One of the most astounding tourist routes both for Russian and overseas tourists might be excursions to the ancient town of Hunnus (Hunnu ‑ Khoto in the Buryat language) ‑ Ivolginskoye gorodishe (the sight of an ancient town).
Today there are 23 objects of the World Cultural Heritage of all Russia's monuments of federal significance totalling 40 thousand, only 2 % being located in the Siberian federal okrug (region). We have great credit to make Buryatia the area of the world's eventful market, to create the all-year-round system of tours. So far Dagestan is a vivid example to be followed as far as tourism is concerned. It has been consecutively and persistently struggling for its space under the "sun of tourism" in Russia. Despite the problems like international terrorism, local conflicts ‑ Dagestan's tourist attractiveness has been rapidly growing. In the late 80s ‑ the early 90s, on those uneasy days of perestroika, the local authorities of that republic managed the fortress Naryn-Kala to be included into UNESKO's Heritage list. After that the city of Derbent, as a result of targeted efforts, has become the "most ancient city" of Russia. Nowadays the slogan "Derbent is five thousand years old!" is a powerful advertisement, a "trade promoter" for all the city-dwellers who are thriving in this medieval city of narrow streets and small yards where you can watch colorfully dressed elderly people or elegant-looking scholars of the local museums.
The date of the city's foundation was promulgated to commemorate the time when the first pioneers settled on that narrow band of land between Caucasian mountain ridges and the sea. In fact, this date, was wisely used as if it were the year of the city's foundation. A great ingenuity was devised to compose a fine tale which turned out to be very beneficial for the area.
Let's pay tribute to the hospitable locals ‑ the fortress itself and the city produced a tremendous impression on us by its originally preserved splendid view and the quality of services.
Our native city of Ulan-Ude can also obtain the status of Russia's most ancient city if it makes use of the ancestors' gift ‑ Hunnu-Khoto. Taking the example of Derbent as of a successful tourist Mecca the Ulan-Ude authorities and we, the locals, should emphasize the fact that Ivolginskoye gorodishe is more than 2 thousand years old not to mention the humans' very first neolite-period-stand at Verkhnyaya Berezovka which is 12 thousand years old.
A renowned Russian archeologist S. Minyaev of St. Peterburg Institute of Material Culture History was interviewed by a group of Buryat journalists at the excavations in the Kyakhtin-sky rayon.
According to radiocarbon analysis of cultural layers and remains the ancient city of Hunnus, aged 2000,
proved to be one of Russia's oldest historical sites nearby Ulan-Ude, thus making our city-folks direct heirs of the Hunnu civilization. The discovery of a big administrative and trade center with deep defensive ditches filled with water, architectural lay-out, Shan-yui's palace found out within Ulan-Ude outskirts is, of course, a rare phenomenon ‑ stressed S.Minyaev.
Yevgeniy Kislov, a scholar of local lore sticks to the above given opinion drawing our attention to China's tourist attractions in Sian province. He says that the Hunnu project was so actively advertised and launched that Tsin Shi Khuan Di Empror's "terracotta army" excavations having been restored are normally visited by several thousand tourists daily.
All these things give rise to sacramental questions: Won't Baikal alone do? Aren't we worthy hosts?
As S. Minayev puts it, the exhibition "Hunnus ‑ Mysteries of the Perished Empire" was held with the combined efforts of Buryatia's museums. It was actively promoted by T.G.Tsybikov, Ministers of Culture of the Buryat Republic. As far as the display's scientific value is concerned, by its richness of findings this exposition outstrips the rest world-famous museums including the State Hermitage. Though Baikal is known to be one of the top ten popular routes of Russia, the flow of tourists is regularly much more on the side of Irkutsk. But competition in this sphere has increasingly been stronger with every day; therefore Ivolginskoye gorodishe might give rise to tourist boom in Buryatia, provided that it gained the status of another UNESCO's World Heritage site. Business projects of archeological attractions are usually considered to be most quickly repaid.