics of the region’s ethnic identity through the national cuisine. The article presents my recommendations for tourism services development. Methods. The research constitutes an empirical study on the basis of the sociological method of survey (structured interview) and questionnaires. Using the logic method, method of analysis and synthesis, I examined whether tourist destinations should be developed by advertising the culinary specialties of the regions. Results. I obtained data that allow to conclude that the culinary tourism is very attractive and important for developing tourist destinations. According to the majority of respondents, this will have a positive economic effect on the development of the Republic of Karelia. Conclusions and Relevance. National cuisine is a promising aspect for developing the inbound tourism as a factor of the socio-economic development of the region. Representatives of the regional community drive this process. If innovative forms are developed on the basis of national identity, this will help the regional community evolve, strengthen and diversify cross-border ties, thus making the Russian society move forward.
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