On February 25, the first organized group of tourists from China after the pandemic arrives in St. Petersburg. The day before she visited Moscow. And today the guests of the Celestial Empire will take the Sapsan train to the Northern capital, where they will spend two days. And they will go to Moscow again.
The return of Chinese tourists is a historic event, the first group will be followed by others. Everyone involved in the tourism industry expects the number of tourists to grow. And even if it doesn’t beat pre-pandemic indicators, it will still be very noticeable.
The figures speak for themselves: if in 2018 the city of Petra was visited by about 800 thousand Chinese citizens, in 2019, already one million. Such data was reported in the St. Petersburg Tourism Development Committee. If it weren’t for the coronavirus restrictions, the number of tourists would continue to grow. Now you really have to start from scratch.
“The infrastructure is fully ready to receive guests from China. It has only improved during the pandemic,” said Mikhail Ushakov, director of the National Association of Information and Tourism Organizations, “and our common goal is to attract as many tourists as possible from this country as possible, including wealthy citizens, this is the segment that also needs to be developed.”
By the way, regarding solvency. The Chinese were very willing to buy products of famous world brands from us. Now many companies have left the Russian market. This means that it is necessary to actively promote interesting designer products of Russian manufacture.
As Olga Lebedeva, CEO of one of the leading travel agencies, explained to RG, there are already requests for group tourism in March. But only that we are not talking about large groups of 45 people, but about small ones, ten or twenty.
The “portrait of a tourist” has also changed. Until now, you have to fly on regular flights, that is, traveling by plane is expensive. As a result, ticket prices have more than doubled, which is affordable for the already wealthier Chinese. But if charters are reintroduced en masse, everything will go back to normal.
Regarding preferences, they book three and four star hotels. The priority, as it was, is a tour combined with a visit to the “Two Capitals” – Moscow and St. Petersburg. That is, tourists come to Moscow (or St. Petersburg), inspect the city, get on the “Sapsan” and go to another. As a rule, Chinese guests stay in the northern capital for five days (four nights). And the program includes: a sightseeing tour of the city with a visit to the Peter and Paul Fortress, Tsarskoye Selo with the Catherine Palace, the Hermitage, Peterhof with the Grand Palace. In fact, these same places are also preferred by guests from other countries around the world.
However, Chinese tourists still like to travel to Veliky Novgorod, and tour operators expect demand for this location to pick up. The emergence of a massive interest in visiting Vyborg is also foreseen.
Boat tour companies are also looking forward to the return of a massive influx of visitors from China. According to Andrei Kuznetsov, who runs one of them, only a few tourists from China had requests for sightseeing tours and educational water trips. But there are enough excursions for tourists on buses.
Water excursions were more interested in single tourists and traveling families. And up to 90 percent of the tourist flow preferred entertainment programs. That is, folkloric performances plus a good table. They are ready to provide both such and educational programs.
Perhaps there will be an increase in demand for Kronstadt (“Island of the Strong”). Also, some Chinese tourists enjoyed traveling along the Neva to the Oreshek fortress. Tour operators expect interest in these places to continue.
All the texts of the plot “Recreation and tourism in Russia” read here.