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Отчет-2016 для FEGDear Colleagues,
First of all, we would like to thank you for coming to Moscow in November,2015 for the FEG meeting and sharing with us all your love to our great profession. It was hard work and at the same time unlimited joy and pleasure.
Moscow Tourist Season seemed to be unpredictable at the beginning of 2016 following negative tendencies of the previous year due to economic and political limitations( sanctions) connected with Russian –Ukrainian relations, when Tour Operators did not include Russia as a product in their catalogues.
However, active summer season showed considerable growth in tourist flows from European countries despite of the visa and biometric data, necessary for European travelers. By the peak of the season in August there was obvious shortages of guides with English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese. The growth of independent bookings was also unprecedented and could be explained by the presence of the International Booking services and a new generation of guides with advanced knowledge of IT technologies. The exchange rate of Euro/Dollar/ Pound was also favorable for quick bookings.
Moscow Committee for Tourism quotes the amount of visitors as 16 million in 2016, though this number represents the State Border crossings and includes all visitors, who indicate in their immigration cards "Tourism" as purpose of visit. Objectively, Moscow receives less than 5 mln tourists per year.
Chinese travelers showed a growth of 25 % during this season and reached the number of 340 000 thousand in 2016. Eighty two qualified Chinese speaking guides in Moscow cannot cope with this amount of one hand, but on the other, they are not employed by the Incoming Operators to work with their groups, because their business is constructed in such a way, that all services are rendered by Chinese citizens (who are ranking as students) and their function is to provide information, sell and guide both package and optional tours, get commission from shops and restaurants, which are run and owned by Chinese business. The main damage from such arrangements is directed at the content of guides' performance, which we acknowledge as Cultural and Historical heritage of the Country. The Media extensively quotes , what Chinese "guides" offers as historic and general guides' comments: Lenin was married to Catherine the Great, The treasures of the Hermitage were stolen from China...
Since FEG meeting in Moscow, November,2015 , we continued to work with the Ministery of Culture, The Federal Russian Tourist Agency, The State Duma (Parliament), Moscow Authorities on the amendments to the Federal Law on Tourism, which should include the Definition of our Profession: A Tourist Guide is the citizen of the Russian Federation, who has received professional training and is attested by a Board of Professional Experts on the Regional level. As soon as this amendment is approved by the State Duma, we will be able to protect ourselves and our visitors from all illegal and unprofessional activities.
Our Association is working on attracting new members from other regions and contacting Regional Tourist Administrations to support existing system of Professional Training and Accreditation.
In May, 2016 we had a very constructive and positive meeting with The Deputy Mayor of Moscow, Alexander Gorbenko, he supported RTGA in all legal and professional work, we were granted assistance in publishing updated Study Books for guides, a decision was taken by his Administration to introduce "A Day of Moscow Tourist Guide", which will be celebrated on February,21 each year. This celebration will be aimed at promoting our profession and attracting new generation of educated citizens to work in Hospitality Industry and to become Qualified Tourist Guides.
We wish FEG Meeting all success and fruitful professional exchange.
Russian Tourist Guides Association