MOSCOW, March 30 (RAPSI) — A bill envisaging support and development of tourism in rural areas and small towns of Russia has been submitted to the State Duma, according to the official website of the lower house of the Russian parliament.

The document seeks to fix the concept of "rural tourism" in the federal legislation on tourism activities, to determine the conditions for the provision of relevant services, as well as the powers of the Government to regulate and provide state support in this area of tourism, the statement reads.

According to one of the authors of the initiative, first deputy head of the United Russia political party MPs in the State Duma, Viktor Kidyaev, the legislation defines rural tourism as visits to the countryside or small towns of Russia, where tourists will be provided with such services as temporary accommodation, meals, leisure activities, and excursions.

As it follows from the explanatory note to the bill, the move is to supplement the law on tourism adopted back in 1996, which does not envisage development of tourism in the countryside, although on the global scale this type of tourism is considered to be one of the fastest growing.

The new version of the bill is supplemented by a rule that extends the possibilities of visits to small towns with populations of up to 30,000 or 50,000 residents. There are about eight hundred such cities in the Russian Federation, including Suzdal, Uglich, Tarusa and other recognized tourist centers. The document is to give these locations a new tool for territorial development, replenishment of local budgets and generate employment, according to Kidyaev.