Posted 1 июля 2022,, 06:49

Published 1 июля 2022,, 06:49

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Domestic tourism - 2022: demand is increasing, prices are higher than the clouds, the future is bright

Domestic tourism - 2022: demand is increasing, prices are higher than the clouds, the future is bright

1 июля 2022, 06:49
Restrictions on foreign travel have forced a huge number of tourists to choose to travel around Russia this summer. Domestic tourism is in demand more than ever. Novye Izvestia tries to find out to what extent the offers of this summer correspond to the expectations and possibilities of tourists.

Irina Mishina

This summer has reduced hopes for a holiday by the sea in Russia. The reason is that many southern airports are closed, there are problems with logistics. It is difficult to get to Anapa or Gelendzhik. Crimea and the Krasnodar Territory, due to closed airports, missed a large number of tourists this year. According to the head of the sales department of the travel agency "Bon Tour" Monika Bialiatskaya, back in the spring there were a lot of cancellations of previously booked tours in these areas, and the demand dropped significantly: “Be careful, they are very traveling. People are canceling tours. Because it’s restless, people don’t want to take risks”.

Hospitality industry instead of tourism industry?

But the high tourist season nevertheless started. And he already has his own distinctive features. First of all, it is the demand for the Caucasian direction. Moreover, the Caucasus "shoots" largely thanks to new complexes - such as Arkhyz. Powerful complexes are being built in Dagestan, Chechnya, Karachay-Cherkessia, and Adygea. Adler is very popular. The average cost of a trip there is 65,000 rubles, Travelata told NI.

Indeed, holidays in Abkhazia are both the sea and the sun, and the prices there do not bite as much as in other seaside resorts. According to Irina Semyonova, member of the board of the Alliance of Travel Agencies of Russia, general director of the travel agency network, hotels in Abkhazia were already heavily loaded in May - so much so that it was very difficult to find places for a large group. In June, hotels in Abkhazia are already fully loaded.

“Quality hotel rooms are now loaded throughout the country. Due to the temporary closure of some of the southern airports, tourist flows from Crimea, Anapa, and Gelendzhik do not reach this season. But the best hotels and resorts are sold there too. Bitkom Sochi, Caucasian Mineral Waters, the demand for Dagestan, the southern regions of the Volga region is growing”, - Sergey Shpilko, honorary president of the Russian Union of Tourism Industry, told NI.

New beach destinations have been discovered by tourists in other regions. “There are kilometers of sandy beaches in Dagestan, but no one knows about it”, - said Sergey Novikov, head of the Russian President’s Office for Public Projects, at a discussion on tourism issues at SPIEF. But in response to this, the head of the Republic of Dagestan, Sergey Melikov, told how things really are with tourism in the region: “Last year, Dagestan received more than 1 million tourists. This year we are expecting 1.5 million. But today, in fact, we are not ready to accept either 1 million or 1.5 million. We accept them, they leave satisfied, but this is not the tourism industry, this is the hospitality industry. In the hospitality industry, we are ready to accept up to 2 million, but at the expense of campsites, glampings”.

Campsites and glamping sites are established in the region not so much because it is fashionable, but because it is an easier and, most importantly, faster way to secure tourist spots. After all, the tourist infrastructure in Russia today is not developed to the extent necessary to meet the needs of domestic tourists.

New destinations and new prices

Against this backdrop, completely unexpected tourist destinations have won. “The relative beneficiaries within the country have become beach, ski, to a certain extent sightseeing, and all types of nature-oriented tourism: adventure, ecological, sports”, - says the honorary president of the Russian Union of the Tourism Industry, Candidate of Economic Sciences Sergey Shpilko. - Successfully everything related to visiting wildlife; ecological and sports tourism. Here it is impossible not to mention Altai, Siberia. There are successful charter programs – to Sakhalin, Kamchatka, Buryatia, Murmansk, Tyumen, Dagestan, Chechnya, Seliger, Bashkiria, Kazan”.

