Making money on 'Echo of World Cup': about how head of tourism state committee gives tours around Kazan

Making money on 'Echo of World Cup': about how head of tourism state committee gives tours around Kazan Photo: Maria Gorozhaninova

The centre of tourism development of the Republic of Tatarstan has launched a free project under unconventional name 'Oh, my guide!'. With its help, local residents will have an opportunity to go to a free tour with famous people of the city, not only around Kazan, but also abroad. The first such famous person was Chairman of the State Committee for Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan Sergey Ivanov, who, armed with a speaker and facts, led the tourists by the traces of the World Cup. He could not resist and divided the group in two parts in Kazan Arena and brought them to the football field to music — as if they were real players. Read the details about the interactive and new tourist project in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

'Oh, my guide!', it means free excursions

Tatarstan Tourism Development Centre has launched its new project — a series of free tours 'Oh, my guide!'. For Kazan citizens, they will be given by famous residents of the city, and the topic will depend directly on the guides themselves.

''We involve various experts — cultural and sports figures, those who are experts in a particular field of excursions. We will hold them regularly — once a week or in two weeks. Our next guides are sports figures. We are planning to attract racers, we do not disclose the names yet, but we will certainly inform you on the accounts of Visit Tatarstan,'' said Director of the Tourism Development Centre Dilbar Sadykova.

According to her, excursions will presumably be held until October this year. It all depends on the weather, so it is possible that the project will be extended. It is necessary to sign up for them quickly, for each of the trips they will take up to 45 people — that is how many the tour bus can hold.

They promise that tourists will be shown beautiful views, parks and squares, they will be taken to the regions of the republic — for example, to Great Bolgar, Sviyazhsk, Naberezhnye Chelny. With the project 'Oh my guide!', the organizers plan not only to interest Kazan citizens, but also to check what topics and routes they will be interested in, in order to launch commercial tours for tourists in the future.

The project started from the tour 'Echo of World Cup', where they invited journalists and citizens

The project started from the tour 'Echo of World Cup', where they invited journalists and citizens. There was a full house in less than two hours, Dilbar Sadykova said. This tour became the first, tickets for it can already be purchased in travel companies and the tour centre of Kazan. The price — less than 500 rubles, the price includes the services of a guide and bus rental.

They tried to implement this idea as soon as possible — while the traces of the World Cup are still ''hot''.

''I think the idea was on the surface, on the one hand. Each city is proud of the events that took place there, and for us, for the republic this is a historic event. Naturally, we want people who come to us also knew about this,'' explains Sergey Ivanov. ''Moreover, due to the infrastructure, interesting events and facts that were here, we are becoming more attractive to tourists. Our task is to make it acquired the shape of a particular product.''

Ivanov noted that they have not heard about similar projects in the regions of Russia after the World Cup, but this practice is common in other host countries of the World Cup.

Graffiti route

The chairman of the State Committee for Tourism got used to the role of a guide pretty quickly — he told a variety of interesting facts and did not forget to even draw the attention of the group in the bus. The tour 'Echo of World Cup' began from the hotel Ramada, where world famous players stayed. Sergey Ivanov first told about the World Cup and took everyone to the portraits of Ronaldo, Messi and Luka Modrić, in front of which he invited to take a selfie and was first to take the phone in front of the portrait of winking Ronaldo. Of course, it couldn't do without jokes about the heroes of graffiti, because in Kazan there appeared its own phenomenon — all teams, the leaders of which were drawn, lost matches in the World Cup.

It couldn't do without jokes about the heroes of graffiti

The next point of the tour was another hotel — Mirage. It is not difficult to guess why it was chosen because it offers the view on a portrait — this time of Neymar. There our guide asked the tricky question — does anyone know the full name of the player? No one except Ivanov could pronounce 'Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior'. And no one knew.

Another picture, which was shown to the tour group, is located on Bulak. There were the best football players — the world team. From there, on the route 'Echo of World Cup', they all went to the letters 'Kazan' in front of the Kremlin, and after them — to Chasha family centre, where the fan-fest was located, and to the Boulevard of Fans — of course, under the comments of the VIP-guide. For example, it turned out that sawdust near the family centre Kazan was collected and processed from the residual materials in a production facility and the trees were not destroyed specifically for this.

Sitting on the spot of Messi and feeling like a football player

The most interesting thing, of course, was waiting for the group in Kazan Arena. Giving a seat to everyone on VIP seats of the stadium, just below the presidential lodge, Ivanov said that from there specially invited guests were watching football. There, the guide told in more detail about the stadium itself — about its capacity of 45,000 people, the largest media facade in Europe, for the construction of which it was used 130 tonnes of metal structures, which are equal in weight to sixty-five Boeing 747 aircrafts, the paving around the stadium, which by volume is comparable to six Red Squares in Moscow. After learning interesting facts, the group moved to the press centre, where those who wanted could sit on the place of speakers of the World Cup and imagine how they were speaking about the results and plans of the teams, after which the head of the state committee for tourism led everyone to the holy of holies — athletes' locker rooms.

The most interesting thing, of course, was waiting for the group at Kazan Arena

The portraits of players and their T-shirts hanging on the places they occupied reminded about the World Cup. Messi, Samedov, Azmoun, Neymar, Falcao, Lewandowski — tourists could sit in any of the seats of the athletes, and those who were particularly interested even had the opportunity to visit the shower rooms and to wash hands in the jacuzzi for players.

After the players' changing rooms, the only thing left was to go to the field. Or, at least, imagine that you go out on the field. Thanks to Sergey Ivanov, who came up with the idea to divide the group in two parts and to music to go on the field like real football teams, it was not difficult to imagine that it happened under friendly happy laughter of the participants of the tour. However, they were not allowed on the well maintained lawn — according to our guide, only special employees and sparrows have access to the grass, for whom human rules do not work.

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By Maria Gorozhaninova, author’s photo
Tatarstan