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Rostourism to convince Russians to spend vacations at home

October 24, 2011, 21:14 UTC+3

“In December of this year we will start a new advertising campaign to promote Russia’s tourist potential”

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MOSCOW, October 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism) will start an advertising campaign in December 2011 in a bid to convince Russians to spend their vacations at home.

“In December of this year we will start a new advertising campaign to promote Russia’s tourist potential,” Rostourism Head Alexander Radkov said on Monday, October 24.

“The budget of the campaign for this year is 150 million roubles and more than 130 billion roubles next year,” he said.

“The target audit is Russian people”, Radkov said. “It will be nationwide advertising of Russia’s tourist possibilities in mass media and it will include different events in regions,” he said.

“In the first half of the year domestic flow of tourists in Russia increased by about 10 percent” from last year, Rostourism said. The number of Russians travelling abroad for vacation in the same period of the year by 15-20 percent and the number of foreign tourists visiting Russia by 8 percent.

President Dmitry Medvedev earlier urged all Russians to spend vacations in the country, not abroad.

“Only recently have we realised that we live in a big country, and although it is not set up yet properly, it is very beautiful, and this must be used 100 percent,” Medvedev said.

As an example, he referred to the Americans who spend their vacations mainly at home. “When we can do like they, we will become good citizens of our state,” he said.

The president urged his supporters to set an example. “I myself do not travel abroad for vacations, but you could do the same. Let's spend our vacations at home,” he said.

Rostourism will also open a call centre for Russian tourists in 2012.

“We expect the centre to handle calls from tourists who have different questions, including how to act in an emergency,” Rostourism spokesman Oleg Moseyev told Itar-Tass earlier.

“We understood the need for such centre when our tourists were trapped in riot-swept Tunisia and then Egypt,” he said. “Rostourism immediately set up crisis hotlines back then, but we need one number so that when a tourist travels abroad he would know where he can turn to for help.”

“We are now working on the financial aspects of the matter and personnel possibilities,” Moseyev said.

At the initial stage, the centre will employ 10 specialists.

The idea of the call centre has been supported by Minister of Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy Vitaly Mutko, tourist operators and air carriers.

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