River cruises are becoming more popular in Russia
UFA, 10 November 2016. /Bashinform News Agency, Alim Faizov/.
The Russians started choosing river cruises more frequently, "Izvestia" newspaper reported. Compared to the 2015 season, the demand for motor-ship tours rose by 25 percent this year. And the number of foreigners bought tours along the Volga and the Oka rivers, increased by 20 percent. According to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR), about 600 thousand tourists purchased river cruises in the season. 500 thousand of them were Russians, and 100 thousand — travelers from abroad.
Most often travelers prefer mid-priced tours. According to Leshcheva-Konabeeva, representative of the "1001 Tour" travel agency, buyers try to avoid cheap offers: they have some concerns about safety of such transport and quality of service on board.
However, the Deputy General Director of Tourism "Mosturflot" Svetlana Goncharova claims that low-cost tours were in high demand in the Russian market.
River low-cost tours are a tourist novelty, which appeared in the market in March. This is an affordable option for travelers who are accustomed to economize. A tourist does not have to pay for an unneeded option, for example, for lunch on board or he can choose only one meal. Because of this the price of low-cost tours starts from 2300 rubles per person compared with 4-5 thousand rubles a day on a regular ship.
"We expect a further increase in demand and in the summer season 2017. Already some of our regular customers ask for the schedule of the next summer cruise routes," says Maria Leshcheva-Konabeeva. According to her, in 2017 the schedules of river routes will include new stops, in particular, in the city of Bolgar, Sviyazhsk island in the neighbouring Tatarstan.
According to experts, river cruises are sold best of all in the cities, which are located near major waterways, such as Samara, Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan.