About how Kazan guests drink tea from a 300-litre samovar and eat 15 tonnes of food

The capital of Tatarstan is going to break the attendance record — the city will be receiving 3,5 million tourists by the end of the year according to forecasts

About 3 million tourists from 169 countries visited Kazan from January to August. The increase in the flow of guests to the capital of Tatarstan, compared to last year, has exceeded 7 per cent. By the end of the year, the figure is projected to reach 3,5 million people. Read more about street performances, festivals and how many tonnes of culinary products the tourists in Kazan ate in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Staff turnover has decreased in tourism industry

Almost 16,000 people work in the tourism sector of Kazan, which is 2,5% of the number of employees in the city economy. Compared with the previous year, this figure has increased by 19%, the city hall of Kazan reported at Business Monday.

“The staff turnover rate in the tourism industry has decreased by an average of 7% compared to last year. Tourism is becoming one of the main sectors of the economy of Kazan and Tatarstan as a whole. We try to work on improving the image of the hospitality industry. The average salary in the industry is 30,000-35,000 rubles — it is also the average salary in the city,” said Daria Sannikova, the director of the Committee for Tourism Development.

Kazan has been, as usual, included in the top 3 and top 5 popular Russian cities for holidays in May and autumn weekends this season respectively, according to the analytical agency TurStat and the Russian accommodation booking service Tvil.ru. Besides, according to TurStat agency, Kazan has again entered the top five most desirable cities and resorts in Russia for the New Year holidays.

“The average salary in the industry is 30,000-35,000 rubles — it is also the average salary in the city,” said Daria Sannikova. Photo: kzn.ru

Among 142,000 foreign tourists in Kazan, there have been the French, Chinese, Kazakhs the most. The peak of hotel reservations was in May and August — 72,5% and 75,5% respectively. The occupancy rate of hotels in these months was by 12% higher compared to last year. During the days of WorldSkills, the hotels were loaded at 94%. The average occupancy of hotels over 8 months amounted to 56% in the category of 2-3 stars, and 67% — in the category of 4-5 stars. Kazan International Airport in this period serviced about 2,5 million passengers, by 8% more compared to the same period last year. There have appeared new flights to Astrakhan and Kaluga. Yakutia, the Dominican Republic, Harbin, Budapest are expected to open in October.

The most visited tourist site — the Kazan Kremlin — was visited by more than 2 million tourists, by 10 % more than in the same period last year. More than 1 million people walked along the Kremlin Embankment, and about 700,000 people visited the Riviera entertainment complex with the Aqua Park.

One of the key directions of tourism development in Kazan is working with staff in the field of hospitality. At the beginning of this year, the capital of Tatarstan for the fourth time has hosted the competition of professional skill The Stars of Hospitality. This year, the number of its participants has grown to 130 people. The Committee on Tourism Development together with the students and professors of the Kazan Innovation University named after Timiryasov have developed a project for the development of tourism in Kazan in the coming years. The students of the specialized departments have the opportunity to study the industry from the inside, during the events that take place in the city almost without a break.

Kazan, as usual, has been included in the top 3 and top 5 popular Russian cities for holidays in May and autumn weekends this season respectively, according to the analytical agency TurStat and the Russian accommodation booking service Tvil.ru. Photo: kzn.ru

The halal cake Kazan — the brand and the work of art

Videos from many exciting events in Kazan, distributed on social networks, make advertising to the city. On July 13, pedestrians enjoyed the “vertical dances” of professional gymnasts from the Moscow street theatre on the facade of a house. Night Bike Festival in the capital of Tatarstan from 20 to 21 July brought together the fans of cycling from different regions. On the occasion of WorldSkills, they cycled through the objects of the Sovetsky district of the city, where they popularized working professions. The main international event of this year has been attended by almost 280,000 fans. In August, the festival of brass bands Fanfares of Kazan was attended by 19 bands and more than 700 musicians.

Last weekend, there was held the festival of fashion design and street performance Okno, dedicated to the folk costume. It was visited by about 6,000 people. Thirty-six designers from 20 cities of Russia brought more than 100 author's works to the doll exhibition. The culmination of the festival was a big khorovod (the East Slavic and pagan art form and one of the oldest dances of Russia — editor’s note) around the “globe”, prepared for International Day of Tourism. After the dances, the participants and guests of the festival drank tea from a 300-litre samovar with Tatar sweets.

