Focus on local staff, mandatory certification: Tatarstan filling staff gap
Tatarstan guides must be certified
The Tatarstan State Committee for Tourism is going to hold a seminar for 180 republican guides. As Realnoe Vremya found out, the event is scheduled for mid-December next year. The committee is ready to spend half a million rubles on it. The goal is to upgrade the qualification of Tatarstan tourism and hospitality specialists.
The event programme includes lectures in six topics. There should be as few as six lecturers. Also, there are going to be field seminars in the republic’s districts. During the training, the guides will visit four different areas outside Kazan. The route won’t be longer than 600 kilometres. The history of Kazan and Tatarstan, the development of industry in Kazan and in the republic, the development of agriculture in the region, Tatarstan’s economic potential, folk arts and crafts, excursion policies will be the main themes. Every guide will be granted a participation certificate after the seminar.
As Realnoe Vremya was explained in the State Committee for Tourism that nowadays over 500 guides work in Tatarstan. There is a deficit of such specialists during the high season. At the same time, educational establishments and centres of the republic annually organise guide training courses, their graduates can fill the existing gap.
It should be noted that the State Committee is trying to solve the staff shortage problem on its own. The committee assured us that they aren’t trying to fill the gap with people from other regions. In other words, Tatarstan doesn’t attract guides from other regions.
“All guides will have to possess the obligatory republican certification from 1 July 2024. It will be prohibited to offer excursions without this republican certification. The State Committee for Tourism is the authority that is responsible for the certification. We are accepting documents and creating a certification commission that assesses candidates’ knowledge,” the committee said.
Tour operators from foreign countries and Russian regions invited to Tatarstan
The State Committee for Tourism is also going to spend nearly 1.5 million rubles to welcome tour operators, journalists and bloggers from foreign countries and other regions of the country. The event is held to promote the region and reveal its tourism potential. According to the documents, the guests will spend as few as 100 days in the republic. They will be accommodated in at least four-starred hotels. The guests will stay in Bolgar.
They will be organised an excursion to the island town of Sviyazhsk where they will visit the Assumption Monastery, go inside the Assumption Cathedral and its amenities as well as the Joy of all Who Sorrow Icon Cathedral, the Trinity Church, the Horse Yard complex, the History Museum of Sviyazhsk, a historical re-enactment complex, Tatar Settlement Museum of Archaeological Wood. They will also go on excursions to other districts of the republic.
“The State Committee regularly offers promotional and information tours for tour operators and journalists from different regions of Russia and foreign countries (we welcome around 200 representatives of tour operators, 50 journalists and 7 camera crews of travel shows a year to promote Tatarstan). Tour operators are invited to get acquainted with the destination and the local tourist product to then send tourists to Tatarstan. Journalists and bloggers are invited to cover the tourism potential of the Republic of Tatarstan in the mass media,” the State Committee told Realnoe Vremya.
Tatarstan started to receive fewer tourists
It should be added that according to the Russian Statistics Service, from January to September 2023, 3,118,639 travellers visited the republic, which is 69,300, or 2,2% less than during the same period last year. Last year, tourist traffic to Tatarstan surpassed 3 million people during nine months. From January to September 2022, 3,187,952 citizens visited the republic.
During the first autumn month, 272,180 people visited Tatarstan. It is almost 12,500 tourists less than in September 2022.
In January-August 2023, the region was visited by 2,846,459 tourists. Compared to the same period last year, their number decreased by 1,96%, or 56,800 people.
However, the republic remains a leader in the Volga Federal District in number of tourists it has received. This is the only Volga region where the number of guests topped 3 million people.
In January-September 2023, 13,863,426 people visited the Volga Federal District in general. So Tatarstan holds almost a quarter of the tourist flow — 22,5%. Three regions crossed the bar of a million tourists during nine months in the area. It is Nizhny Novgorod Oblast (1,827,301 people), Bashkortostan (1,815,639) and Samara Oblast (1,445,199).
The smallest tourist traffic in the Volga region during the first three quarters of 2023 was registered in Mari El — 234,422 people, which is almost 54,000 tourists less than during the same period last year.