''You enter a shop, and a strange smell welcomes you. It can repel a tourist''

The most popular Tatarstan souvenirs: chak-chak, alcohol produce, talkysh kaleve and cured goose

''You enter a shop, and a strange smell welcomes you. It can repel a tourist'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

A round-table talk in the State Alcoholic Inspection of the Republic of Tatarstan, which was dedicated to the souvenir market before the Football WC, discussed what tourists liked the most as a souvenir and what stupid things can be written on labels of creative valenki. Participants talked how they could attract more guests to Tatarstan with the help of attractive production. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.

First tourists of ''Tatarstan: 1001 Delights'' route

Deputy head of the State Alcoholic Inspection of the Republic of Tatarstan Fannur Khammatov immediately started with saying that local souvenirs had problems. Meanwhile, souvenir markets in other countries are more developed.

''The most developed market is in Germany, annual turnover is €4bn, in France and Italy it's smaller but big as well. We need to raise service culture because many people want to bring souvenirs as a memento,'' Fannur Khammatov set the pace to the meeting.

If Tatarstan conserves positions of one of the leaders in tourism in the country, why it couldn't create souvenirs at the same high level.

Prerequisites for no necessity to go stale are on the surface. Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan Artur Abdrashitov told about positive dynamics. Last year, 3,1 million people visited Tatarstan, which is 7% more than in 2016. 278,000 people were foreign tourists, this indicator annually grows.

''China is an absolute leader in number of tourists, it's followed by the UAE, Germany, India, the USA,'' noticed Artur Abdrashitov

''The biggest growth of flow of foreign tourist is from Iran. It's been the leader of recent years. It's on the first place in percentage terms in comparison with last years' data. And China is an absolute leader in number of tourists, it's followed by the UAE, Germany, India, the USA,'' noticed Artur Abdrashitov.

Kazan is already lucky, we host the match between Iran and Spain, it means there must be more tourists from the country, which is potentially interested in us. Last year, the volume of services was 13,6 billion rubles, including related sectors – more than 20 billion rubles, which is 12% more than the results in 2016.

Taxes paid to the budget of the Republic of Tatarstan from tourism in 2017 reached 4,4bn rubles. Tourist opportunities are actively promoted. This May the republic will host its first tourists in ''Tatarstan: 1001 Delights'' route.

There must be no problem with hotels and any other places for accommodation – all 404 have been classified in Tatarstan. There are also enough tourist festivals, but it doesn't attract local masters now.

''Figuratively speaking, 40 out of 50 seats are occupied by masters who are not from Tatarstan. There are those who cover a thousand, two thousand kilometres, somebody comes from Belarus. We need to understand how to attract local craftsmen,'' the representative of the State Committee for Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan expressed the problem.

We need to offer self-service, correct layout of goods, not to work via sellers. Their questions often make people feel uncomfortable. If a good was brought from the store, it's comfortable to go without buying anything,'' Marina Yegorova opened the eyes to sellers

Correct layout of goods, not work via sellers

It is what director of the Kazan Regional Office of the State Alcoholic Inspection of the Republic of Tatarstan Marina Yegorova tried to urge to. You wanted new service culture – here you are.

''Owners of souvenir shops often require the constant presence of sellers in the hall, because of whom purchasers go without buying a good. Many people don't like when somebody constantly follows them. We need to offer self-service, a correct layout of goods, not to work via sellers. Their questions often make people feel uncomfortable. If a good was brought from the store, it's comfortable to go without a purchase,'' Marina Yegorova opened the eyes to sellers.

Speaking of the most popular goods that are bought as a souvenir, it becomes easier to apply the expressed advice. Head of the Department of Domestic Market Development and Coordination of the State Alcoholic Inspection of the Republic of Tatarstan Rozalia Arslanova gave examples of several top products, according to opinions: chak-chak, alcoholic drinks, talkysh kaleve, cured goose. But when shops are checked how they sell what guests like the most, specialists had to face a specific smell.

''Sometimes you enter a shop, and a strange smell welcomes you. It can repel a tourist, competition is high now. Pastries and fish can be kept in one fridge, some points had cheese with mould in the window,'' Rozalia Arslanova announced the violations.

Tatarstan Rozalia Arslanova gave examples of several top products, according to opinions: chak-chak, alcoholic drinks, talkysh kaleve, cured goose

Specialists of the State Alcoholic Inspection of the Republic of Tatarstan undertook the issue with as much responsibility as possible and even conducted a survey that showed that 70% of the respondents had purchased souvenirs in Tatarstan, 22% — hadn't, 8% — don't remember if they have done it ever. Meanwhile, the majority of guests pay attention to price first, only then to the good's quality, they prefer to buy pleasant stuff in special souvenir shops. Fortunately, the majority hasn't purchased low-quality products, but 32% of people have complained anyway – somebody didn't like the waistcoat, somebody said pastry wasn't soft enough.

How can one wash and drain valenki?

Local producers already make plans how they can change products before the Football WC. For instance, the Kazan Bread Factory No.3 has negotiations to produce goods under Visit Tatarstan brand. And Tatspirtprom prepares new museum-shops and Stofs in the form of Kazan Arena and Kazan Family Centre. Representatives of shops immediately asked how they could sell such goods. But they were reminded that they compulsorily needed to get licences to sell alcoholic drinks, no matter if it was just two types of Stofs.

There were also found remarks about non-foodstuff. So a variety of names is found on labels.

''A considerable part of goods doesn't have marking, there are requirements for symbols of produce care instructions already, nothing needs to be invented. A purchaser just doesn't know how to care. For instance, you saw valenki whose marking says they can be washed and drained. How is it possible? Look at what is written, so that there won't be a divergence,'' member of the regional public organisation on consumer right protection in the Republic of Tatarstan Pravoved Consumer Protection Agency Olga Mansurova urged to pay attention.

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By Yulia Kosolapkina. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov
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