News

17.07.2018
Moscow for tourists: its hospitality earned the mark of excellence
On July 17, during the Moscow Urban Forum 2018, a panel discussion "The sphere of hospitality and the models of its development in urban agglomeration" was conducted, organized by the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Representatives of the MCCI’s guilds, which work in the sphere of tourism and hospitality, as well as their colleagues from other Russian cities and countries, discussed the potential of Moscow, as a newly opened tourist mecca. 

Millions of people from all over the world stayed in the capital for the whole month, while the World Cup was in progress, and many are not in a hurry to leave, while continuing to enjoy the services and the capital’s hospitality. "The organization of such a large-scale event is our common success," said the President of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Vladimir Platonov. "All of our guilds withstood the challenge with a marked degree of excellence." 

However, now is not the time to relax and rest on our laurels. For example, Mr. Sergey Abramov, the Chairman of the MCCI’s Committee for Tourism and Hotel Business, President of the travel agency Caesar Travel, which organizes excursions along the Moscow River, noted that today, tourists use only 30-40% of its capacity. "There is still a lot to be done in order to develop the quay space of the river, as well as to update the river’s fleet," the Head of the Chamber's public structure believes. Moreover, ten beautiful Radisson yachts that serve guests year-round and provide high-quality services on board, have already proven that it is necessary to continue the work to expand the tourist opportunities of the Moscow river. In addition, the river could become a large transportation artery for Muscovites: for many it would be convenient to travel by water from home to work and vice versa.

Ms. Inna Pekhova, the General Manager of the Petroff Palace Hotel, Director for the development and promotion of the Metropol hotel, said that tourists had long ceased to view hotels as places to only sleep and rest. "Hotels today are the faces of a city, they provide visitors with a first impression of their stay," she said. Modern hotels furnish diverse tourist services: travel information, food, entertainment, current events in the city, catering to various, sometimes very unusual, requests of guests. Large hotels successfully deal with organizing such services, but their small or novice "colleagues" do not always have enough experience, the wherewithal to provide the full range of tourist services and products. And, according to Ms. Pekhova, a specific city service could help, the creation of which is worth consideration. "For example, if the hotel does not have its own taxi service, guests, using the reception desk, could turn to a taxi service, whose drivers speak their language," she suggested. 

The experience of Paris, as the main tourist capital of the world, was described by Mr. Guyot, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Paris-Ile-de-France’s region. Annually, the "city of lovers", hosts about 20 million guests! Among them are not only tourists, but also delegates for various exhibitions, forums and congresses - more than 200 a year, which contribute up to 2 million euro to its budget. However, big incomes also bear considerable expenses: according to Mr. Guyot, a huge, 120-thousand-room hotels’ city fund has long required reconstruction and renovation. In addition, it is necessary to improve the urban infrastructure, make it more modern, in order to increase the mobility and the independence for tourists. 

The President of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry also said that recently members of local tourist guilds took up the professional development of personnel involved in tourism and hospitality: " Everyone knows the French dislike of foreign languages, but English is necessary for everyone, and we have begun such a training program. " 
At the same time, in Paris, there are a number of restrictions for the organization of tourism - for example, automobiles - which in Moscow does not exist. However, despite the absence of such restrictions, the establishment of automobile tourism industry is in its nascent stages.   "There are more than 5.5 million cars registered in the capital, but there is not a single tourist auto-route," Mr. Sergei Lobarev, the Chairman of the Committee for the Development of Sustainable Transport Systems of the MCCI, lamented. He said that "we got the ball roling": on July 30, the first meeting of the State Duma will convene a working group on the development of auto tourism in Russia. 

Summing up the discussion, Mr. Vladimir Platonov, noted that the main achievement of tourism is that it negates borders, and, mainly, - in the minds of people. Millions of happy tourists, who have visited Moscow in the last month and carried with them amazing memorizies, discoveries and very kind memories are the best proof of this.

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