Sergei Georgievskii: “We are ahead of the rest not only in ballet, but also in tourism”

27 January, 2022

Sergei Georgievskii, co-founder of the CENTER Group of Companies, explains why the tourism industry in Russia is recovering faster than in many other countries, in which regions there are more original tours, what our tourists want, what is a workation and what mistakes are common among the creators of modern tourist routes.

According to the UN World Tourism Organization, COVID-19 pandemic made traveling drop 70-75%. In 2021, one of the key Russian trends was further reorientation towards domestic trips. Reports for the leading tourist regions show that 2019 saw the tourist flow and the volume of services provided increase by about 14-20%, taking into account related industries like tourist accommodation, food, transport, shopping and entertainment. The tourist flow in 2020 was 40-50% lower than before the pandemic. Accordingly, the main regional tourist centers experienced a decrease, including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Tatarstan and the Krasnodar Krai. The negative dynamics was least notable in the Leningrad, Kaliningrad and Sakhalin Regions and the Republics of Crimea and Karelia, where the decline was less than 10%.

The tourist cashback program for trips around Russia and Russia.Travel special projects played an important part here, as well as the activities of Tourism.RF Corporation, which participates in large investment projects and initiatives for the development of master plans for tourist clusters.

In 2021 travelers most often requested:

  • authenticity;
  • mental rest;
  • road trips;
  • glamping;
  • environmental friendliness;
  • workation (vacation combined with work).

A demanded product is characterized by:

  • transport accessibility;
  • well-known sights, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites;
  • objects of local cultural, ethnical and historical value;
  • some concept and quality of accommodation and food;
  • professional guides;
  • interaction with locals;
  • target audience segmentation;
  • digital promotion.

To achieve the goals outlined in the national project, a new positioning of the tourism product is needed, aimed not only at the cognitive, but also at the emotional side of the tourist’s experience. Here there is still room for improvement. For example, most often tour operators try to redirect users from websites to Facebook accounts, while Instagram tends to be more active, with the biggest number of followers that is growing rapidly. It is also important to create advertising content and develop game storytelling, using TikTok, Yandex Zen and Telegram.

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