National dishes are becoming the hallmark of Kazan. “More than 80 per cent of Russians believe that culinary delights help to immerse themselves in another culture no worse than works of art. About 42 per cent of the respondents take into account the peculiarities of local cuisine when choosing a route. The growth of demand for Tatar cuisine has increased this year by 20 per cent,” the head of the committee cited statistics.

The main gastronomic event Tasty Kazan was held in August near the family centre, around which there worked 155 pavilions from restaurants and cafes of the city. Photo: Maksim Platonov

At the same time, many events promote the products of local manufacturers. On May 4 and 5, during the Easter Fair on Bauman Street, the residents of the capital of Tatarstan and its guests ate more than 2 tonnes of farm cheese, 500 kulichs, 1000 gingerbreads, drank more than 1,500 litres of homemade fruit juice and tasted 500 litres of natural dairy products.

The main gastronomic event Tasty Kazan was held in August near the family centre, around which there worked 155 pavilions from restaurants and cafes of the city. The festival broke records for the number of participants and the eaten food: 65,000 people ate more than 15 tonnes of food, drank more than 3 tonnes of drinks. Participants of the event were treated with the new gastronomic brand, Halal cake Kazan with elements of the identica of the city.

People in Berlin, Paris, Warsaw and Madrid know about Kazan

This brand has been used for the last five years in the design of international tourist booths. The Committee for Tourism Development has developed and registered a mechanism for using the identica of Kazan, which can now be used in the production of souvenirs free of charge, but in agreement with the mayor's office.

The city hall and the fashion house of Katya Borisova organized an exhibition of art revolutionary of Kazan Rodchenko. It was held in Berlin, Warsaw and Paris. Photo: Anton Zhuravlev

According to Daria Sannikova, Kazan is recognized abroad as “the source of the unique Russian avant-garde” and the birthplace of artists of world importance. The city hall and the fashion house of Katya Borisova organized an exhibition of art revolutionary of Kazan Rodchenko. It was held in Berlin, Warsaw and Paris. In Barcelona, it will last until January 13.

The representatives of Tatarstan tourism industry participated in international exhibitions in Madrid, Berlin, Kazan. They held the tasting of tea and sweets, showed videos about the city. With sister cities and partners, Kazan exchanges banners about tourism in the capital of Tatarstan. They can be seen on the streets of Ufa, Nizhny Novgorod, on tour buses in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as in the catalogues and magazines of foreign tour operators.

Actor and director from Finland Ville Haapasalo was living in Kazan for a month. He attended Sabantuy, visited the Al-Marjani Mosque, the national complex Tatarskaya Usadba, the museum of chak-chak, the bath complex, Blue Lakes. Haapasalo made a film about tourism potential and fishing in Tatarstan, he has recently presented it in Helsinki.

The Committee for Tourism Development is looking for new ways to attract tourists to Kazan. Together with famous historian Anatoly Eldashev, he developed a sightseeing tour around the Arsk cemetery ‘Arsk Field: Milestones of History’. The guests of Kazan are offered an electric scooter excursion — an unusual and pleasant pleasure to ride around the city and in a short time to see many attractions.

Ville Haapasalo attended Sabantuy, visited the Al-Marjani Mosque, the national complex Tatarskaya Usadba, the museum of chak-chak, the bath complex, Blue Lakes. Photo: Maksim Platonov

“We are working on creativity and popularization of our routes, so that there is no seasonality so that our tourist schedule becomes more uniform and events that attract tourists are constantly held. Last season, 3,2 million tourists visited Kazan. This year, we are aiming for 3,5 million tourists. Of course, Kazan has a lot of competitors, economic factors also influence, unfortunately, the payment capacity of Russians is falling, but we will try to break records,” Daria Sannikova promised.

“I am glad that the flow of tourists is growing in general. This is the result of joint efforts of our universities, concerned citizens, bloggers who write about Kazan, as well as the work that goes on within the framework of the presidential programmes, as a result of which our yards, parks and embankments are transformed. The city becomes more attractive. But nobody relaxes. We need creative ideas and new projects,” said Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin.

By Ekaterina Ablaeva
Tatarstan