A tourist project Donbas travel, aimed primarily at residents of the occupied part of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, is being developed in Ukraine. This was told by head of the State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine Maryana Oleskiv in an interview with the Dom TV channel.
These routes to popularize Donbas will also be available to Ukrainians from other regions.
"We have created a working group together with the Ministry of Reintegration and the Donetsk Regional State Administration, and now we are developing routes that may be interesting. Our goal is to popularize them for everyone. In particular, for the residents of Kyiv, Odesa and Lviv, so that they go, watch, visit and economically support the region. On the other hand, these routes are for people living, for example, in Donetsk. They may also be interested", - she said.
They also plan to involve bloggers in the popularization of Donbas, many of whom are from the region.
When developing the program, great attention is paid to the safety of tourists from Donetsk and Luhansk, so that information about them does not get into the occupied territory.
"Everything needs to be well-thought-out so that such a tour is safe for everyone. This is an important issue", - Oleskiv noted.
A system of certificates for such trips for residents of the occupied cities is also being worked out.
"But first of all, this is such soft diplomacy, let us say, the promotion first of all. We pay pensions to many people. Children from the occupied territories have an opportunity to enter Ukrainian universities - it is also important that they study here and understand that their home is Ukraine. It is possible to provide certificates for such our citizens", - the head of the State Agency added.
In the future, they plan routes throughout Ukraine, in particular, to its western part.
"We need to carry people all over Ukraine. If we are talking about "stitching the country", then it is easier to do this through tourism. Because wherever you come, everywhere you are welcome, people are hospitable. Because I always want to show that my home is the best! You can come to the "Banderites" in Lviv too. They are happy to meet everyone. They do not always answer in Russian - just not everyone speaks it. But there are no language problems, since everyone understands each other. Even if it is difficult to speak, understanding is absolute. The problem is mostly far-fetched than the one that interferes with the communication of people today", - she summed up.