How Kazan receives first subsidised charter flight from Moscow
Rosturism expects the tourist flow to restore to the pre-crisis level by the end of this year
The first subsidised charter flight has been launched between Moscow and Kazan. This will attract more tourists to the capital of Tatarstan, according to the Federal Tourism Agency and the State Committee for Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan, which supported the Tui tour operator in operating the flights. Over eight months of the year, the number of guests in Kazan has almost equalled the figures of the pre-pandemic 2019. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
About a thousand guests are going to be transported by subsidised charter flights in September
The first subsidised charter flight from Moscow to Kazan arrived in the capital of Tatarstan on 13 September. At the airport, 180 arriving tourists were met by the young women dressed in beautiful ethnic clothes and volunteers with chak-chak. Five such charter flights are expected to arrive in Kazan within a month. About a thousand tourists will arrive in Tatarstan on charter flights. It is possible that there will be flights in October, but there is no exact data yet.
Subsidised charter flights are also operated to Tyumen Oblast. The first such flight arrived in Tyumen on September 7. Tui tour operator launched new flights to Kazan with the support of the Federal Tourism Agency and the State Committee for Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan. Earlier, charter flights to Sakhalin and Buryatia were launched.
Tourists who arrived in Tatarstan were offered an intense five-day programme with visits to Bolgar and Sviyazhsk. The ticket price includes everything — flight, meals, hotel accommodation, and transfers. Clients are offered tours for 5 or 9 days, the cost starts from 13,900 rubles per person.
“This is our first time in Kazan. We've been wanting to go here for a long time, but it didn't work out because of the pandemic. Kazan is a very interesting city," Ekaterina shared with the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya.
Experts in the field of tourism agreed that Kazan has long become a popular destination. While other cities still have a lot of work in terms of promotion. For example, Tyumen, despite all its originality and Siberian hospitality, is not associated with tourism among people. According to the deputy director general of the tour operator, Alexander Sirchenko, charter flights can help change the preferences of tourists. For example, there was a time when not so many people went to Murmansk, too. But after the launch of charter flights, tourists became more willing to choose this destination.
However, the head of the Federal Tourism Agency believes that there is still room for growth in promoting the brand and Kazan.
“In our country, in addition to sea recreation, there are many other excellent opportunities for cultural and educational, ecological recreation, adventure tourism, for sanatorium and resort trips. But the potential of all these areas is not fully unlocked. For example, Kazan is a great destination for ecological, cultural, educational, gastronomic tourism. There are a huge number of hotels here. Very high-quality urban tourist environment and great museums. At the same time, there is no stable perception of Kazan as a region where one can suddenly go on vacation or on a trip. It is now more associated with either a short trip or a business trip.”
Nevertheless, today the tourist flow to Kazan is very large, and it has almost reached the pre-pandemic level. For 8 months of 2021, 2,9 million tourists visited the capital of the republic, which is by only 7% less than in 2019. The State Committee for Tourism of Tatarstan expects their number to grow to 3,5 million people by the end of the year.
As the chairman of the State Committee for Tourism, Sergey Ivanov, reminded, three Tatarstan objects are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in Tatarstan today: the Kremlin, Bolgar and Sviyazhsk. The recreated Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, located near the Kremlin, is of great value. Naberezhnye Chelny (the birthplace of KAMAZ), Chistopol, where Soviet writers and poets lived during the Great Patriotic War, as well as Tetyushi, where there was the easternmost strelets outpost, Kamskoye Ustye with its unique caves and vineyards, are becoming new tourist centres. The city of Kukmor, which is famous for the production of felt boots throughout the country, is also of interest.
The tourist infrastructure of Kazan is actively developing. Spa complexes and several new hotels are being built. It is planned to build two more new hotels in Kazan — near Riviera and near the airport. The latest trend, according to Ivanov, is the development of ecotourism. Today, 9 glamping sites are already operating in Tatarstan, and by 2025 their number is planned to increase to 50. Various new entertainments for tourists are constantly invented. For example, now a hot air balloon flight over Sviyazhsk is available for them.
The Federal Tourism Agency predicts the restoration of the domestic tourist flow to the level of the pre-pandemic 2019 by the end of this year. The full recovery of the tourist flow is predicted under the condition of active dynamics. According to preliminary data of the Federal Tourism Agency, in January-July 2021, 31,5 million people travelled around the country.
“These are people who stayed in hotels for at least one night. About the same number of tourists travel and do not stay in hotels," Doguzova said.
According to her, the total number of tourists who travelled around Russia this year is about 63 million people.