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Chinese seniors in the “Soviet elder brother”

Китайские пенсионеры в гостях у «советского старшего брата»

The Russian side it is better to think how to improve your tourism industry, not to watch someone else’s pocket, according to the journalist, Niue Zhang.

Chinese tourists in the Northern capital is becoming more — by some estimates, that 60-70% of the total tourist arrivals. Massive collapse occurred recently in the Museum-reserve “Tsarskoe Selo” Pushkin — because of the influx of Chinese to get to the Museum it was impossible. Often guests from China disparagingly referred to as “poor tourist traffic”, which brings the city money: the tour operators, their guides, and lunch in Chinese restaurants, they pay via online banking in the yuan.

About the features of Chinese tourism in Russia in an interview with “Rosbaltu” in Beijing, told the journalist of Niue Zhang.

— Russia — a really cheap destination for Chinese tourists?

In comparison with other European areas, Russia — budget option. Although if you watch the tour in other countries that is no less attractive for Chinese tourists, Russia occupies the middle position: twice as expensive as Thailand, but half the price of the UK. The trip will cost about as travel to the countries of the Iberian Peninsula — Spain and Portugal. An eight-day trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg is from 3000 to 15000 yuan, if translated into rubles, from 27000 to 135,000 rubles. It all depends on the season and services included in the tour. Although, of course, offered more expensive options.

— That is, for three thousand yuan to Russia to get you can still?

— Of course, such a ticket is hard to find in a season of excessive demand. And this amount does not include visas, tickets to several museums, ballet and other cultural events. However, additionally, the guide promises to take to the shops with Souvenirs at the “unique price”. And in fact, by the way, the price in the stores may be higher than the standard, and the guide and the shop owner share the profit.

— When on vacation for us — the hype?

Soon China will week “Golden autumn” — the holidays from 1 to 8 October, when we celebrate the founding of the PRC. Usually at this time abroad sent more than 6 million Chinese. The top ten tourist destinations including Russia. An eight-day trip to one of the capitals now will cost about 10,000 yuan — more than 90 thousand rubles.

For comparison, the average annual salary of an employee of the Beijing company is about 70 million yuan (632 thousand rubles a year, or 52 thousand rubles per month — “Rosbalt”). Obviously not everyone can afford to come to Russia. But if you’ve worked or are retired and have the means to travel, a great neighbor to the North becomes a good direction.

— So, mainly in Russia are pensioners?

— That’s right: those who are over forty five. It’s usually the people who caught the Soviet Union, you know the history of the revolution, sing the song “Katyusha” and “Moscow nights” and “I have a special feeling towards Russia.” The Chinese even have an expression “Soviet elder brother”.

Popular, of course, first of all Moscow and Petersburg?

— Not only. Chinese usually travel in groups and travel agencies, you can find a variety of vouchers. Classic eight days is a “Trip to two capitals” and “Winter adventure at Baikal”.

The trip to Baikal is sometimes combined with Moscow and St. Petersburg. The capital of the Chinese is reminiscent of the Soviet era, and the city on the Neva river gives a sense of the exotic Europe. For lovers of the Northern lights is a combination of “Murmansk + Finland”. Vladivostok is also quite a popular place for tourists.

6 years he studied in St. Petersburg state University (United Niue Zhang graduated from the faculty of Philology and master’s graduate school of journalism and mass communication — “Rosbalt”) and obviously managed to see the city. And your family was in Russia?

— My parents came here seven years ago, and this year daddy came again. He compared the trip and noticed that now the Chinese tourists became more.

Mom loved nature and rhythm of life of St. Petersburg, and the father — from those who have “a special feeling towards Russia.” Alexander Pushkin, Peter the great and Catherine the Great, Maxim Gorky — all these names he knows from childhood. It therefore considers that Russia “familiar but mysterious place.” Petersburg he fell in love because of the stunning architecture. And he was amazed that here in the subway, women read books.

— Unlock the secret: why the Chinese prefer to eat their own noodles than to taste Russian food in a good cafe? Travelers all over the world during travel empty in all serious, trying to try all overseas…

— Russian cuisine is fatty for the Chinese stomach, especially for elderly tourists. Often say: “I can’t every day to eat Russian cuisine, after it feel hard.” Chinese tourists are choosing your kitchen because Russian is more expensive.

And in Russia in restaurants and cafes serve much slower than in China. Tourists do not have to wait long: they have a very extensive excursions.

— How do you feel about the common belief that Chinese tourists come “with its” and leave no money in Russia?

— You think this happens, but I do have my reasons.

Let’s face it. Tourists going to travel to Russia through the Chinese Agency. Naturally, the operators are Chinese. Guides take tourists from one city to another, care about their safety and convey important information. This place clearly needed a man speaking in Chinese.

In addition, the Chinese guides know better the nature of its tourists, it is easier to communicate with them. Transport is also usually handled by the travel Agency my parents during a trip I went on the bus tour operators, but the drivers were local.

As for tour guides in Russia, is now employed in this sector not only Chinese. In the Hermitage, Catherine Palace, a lot of Russian specialists. And there is forbidden to operate without a license, stricter control of everything. However, guides who know the Chinese language, very few, and the demand is large. To occupy this niche could Russian sinologists. By the way, I think local guides more attractive for foreign tourists: the guests then have the opportunity to not only see the sights but also experience the culture of the city through communication with local residents.

— So, Chinese tourists still slightly unfair behave towards the host country?

— I think Russia gets enough profit from Chinese tourist arrivals. Our agencies work with local transport companies. The Chinese often fly Russian airlines. Payment for visiting tourist spots also gets the Russian side. Profit from local gift shops more than decent — especially since the prices are usually inflated.

Generally a gift — it is something that the Chinese spent the most. Thinking is usually this: “I have so much to pay for a flight and traveled such a great distance, why do I now save money on excursions or shopping?”

And even though the guide, the Agency and the stores divided among the profit — the amount remaining in Russia, it is still big.

I think Chinese travelers in Russia is a win — win story. Tourists from China to stimulate the development of local tourism industry. And the Russian side would do well to think about what points to Refine and improve it. It would be more correct, than to look in someone else’s pocket.

Interviewed By Angela Novoseltseva

© 2019, paradox. All rights reserved.

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