'Tatarstan will be full of tourists during May holidays'

State Committee for Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan discussed the upcoming tourist season

The republic plans to restore the tourist flow to the level of 2019 — such optimistic plans were announced on 20 April by the head of the State Committee for Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan, Sergey Ivanov. Hotels for May in the capital of Tatarstan have already been almost fully booked. Therefore, hotels in Kazan should only become more, Ivanov added, commenting on the emergence of new players in the city's hospitality market.

New tourist season

The residents of Moscow and Moscow Oblast visit Tatarstan for tourist purposes most often. The second are travellers from St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast. Three regions of the Middle Urals round out the top three: Sverdlovsk Oblast, Chelyabinsk Oblast, and Perm Krai.

“During the May holidays, all tourist centres of our republic are open," said Chairperson of the State Committee for Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan Sergey Ivanov. “This is Kazan itself, and Yelabuga, Chistopol, Tetyushi, Bolgar, Sviyazhsk. Yes, large and mass events are not planned, but all group and individual excursions will be available.”

Tourists are already actively booking rooms in Kazan hotels. For the period from April 30 to May 3, the expected occupancy of city hotels is 90-95%, and from May 7 to May 9 — 70-75%.

“People are also booking flats and apartments," said Ivanov. “I am sure that during the May holidays, both on the first and second ones, the republic will be full of tourists. Therefore, we must be ready to receive and serve guests, show them all the most interesting things and leave the best impression about ourselves.

The average cost of rooms in hotels in the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan has remained at the level of 2019, Ivanov added. In some hotels, there is even a slight reduction in prices. This is due to that the number of rooms in Kazan hotels is constantly increasing.

“Compared to most Russian cities, we have a really large number of rooms," Ivanov is sure. “First of all, this gives us the opportuntiy to hold major events. Second, to receive a large tourist flow. Even taking into account such peak loads as long weekends and May holidays.”

At the same time, Ivanov is sure that there should only be more hotels in Kazan. This will maintain the balance of supply and demand. Ivanov cited the example of Krasnodar Krai: it is there that, with a huge demand for summer accomodation, there is an acute shortage of hotels.

“This situation always leads to a rapid rise in prices," said Ivanov. “And this is uncomfortable for the consumer. We strive to always be at a comfortable point for the consumer.

In the new tourist season in Tatarstan, it is planned to restore the tourist flow to the level of 2019. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the number of tourists visiting Kazan halved.

“Time will tell what the result will be," Ivanov said. “We will make every effort to reach at least the level of the year before last. It is important for everyone to work together on this.”

Opportunities for Tatarstan citizens

The residents of Tatarstan are provided with many opportunities to travel throughout the country. An active flight programme has been developed for this purpose. The airline of the republic operates flights to 12 cities under the programme of subsidised flights.

“The government of the Russian Federation compensates carriers for part of the costs, and passengers, in turn, get a pleasant ticket price," Ivanov explained.

At an affordable price, it is possible to fly from Kazan to Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl, Makhachkala, Barnaul, Samara, Perm, Astrakhan, Voronezh, Chelyabinsk and Volgograd. The flight programme from Kazan to Sochi, Anapa, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Arkhangelsk, Yekaterinburg and Rostov-on-Don has also been added. Among other things, flights from the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan to Minsk have recently resumed, flights to Yerevan, Baku and Tashkent have opened, Ivanov says.

“We hope that some destinations, especially in terms of international routes, will still be added to this list," said Ivanov.

Tatarstan citizens who cannot afford long-distance travel will find something to do without leaving the republic. For example, one can take a hot air balloon flight and enjoy the picturesque scenery. Besides, several traditional events are held in Tatarstan this year. For example, on May 1, the Chak-Chai gastronomic festival is held in Great Bolgar, on July 3, everyone has the opportunity to visit the unique Agha Bazaar, and on August 14-15, the historical festival 'Great Bolgar' is held on the territory of the ancient city. From June to September, the island-city of Sviyazhsk hosts the festival 'Theatre Season in Sviyazhsk'. From July 15 to 18, Yelabuga hosts the Boris Berezovsky music festival 'Summer Evenings in Yelabuga', and the Spasskaya Fair is organised in the city from August 6 to 8.

The program '1001 Pleasures Over the Weekend' continues to work in Tatarstan. This year, the project has been added with a new route — to the Alekseevsky district. The programme of the route includes an excursion to the art weaving factory, a visit to the Bilyar settlement, as well as the eco-farm 'Ostriches of Bilyar'. The trip will cost 2,200 rubles. This price includes accommodation, meals and several excursions.

By the way, in total, more than a thousand people rested in Tatarstan in 2020 under the programme '1001 Pleasures Over the Weekend'. Today, the project includes 10 routes, and the list will be expanded in the future.

By Yelena Simakova