''French tour operators include Kazan in their booklets, in addition to Moscow and St. Petersburg''

Head of the Committee for Tourism Development of Kazan Daria Sannikova – about how the cooperation of the capital of Tatarstan with European cities is arranged

''French tour operators include Kazan in their booklets, in addition to Moscow and St. Petersburg'' Photo: kzn.ru

Daria Sannikova has headed the Committee for Tourism Development in Kazan since 2016 and honestly admits that it is not an easy job. Specially for Realnoe Vremya, Director of ANO Divergent, social entrepreneur Roman Egorov interviewed Daria Sannikova and found out how the work of the committee is organized, how cooperation with European cities is arranged and whether foreign countries started to know about the capital of Tatarstan more.

''The image of Kazan in the international community is very important to us''

Daria, could you tell us how the work of your committee is arranged?

The Tourism Committee consists of three departments: the tourism department, the tourism product promotion department and the grant and competition programmes and public relations department. The first deals directly with the entire internal infrastructure: navigation, restaurants, hotels, competitions for specialists, training of guides and other things that create the atmosphere in the city, as well as the organisation of events aimed at attracting tourists to our city.

The second department is engaged in interaction with partner cities and sister cities, as well as the promotion of the city in the Russian and international tourism markets, in particular, it participates in tourism exhibitions in order to build the right image of Kazan. The third department implements grant and competition programmes and is engaged in public relations. The work of this department is to find various grants and competitions where Kazan could participate and make itself known.

''It is an unprecedented event, thanks to it, a large number of foreigners learnt about our city. No Russian city had ever organised such events in Paris before.'' Photo: kzn.ru

Do you cooperate with some other cities, maybe take some ideas from them?

We have 15 sister cities, 37 partner cities. These are Chinese, Turkish cities, cities of near and far abroad. We have an agreement in the field of tourism with the city of Paris. The image of Kazan in the international community is very important to us.

How are we and our culture connected with the culture of other countries, how do you find intersections?

In 2016, when the agreement in the field of tourism with Paris was signed, it was decided that we would carry out joint activities. Therefore, in 2017 we organized Sabantuy in Paris. It is an unprecedented event, thanks to it, a large number of foreigners learnt about our city. No Russian city had ever organised such events in Paris before.

Then, in July 2017, continuing our cooperation with Paris, we organised Window to Paris. It is a festival of street art at the junction of fashion and photography, dedicated to the founder of Soviet advertising Alexander Rodchenko. His exhibition was held in 1925 in the Field of Mars, and we decided to repeat it. He once studied and lived in Kazan, met Mayakovsky here for the first time, with whom he later collaborated. We held a festival dedicated to French culture, tried to create the atmosphere and convey the flavour of France, but special attention was paid to the creativity of Rodchenko, as a visible confirmation of the relationship between Paris and Kazan.

''We held a festival dedicated to French culture, tried to create the atmosphere and convey the flavour of France.'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

''Europe begins to know about Kazan, not only because of Rubin and Tatar pies''

Did the event go successfully in your opinion?

We, the organizers of this event, and the guests who visited it, have very good memories from this event. By the way, not only emotions remained from this event. After all, our Kazan fashion designer Ekaterina Borisovna created a special collection for the festival. And our Kazan photographer Bogdanov made interesting photographs. All this remains and exists today. Therefore, together with the Russian Embassy in Germany, we are holding another exhibition dedicated to the work of Rodchenko. I believe that this is a big step towards truly spreading our culture and promoting our culture on the territory of other states.

What other plans does your committee have?

We now have very friendly relations with Spain, so we are planning to hold events related to this country. For example, Gala Dali, Salvador Dali's wife and muse, also, as you know, once lived in Kazan. This year we will hold an event dedicated to the personality of Gala, Spanish culture and Spanish fine art. We want to show that you don't have to go far for the culture. You can join the treasures of world culture in Kazan. According to the plan, the event will be held in Kazan this summer.

How much response in the world does your activity get?

Europe has begun to know about Kazan. Not only because there is Rubin or Tatar pies. In Germany, Spain and France, where we conduct systematic work, participate in exhibitions, make road shows in cities, gather tour operators and the media, communicate with them – they already perceive Kazan as the third capital of Russia. For example, French tour operators include Kazan in their booklets, in addition to Moscow and St. Petersburg. I think this is the result.

By Roman Yegorov
Tatarstan