“The Treasure Island”

03.06.2011, 14:43
No one knows just how old Kamianets-Podilsky is, but this is no obstacle to developing the city’s tourism and infrastructure.

Not long ago, under the soviet rule, Kamianets-Podilsky was considered to be an industrial town rather than a touristic one. However, it became a tourist center within a short period of time. Every year Kamianets-Podilsky becomes more attractive in terms of the infrastructure, living standards, entertainment and leisure.

There is no end to the new ideas Kamianets-Podilsky comes up with to attract tourists. Recently the town hosted the International Festival of National Cultures “The Treasure Island” as part of the City Day celebrations. The audience enjoyed folk bands from Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria and Moldova. Ukraine was represented not only by the host-town Kamianets-Podilsky but also by Khotyn and Odesa.

The festivities met European standards with three large stages operating at the same time. The choreographic performances were accompanied by a range of other events, including a live sculpture show and concerts by the Mukacheve and Vinnytsia bands Rock-N and TiK. The city’s trademark, the Old Fortress, was the site of a large open air discotheque, Global DJ Fest, with the participation of popular Ukrainian DJs. As before the events were organized with the assistance of NGOs and sponsors. One of the organizers, the head of the Kamianets-Podilsky Youth Parliament Valentyn Drahomeretsky was happy to have an opportunity to hold a discotheque: “We’re pleased that the local authorities green-lit the organization of such concerts and discotheques, and trust the youth. It wasn’t the first time that our organization held a large-scale entertainment event. This time the discotheque finished at 4 a.m. and all the time the Old Fortress administration and the police provided us with everything we needed. We felt that it was our common endeavor, which would influence the image of our town for tourists and the citizens’ leisure.”

The aeronautics contest Podillia Cup 2011 was the central event, attended by teams from all over Ukraine. The balloons took off and landed in the historical part of the town, the Old Town, where all the key events were held.

Mayor Mykhailo Simashkevych considers the festivals to be events that both attract tourists and promote the city’s development: “Kamianets-Podilsky has always been a city with a spirit of local patriotism. We’re proud of our city, its history, and we want Ukraine and the whole of Europe to be proud of it, too, as our history is the history of many great European nations. Our architectural heritage is something that one has to see at least once in one’s life, then fall in love with the town and come again and again... I’m very pleased that this year a lot of people from all over Ukraine and abroad visited the festival. I hope they liked the City Day celebrations. We’ll try to do better in the future.

“Events of this kind are a tradition that we have to follow. I’m not the first town mayor who considers tourism to be an important element in the town’s development strategy. NGOs also play a significant role as they generate new ideas and push us. I want to sincerely thank them for the work they do. I also want to thank all the private structures that sponsored the festival; it’s good when business is socially oriented.”

However, locals are not just interested in tourism, and also want to see improving living standards. Just before City Day the local authorities officially opened the first water post-treatment pump room of European quality and promised to install ten more — the largest number in Kmelnytsky oblast.

Yevhen KASAP

2 June 2011 The day