All you need to know about tourism in Russia

Jun 13, 2018

Everything you need to know in order to have a complete picture of Russian travel market. Where can you get the necessary information? What can Russia offer to tourists and tourism professionals?
 

1. Governmental Bodies

The Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm) is a federal executive authority responsible for the development of tourism.

Visit Russia is a network of Russian national marketing offices operating over the world. Currently, there are over 10 such offices and it is a plan to open more than 40 of them. Visit Russia may well serve the main source of full information about Russia for the foreign colleagues.

Also, there are agencies responsible for tourism development on a regional level. Russian regions and cities have as well their own centers for tourism development and visitors’ centers providing information on local tourist sites and programs. A visitors’ center is a first point for tourists to visit upon their arrival to any city or region of Russia in order they could get information about the places to see and decide on their preferences, get a city map, etc.

The national website Russia.travel contains the information on travel opportunities in Russia. It is available in the Russian, English, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Italian languages.
 

2. A visa to Russia

There certainly are some countries providing their citizens an opportunity of visa-free travelling to Russia; yet, the visa issues are really essential for the citizens of many countries (visa centers in Russia) . This is why it is so important that this year, the World FIFA 2018 and a Fan ID provide a unique opportunity of visa-free visiting Russia to fans coming from any country. A Fan ID gives a chance to enter Russia without a visa and stay in the country for a rather long period (10 days before the Championship and 10 days after it). This is time enough to travel through the whole of Russia from Kaliningrad to the Far East.

All information on the rules of entering Russia in the period of FIFA World Cup as well as information about the regions where the games will be held may be found on the portal RUSSIADAYS.TRAVEL. This resource has been created by Profi.travel, the company involved in professional promotion of tours and destinations on the Russian travel market and is a leading b2b platform for tourism in Russia and CIS countries. All the materials on RUSSIADAYS.TRAVEL are translated to English and Chinese; also, up to the end of World FIFA Cup 2018, the portal supports the work of an information center, where you can ask your questions and get the answers from Profi.Travel consultants related regional tours, infrastructure, logistics, the rules of entry or find the necessary contacts of people responsible for the reception of fans in Russia.
 

3. Tourism Types in Russia

All Russian regions have their own tourist attractions, which are worth seeing as they make your trip an unforgettable experience.

  • Beaches
    The beach leisure is possible both on the Baltic shore (Kaliningrad) and on the shore of the Black Sea (Sochi and the Krasnodar Krai), as well as in the Russian Far East, which also provides excellent opportunities for beach leisure, though still underappreciated by foreign tourists.
     
  • Active Leisure
    Russia provides extensive opportunities for those who are fond of downhill skiing, which are as good as European ones. These include Krasnaya Polyana in the Krasnodar Krai, Abzakovo Ski Resort in Bashkortostan and Sheregesh Ski Resort in the South of Western Siberia (the Kemerovo Oblast).
     
  • MICE
    Russia possesses all required infrastructure for MICE travel and can definitely receive meetings and events on the highest level. The G20 Forum, the Summits of SCO and BRICS0, the Eastern Economic Forum and the UNWTO General Assembly to take place in St. Petersburg in the next year may serve good illustrations to this statement.

  • Gastronomy Tourism
    Traditional Russian Cuisine is certainly represented everywhere in the country, but Russia is known for its ethnic diversity, which offers a unique diversity of food habits (Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, Mordovia, Mari El, Chechnya, Dagestan, Buryatia, Ingushetia, Adygea, etc.) It’s impossible to visit Russia without trying the national cuisine.
     

4. Accommodation

Accommodation opportunities vary from hostels to luxurious five star hotels, depending on the guests’ budget requirements.

Many Russian cities can offer different world hotel brands (Hilton, Hyatt, Novotel, Sheraton, Park Inn, Marriott, Azimut and other), historical and boutique hotels (Metropol, Petroff Palace Hotel‎ in Moscow), affordable hostels, apartments, etc.
 

5. Transport

International airlines Lufthansa, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, Easy Jet, Wizz Air, Turkish Airlines, Check Airlines, Finnair, Alitalia and other foreign carriers, including low cost ones have their regular flights to Russia. Among the large Russian air carriers there are Aeroflot, Ural Airlines, S7, Utair and so on. Thus, the tourists have various options for travelling by air.

Russian Airports Map

Despite the Russian long distances, there is a well developed logistics between the major tourist centers, you just need to consider all transport possibilities. You can easily plan your moves inside the country and, if any difficulties appear, regional operators will always help you to develop a route and choose an optimal way to your destination.

Russia has a well-developed railroad network. RZhD is a monopolist in the Russian market, which is an advantage for foreign travelers as it’s possible to book all railroad tickets in one place. The RZhD website is available in the English language.

Trans-Siberian is certainly another Russian brand. The tourists with high aspirations may stay in a comfortable compartment during their trip on the famous route.

Due to long distances, it’s rather difficult to tour Russia by bus. So the bus routes are either concentrated on the most popular routes where the sight seeings are located compactly, like the Golden Ring of Russia, the Great Volga, or these are radial excursions from Moscow, St.Petersburg, Kazan, Ekaterinburg and other big cities.

Besides the local public transport, the cities provide well-developed services of taxi, including international companies Uber, Gett and the Russian mobile service YandexTaxi, and other local services. A car transfer may be booked either individually or with a tour operator.

6. Russian Tour Operators

There are several types of tour operators in Russia nowadays: big national tour operators working all over Russia (Intourist, Tari Tour, KMP Group, Academservice, etc.), regional tour operators (for instance, Visit Ural, Argo, etc.) selling their tours locally within a certain region. In order to be a tour operator in Russia, it is necessary to provide financial guarantees, that is in fact an operator’s liability insurance before the tourists. The number of tour operators in Russia is controlled by the Government. There is the Registry of Tour Operators, including over 3 thousand companies receiving tourists in Russia.

In this article, we have briefly explained how the Russian travel market is organized. If you still have any questions left in regard to travelling to Russia, especially in the period of the World FIFA Cup 2018, please do not hesitate contacting our online information portal on RUSSIADAYS.TRAVEL. We are here to answer your questions!

Nadja Ebel, Editorial Director in Profi.Travel

Nadja has worked in the tourism industry for 9 years and by the age of 33 has visited 33 countries and +500 hotels. She has worked in tourism for more than 8 years as Editorial Director at Profi Travel — a professional portal for travel trade from Russia, CIS and Baltic countries.