Last season, many tourists complained that the prices for tours within the country are much higher than foreign ones with a lower level of service. For example, a 10-day tour to Anapa in the 4-star hotel "Cote d'Azur" exceeded both Turkey and Egypt in cost, approaching 200 thousand rubles for 9 nights. The reward for this for many tourists was gastrointestinal illness due to pollution of sea water by sewage near the beaches. Many of those who have encountered this hazardous service in the Krasnodar Territory have chosen diametrically opposite directions this year.

Moscow in the summer of 2022 is recognized as the most profitable tourist destination for Russians. The cost of a trip to the capital is an average of 28 thousand rubles, calculated in the service for searching and booking tours Travelata. Kazan is in second place in the list of budget destinations (38 thousand rubles), and St. Petersburg, popular with Russian tourists, closes the top three (38 thousand rubles). The Kaliningrad region is also among the leaders of budgetary directions, it is in fourth place. The average cost of a trip to this region is almost 44 thousand rubles. Mineralnye Vody closes the top five budget destinations with an average tour price of more than 53 thousand rubles.

We decided to check how the advertising of a "budget" holiday in St. Petersburg corresponds to reality and went there.

Is selling expensive the key to success?

In mid-June, Smolny announced that St. Petersburg could receive more than 7 million tourists by the end of 2022. Their number in the northern capital during the white nights is really impressive. For example, so many tourists come to watch the drawing of bridges that the whole embankment can hardly accommodate them.

But that's not all: most of them choose to watch the bridges from the Neva, on a boat. And here an amazing phenomenon occurs more and more often: a “cork” on the river. The fact is that there are so many pleasure boats on the Neva in the summer that their movement periodically stops. By the way, the cost of such a night tour along the Neva starts from 2 thousand rubles. During the day, traveling along the rivers and canals of St. Petersburg is a little cheaper: 1 ticket on a boat costs 1 thousand rubles for an adult.

Barkers, street sellers of tours and excursions in St. Petersburg at every turn. The city is fully monetized. So, the entrance to churches and cathedrals - St. Isaac's, Savior-on-Blood, Peter and Paul - is also paid, and by no means cheap. If you are going to enjoy the beauty of Peterhof or Pavlovsk, you will have to spend even more. The cost of a ticket on the Meteora to Peterhof is 1 thousand rubles, the entrance to the park is also paid, in addition to this, the entrance to the palace will also cost about 1 thousand rubles. Thus, only one tourist during an excursion to Peterhof brings up to 3-4 thousand rubles to the city treasury. Of course, it is difficult to call such “educational tourism” budgetary.

“The average cost per trip to St. Petersburg in the 1st half of 2022 amounted to 36.3–36.5 thousand rubles for tourists from Russia. per person, this is 13.7% higher than in 2021. In the 1st half of 2022, the spending of Russian tourists on food in cafes and restaurants of the city, visits to cultural sites, purchase of souvenirs, as well as on travel in the city transport,” said SPIEF. It is worth noting that during the "high season" of the white nights in St. Petersburg, accommodation in "3-star" hotels in a double room approaches 15 thousand rubles. for 3 nights, in the hotel "4 stars" exceeds 20 thousand rubles. for 3 nights. This is at least. But tourists began to look for workarounds. Only about 38% of Russian tourists are accommodated in hotels and inns of the city, while 20% of them prefer to stay in hotels without stars, hostels and boarding houses, and the share of accommodation in 3-5 star hotels does not exceed 16%. The majority of Russian tourists (44%) in the 1st half of 2022 preferred to stay in St. Petersburg with friends and relatives.

We turned to the Committee for the Development of Tourism of St. Petersburg with a question: due to what, according to Rosstat, St. Petersburg was able to return to the figures of 2019 in terms of the volume of tourists received. Did this happen due to new proposals or is it a pattern associated with traditional interest, which is multiplied by the closure of borders?

According to the owner of the title "Master of Hospitality" from St. Petersburg Christina Tarasova , a new tourist geography has been developed in the city, in particular interregional projects - "The Silver Necklace of Russia", "Two Cities - a Million Impressions", "From Dusk Till Dawn". In addition, according to Kristina Tarasova, there is a lot of event activity in the city: a festival of flowers, orchestras, a tourism day, a festival of light plus outdoor advertising, media promotion, and thematic workshops.

