Recreation at centres and sanatoriums of Tatarstan become more expensive due to cashback — plans for tourist season announced in Kazan
Festivals, new locations and ways to travel
The current geopolitical situation, the closure of a number of countries for Russian tourists, and high prices for recently available international destinations have become a driver for high demand for domestic tourism. In recent years, Kazan and Tatarstan have become one of the most popular destinations among Russians. This is confirmed by the 100% load of hotels in the capital of the republic for the first part of May holidays. This was told by the chairman of the State Committee of the Republic for Tourism, Sergey Ivanov. However, the load for the period from May 7 to May 10 is not so high yet — about 80-85%.
He did not make predictions about how many tourists would visit Tatarstan from May to September, offering to sum up the results of the new tourist season in autumn:
“Don't count your chickens before they are hatched, I always say that. Let's live through the May holidays, let's understand how many tourists will come to us — we expect a large number of them, the load of hotels is already very high.
The head of the State Committee spoke about new programmes for travellers and recalled those that operated in previous years but will continue this season. Among them — charter flight to Kazan from St. Petersburg, about which Realnoe Vremya reported in detail earlier. The number of tourists from St. Petersburg choosing the republic as a vacation destination is the second after Moscow today, Ivanov noted. The first plane with residents of Northern Palmyra arrives on April 29, in general, flights will be carried out twice a week.
“We hope that such flights will continue to fly all summer — until mid-June. The load on these first flights is already 100%. We are confident with the tour operator that we will be able to extend this charter chain until the end of August or until September, maybe even until October. Twice a week," he said.
Similar charters will continue to fly from Moscow. The demand for them is not decreasing — the load of flights is up to 100%.
Prices for vouchers to health resorts have soared by a quarter
Today, there are 40 sanatorium-resort establishments in Tatarstan, of which half are considered the most popular, said Evgeny Terentyev, the president of the association “Health Resorts of Tatarstan”. They are mainly based in Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny and in the south-eastern part of the republic. These are both private and departmental health resorts.
The demand for vouchers to sanatoriums is already growing, even though their cost has increased from 15% to 25% compared to last summer — 60% or more have been sold, in some sanatoriums 35-40% of the bookings have already been reserved, Terentyev stressed. At the same time, he noted that if demand is not higher, then there is a possibility of a decrease in cost. If, on the contrary, demand grows, then, accordingly, the price bar will go up.
The additional stage of tourist cashback has played a role in the popularity of health-improving recreation, when the sale of vouchers was extended until the end of June, and that republican health resorts are quite actively involved in the federal programme, he explained.
“New routes starting in May and ending in September”
Those who prefer to travel by land can take a train. Various routes have been formed for them within the framework of the programme “Bright Weekend in the Volga Region”. As in the case of charter flights, tourists are offered a full package. For example, residents of the Volga Federal District, including Tatarstan residents, can choose a variety of routes and visit, for example, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Kirov or Izhevsk.
Besides, it will be possible to go on a tour by rail on a retro steam locomotive — with steam traction, said Azat Akhmetshin, CEO of Sodruzhestvo JSC. It was planned to be launched by the May holidays, but unresolved technical issues with the locomotive itself and with the infrastructure associated with it prevented it. Presumably, the retro-steam locomotive makes a trial trip in late June — early July, Akhmetshin noted. It will run on the routes Kazan-Sviyazhsk and Kazan-Yudino. For the latter, a programme has been developed in honour of the 150th anniversary of the Gorky Railway with a visit to the station museum, a number of enterprises and a children's railway.
“This type of tourist route is planned to become permanent. Currently, a passenger steam locomotive that worked in the 1950s in the Soviet Union has been removed from the pedestal and sent for repair, by the end of the year it must undergo the necessary types of overhaul. I think, from next year it will appear on our permanent routes," Akhmetshin said.
River cruises along the Volga and Kama Rivers remain relevant. The destination depends on the interests of the traveller and the size of the purse. Weekend tours will also continue to operate — for example, the programme "1000 and 1 weekend pleasures” remains, in which 10 municipal districts of Tatarstan, known for their historical or architectural attractions, participate.
Fans of active recreation are welcome at the All-Russian festival of autotourism. It is held from 3 to 5 June on the territory of Bolgar. At the beginning of August, one can visit the traditional Spasskaya Fair. Yelabuga is still a gathering place for craftsmen and artisans from all over the country. In the middle of July, the classical music festival “Summer Evenings in Yelabuga” is held there, on the Shishkin Ponds. In mid-August, tourists are welcome in Great Bolgar, where there will a festival of medieval combat with an equestrian tournament, master classes and appropriate cuisine.
“I invite everyone to travel around Tatarstan. It is not necessary to go far, to fly somewhere to distant lands — we really have a lot of interesting places right now, a lot of new accommodation facilities, interesting events and festivals in terms of content. By and large, every weekend, starting in May and ending in September, one can choose a new route, a place to visit, and in each of them there is a service, interesting programme, and very hospitable people," Ivanov said.
Recreation centre for 2k and glamping for 10k
The inaccessibility of the Turkish coast in the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic has made outdoor recreation popular. Recreation centres that were in demand in the Soviet Union are getting their second life, and interest is growing in the new format of recreation — camping, eco-hotels and glamping. If last year, they received about 20 thousand people, then this season about 75 thousand vacationers are expected, said Oksana Sargina, the head of the Directorate for the Development of Natural Territories and Ecotourism of the Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of Tatarstan Foundation.
In total, almost 290 objects of various recreation formats are ready to receive travellers and just vacationers in Tatarstan — this is 4,5 thousand beds. However, if a day at the recreation centre costs 1,5-2 thousand rubles, then the so-called glamorous vacation in glamping or eco-hotel will not be inferior in cost to a foreign one. Here the price difference for a day starts from 10 thousand rubles and above — the final price depends on the concept and level of service, the number of days and other conditions.
Also this year, Sargina noted, another 30 new locations for outdoor recreation can be added to the existing facilities. Already in the summer, six of them — in Laishevsky, Verkhneuslonsky, Rybnoslobodsky, Mamadyshsky and Bavlinsky districts — will receive the first guests. This type of tourism involves not only traditional barbecue or fishing, clients are offered to visit SPA treatments, various bath complexes, sail on a yacht, sapboarding, wakeboarding, rafting and other active recreation.