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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Russian tourism it is difficult to keep last year’s records

Despite the increase in domestic and inbound tourist flow, industry representatives emphasize that the upcoming holiday season will be much harder than the previous one. Major risks – the fall in the purchasing power of the population, the costs of the hoteliers, the shortage of professional staff. In such hands, the popularity of Russia among tourists from China and Iran weather does.

Last year domestic tourism and inbound tourist flow showed the same increase of 10%, the annual capital’s exhibition “Intourmarket” Minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky. In the end, the share of tourism in GDP reached 3.4% of GDP, which, of course, not even 10%, which some time ago told President Vladimir Putin about plans for the future, but there is definite improvement.

Would not be cheaper

“Tourism – a fashionable topic among officials, and many of the regions represented by their officials in her rushed”

Especially impressive was the statistics on the visits to Russia of guests from selected countries of Asia. The highest increase of tourist flow – 72% – showed Iran and the tourists from China took first place in the overall classification for non-CIS countries. According to the cochairman of the Russian-Chinese Committee of friendship, peace and development Boris Titov, in 2016 the Russian Federation called for a 1.2–1.3 mln tourists from China, which is 40% more than the year before (it is believed that the Chinese people are primarily drawn to monuments from the Communist theme). The Europeans did not bypass Russia party: the Spaniards in the past year came to 12% of French and Italians – 5%. “This suggests that the interest of the citizens of Western countries to Russia as a country with rich tourism opportunities are growing, despite the anti-Russian propaganda campaign in Western media”, – said Medina.

The main factor that led to the sharp increase in arrivals, we should recognize the devaluation of the ruble. On the background of an almost two-fold depreciation of the Russian currency, the cost of accommodation in hotels, restaurants and other popular tourist services in the last two years increased considerably less. The weakening of the ruble refocused on vacation home resorts, and many Russians, another factor of “import substitution” was the closure of Egypt and Turkey. In short, this combination of the incoming conditions from the results are predictable and logical.

Another thing is that already this holiday season, count on the continued growth in the domestic market is quite problematic.

“Last year in the absence of Turkey and Egypt were the most successful for the Russian tourism over the last many years, but the return of Turkey is very serious, – said the newspaper VIEW CEO network of travel agencies “Pink elephant” Alexan Mkrtchyan. – This year, Moscow has announced on the Turkish coast more than 70 Charter flights per week, from Rostov-na-Donu – 26 flights a week from Krasnodar – 22. This will lead to a certain outflow of tourists from the Russian resorts, and this year no growth in the number of tourists will not be in the Crimea or in the Krasnodar region, and may be negative, although officials are afraid to use this word. Egypt, however, until the autumn will not, and will he fall is the big question.”

Realizing the new situation on the market, the head of the Federal tourism Agency Oleg Safonov, in the course of the same “ITM” addressed to the tourism industry with two appeals: to reduce prices and develop the system “all inclusive”, which is so popular in Turkish hotels. “We understand that our tourists love this system, it is very popular, but, unfortunately, not so many hotels functioning under this system”, – said Safonov.

“Unfortunately, this idea has little to do with the harsh Russian reality, – commented on the situation for the newspaper LOOK Vice-President of the Federation of restaurateurs and hoteliers of Russia Vadim Prasov. – Turkey and Egypt small hotel is 150 rooms, but we only have 15 rooms, is a completely different economy. And given the fact that we have not reduced any taxes or housing prices or the cost of food and beverages, count on the fact that the introduction of “all inclusive” will reduce prices on the rest, is clearly not necessary”.

Some movement in this direction has already confirmed that Alexan Mkrtchyan, but it is only a few examples. And only in the case that hotels charge in the control of the tour operators, but suitable facilities on our coast a bit.

However, officials said it can be concluded that the return to the market of Turkey domestic tourism is quite ready. In particular, the average price of accommodation in the Crimea in the upcoming season, announced by Minister of resorts and tourism of the Republic Sergey Strelbitsky, at present you can recognize funny – about 2600 rubles per day in a nursing home with food and basic treatment, about 3 thousand rubles per night in a mini-hotel, 1500-2500 rubles for rent. The last segment in the Crimea, according to Strelbitskogo, the most popular private sector in the past year chose half of the tourists who visited the Crimea. While the hotels of three “stars” and later on the Peninsula is what is missing.

But on the coast of the Krasnodar region the situation is opposite: here the hotel infrastructure is already quite developed and many hoteliers have already established civilized relations with tour operators. You only have to convey to direct clientele, tour operator in the domestic market is often not the mediator. “Many of the objects now is to reduce the reserve price, and the market is already a lot of companies that provides quality services at a great price – said General Director of the Adler sanatorium “Knowledge” Dmitry Bogdanov newspaper VIEW. – So you need not to look for low cost on the online booking system, to play roulette, but to contact tour operators for that Sochi has five to seven reliable operators, the same situation in the Crimea and other resorts. In this case, you can find a good combination of price and quality”.

New “stars”

“The only apparent exception is the Republic of Tatarstan, in favor of who has so far played the notorious clan”

Another relatively new trend in the domestic tourism market – the emergence of new “stars”, which several years ago was hardly considered as centres of hospitality. A typical example from this series – Kazan, which, after the celebrations of the 1000th anniversary of the city and the Universiade 2013 attracts more and more tourists, the benefit of these events attracted in capital of Tatarstan a considerable investment and facilitate infrastructure development.

Attempts to develop tourism outside of such premises, as the warm climate or world-famous attractions, take the other regions, and in General this trend is in line with the world. For Europe, for example, tourism is an integral part of the economy of any region or municipality. But Russia in this sense has its own specifics. According to Dmitry Bogdanova, today about the development of tourism I think the regions facing budget problems. This, for example, Bashkiria, which after the recent accession of Bashneft to Rosneft faces a decline in revenues from the oil and gas industry. Another thing is that it turns out not all.

“Tourism – a fashionable topic among officials, and many of the regions represented by their officials in her rushed – said Bogdanov. But officials easier to argue, because they do not dispose of their money, and the business is constantly at risk. Although the presentations and project officials sometimes just business did not hear the officials say that the business in the regions so-so, so you have to take things into their own hands. Working in tourism for 20 years, I can say that nothing good, this approach does not end – neither for the industry nor for tourists, not for budgets”. Skeptical of statements made by many entrepreneurs to ITM can be considered a proof.

The only apparent exception, says Bogdanov, is exactly of Tatarstan, in favor of who has so far played the notorious clan: “Clan business, I think from the point of view of the interests of the Republic, and local politicians think in terms of the business – hence the understanding of the need for upfront investment for development. In addition, the head of Tatarstan Ministry of tourism Sergey Ivanov has very extensive experience in the industry. In most other regions the people who run tourism, not working in it any day. So the number of officials should just pay more attention to their words, and the best place to have short courses from industry professionals, to avoid serious blunders”.

A professional approach is clearly not enough and in the management of inbound tourist traffic. According to Vadim Prasova, you first need to at least learn how to count tourists, for example, according to the roaming mobile operators. “The growth in Chinese tourist arrivals is felt only in some locations – St. Petersburg, Moscow, the far East, partly Kazan, – says the expert of record on the entry of tourists from China. But it hardly makes sense to say that the Russian tourism in General felt the growth of the Chinese stream. Any region may show growth in Chinese tourists, but in absolute terms their number will be insignificant”.

As for the key authorities of the criterion of efficiency of the industry – its share in GDP, Prasov says that its direct representation is too abstract value: “I have never seen the methodology on which this calculation. Therefore, the data can be taken for granted only if you absolutely trust the statistical authorities – but these people we will hardly find”.


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