However, according to our observations, the vast majority of destinations in St. Petersburg and its environs are traditional: these are city tours, the Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Fortress, Pushkin, Pavlovsk, Peterhof, Oranienbaum. The excursion offers collected in three travel agencies of St. Petersburg did not impress with their variety, but they surprised me with prices. Their average bill exceeds 2 thousand rubles

“Demand is growing, everyone has their own pricing policy. Hotel occupancy at the beginning of June is about 82%. The volume of tourist traffic is growing. Offers for every taste and budget,” explained Kristina Tarasova.

“This is the kind of business that can be considered successful. Successful in business is the one who can sell at a high price,” says Sergey Shpilko, Honorary President of the Russian Union of Travel Industry.

Rest with treatment is in trend

The current tourist season has opened another unexpected direction for many - sanatorium tourism. Here Russia is practically ahead of the rest: we have 230 sanatorium beds, this is not the case in any country. Russian sanatoriums also have their own “chips”.

“Abroad, SPA-recovery, appearance care, and disease prevention dominate. We have leading health resorts, most of the sanatoriums are provided with doctors of various specialties who are part of the staff, that is, they, these health resorts and sanatoriums, are clinical. Physiotherapy, serious illnesses, rehabilitation, together with the sanatorium complex, showed themselves brilliantly in the situation with covid. No other country in the world has had such post-COVID programs as we have. An interesting trend has emerged: the young and wealthy have begun to choose spa treatment. The advantage is that our sanatoriums are located not only in Minvody, Anapa and Crimea. Sanatorium-resort complexes are scattered throughout the country, including in Moscow, the Moscow region, St. Petersburg, ” Sergey Shpilko, honorary president of the Russian Union of Tourism Industry, told NI.

The geography of the sanatorium-resort complex of Russia is really rich. It extends to Primorye and Kamchatka, including Magadan and Belakurikha in Siberia. This is also the Urals, Ust-Kachka and sanatoriums on the coast of the Baltic and Black Seas. They are in any subject of the federation. The group of leaders also includes the Krasnodar Territory, Moscow and the region, Crimea, Bashkiria, Altai Territory. According to tour operators, the average bill for a spa holiday in Russia today is approaching 60,000 rubles per person.

“We need new resorts!”

It would seem that in fact, in the absence of competition from outbound tourism, our domestic tourism should celebrate the victory. But this, unfortunately, is not the case. And now representatives of the tourism industry are talking about obvious problems.

“We need to double the hotel capacity. It is necessary to create new resorts, primarily sea resorts. We need absolutely new modern resorts that meet the requirements of the modern tourist. On average, this task will take from 10 years, in the Caspian Sea and the south of the country. Our priority, of course, is family vacations,” said Zarina Doguzova, head of the Federal Tourism Agency.

In addition to the undeveloped infrastructure, the country lacks personnel to work in the tourism sector, this was stated by the representative of the Committee on Tourism of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Sangadzhi Tarbaev : “We spend a lot of money on building hotels and roads, but someone has to work there! Service in tourism today is half of the tourism product. And our training is not up to par! Today we are preparing about 11 thousand personnel, but we will need 250 thousand. It is important for us to create personnel.”

“There is a lack of high-quality room stock, integrated development of territories, there are problems with logistics, the system of personnel training needs to be improved. But there is significant progress. Including thanks to unprecedented state support measures as part of the implementation of the national project "Tourism and Hospitality Industry" for the period up to 2030. Here and co-financing of investment projects, and subsidizing the interest rate on loans, subsidizing air transportation within the framework of charter programs, the same cashback, grant support for small business projects, the construction of campsites, glampings and modular hotels. Separately, through the Ministry of Transport, a program is being implemented to subsidize regular air and rail passenger transportation. In general, times are not easy, but the development of domestic tourism is moving forward”, - said Sergey Shpilko, honorary president of the Russian Union of Tourism Industry.

It is worth adding that from July 1, zero VAT for hotels will be in effect. In the tourism industry, this decision is considered revolutionary. Together with cheap loans for investors who will build hotels, this makes tourism perhaps the most promising and profitable business in Russia. But how it will meet the expectations and possibilities of tourists is an open question.