Places need to know: how to make money on the travel to Russia

Places need to know: how to make money on the travel to Russia


2015 was perhaps the most dramatic in the last 20 years for the participants of the tourist market. Compared with the peak of 2013, when the Russians, according to Federal tourism Agency, has made 54 million trips abroad in January—September 2015 the number of visits abroad fell to 29 million (this figure takes into account not only tourists but also travel abroad for other purposes). Even before the closure of the popular destinations of Egypt and Turkey, before the collapse of the airline “Transaero”. The fall of almost 30% — an absolute record: neither in 1998 nor in 2009 did not exceed 20%.

The number of companies involved in foreign travel, was reduced in comparison with the 2014 year in two times. Someone had left the market, someone re-oriented to domestic tourism, especially that the state sees its development has great prospects. Last fall, the head of the Federal tourism Agency Oleg Safonov said that domestic tourism can grow in for 2016 of 20%. And in January 2016 at a meeting on development of domestic tourism, the Minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky has estimated that the growth potential in connection with the events in Turkey and Egypt is at least 5 million people, and the reorientation of tourist flows on domestic flights will increase GDP by 700 billion rubles.

In this situation the citizens will be left with two choices: either to choose those areas that are hastily trying to develop the remaining in the market of international operators — Thailand, India, Malaysia, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Israel; or to look towards the native spaces. Over the past five years, according to Rosturism, in a 30 times increase in the attendance of the Chechen Republic, three times — the Kaliningrad region, half — Karachay-Cherkessia and the Republic of Karelia. The most popular destinations in the country, according to Oleg Safonova, remain Moscow, St Petersburg, Crimea and Krasnodar region. In 2015 the number of tourists in Crimea totaled 4.4 million people, which is 27.7% more than in 2014. Krasnodar region was visited by nearly 15 million tourists.

Increasing the number of operators of domestic tourism compared with 2014 the number rose from 2751 to 3291. The heroes explained below, decided to look for a niche in the creation of Russia as a tourist destination outside the capital.

Bureau smart walks

Founder tour Desk “boring Bottom” Sharova, Alexandra does not conceal that he came up with it to decorate your life. The starting money she earned by creating the city’s largest operator of broadband access to the Internet — the company “sandy”, which was sold Sistema in 2006 for several million dollars. Three years after the transaction, Sharova ran his company as a hired Manager. And after retiring from big business, thought to retire early, and together with her friend Hope Philippi opened a travel Agency. “We both have always been fascinated by history, especially Nizhny Novgorod, hours spent reading local literature, so were in the subject,” says Sharov.

The company: LLC “tour Desk “boring Bottom”

Founders: Alexandra Sharova and Filippov Hope

Year of Foundation: 2012

City: Nizhniy Novgorod

Easy start

Initial investments into the project — about 100 thousand rbl. “has Rented an office on two tables, furnished furniture from IKEA, printed a small edition of advertising, ordered a simple website, started the account in “Yandex.Direct” and threw at him 1 thousand rubles,” Filippov recalls the start of the project in may 2012.

The main difference between business Ball and Philippi from numerous travel Agency has an individual approach to the tourist. “The format of mass excursions for the “average listener” is already uninteresting to many travelers, says Sharov. — And all these “meet in 10 minutes at the bus” extremely annoying”. The modern tourist wants to go where she pleased, and comprehensive answers to your questions to get right, says the founder of “Boring Bottom”. Therefore, those who order a tour in “boring Bottom”, they ask — what is interesting to them. “At first it may be surprising, says Filippov. — But the cafe is not all fed by the same dish. So why everyone needs to be on the same tour?” For anyone who wants for two to three hours to learn more about the city, thought of the program “the Nizhny Novgorod blockbuster”. During the excursion “History of weapon” tour not only tell you how to Lower was met by “coming with a sword”, but also show the techniques of fencing.

A separate direction — themed programs for certain professions. Doctors interesting to hear about the history of medicine of Nizhny Novgorod and employees of the auto industry — on the construction of a Gas. Sometimes Sharov leads tours herself. For example, she tells the visiting officials about the city through the history of public administration: as in a different century, collected taxes, conducted an inventory of the population, what were the peculiarities of local corruption.

“Our first clients are the partners “from past life” and former colleagues” — does not hide Filippova. But then earned word of mouth, new clients started coming on the recommendation of those who have already been on the tours. “So far, the longest chain was of six units,” says Sharov.

The founder of the tour Desk “boring Bottom” Sharova, Alexandra and Nadezhda Philippova Photo: Maria Ionova-Gribina for

The economy of story

Standard tour time in “boring Bottom” — three hours. The traveler alone will pay for this time 1.8 thousand rubles., but the larger the group, the less the cost, so the price, for example, for six people is only 3.5 thousand rubles in 2012 on the excursions of the Ball and Philippi was visited by about 1 thousand tourists. In a year their number grows by a third, so by the end of 2015 the number of clients can double.

Some tours founder “Boring Bottom” was created by themselves, others helped to make local historians and staff of the Nizhny Novgorod state University. Guides-guides are often not professionals, and local scholars who are deeply interested in know tourist question. First full-time guides in the Bureau was not, but the business quickly grew, and it was decided to change the approach. In late 2014, tour Desk, opened a private school guides, which anyone can join (the cost of education in 2016 — 19.2 thousand rubles). In 2015, the school released the first group of 20 people.

Guides are paid a percentage of the tour cost (the amount in “boring Bottom” doesn’t open). By the end of 2014 the Bureau of revenue (excluding payments to tour guides), according to “the Circuit.Focus”, exceeded 1 million rubles.

To offset the seasonal factor (summer may be a few excursions during the day, and in winter none), tour Desk ready to learn related niches: eco-tourism, culinary and event. And to accept foreign tourists, this year added a range of special excursions “Chinese” offers.

“Judging by the number of pre-orders for 2016, at least 30% increase in the number of orders in the “boring Bottom” will continue”, — said Filippov.

Leave on click

When Marina Kolesnik in 2010 he created an online service for booking hotels Oktogo, she immediately called the Russian direction the main priority. “At the start, many wondered, why are we even looking at domestic tourism. No one wants to vacation in Russia?” she recalls in an interview. But by the end of 2015 within the country carried out 60% of the approximately 100 thousand bookings in Oktogo, she says, that has brought us half of the proceeds. Now Tomorrow is the fifth largest of the online booking system of hotels operating in Russia.

The number of reservation Russian hotels, Oktogo made through in 2014-2015 increased by 50% per year, says Kolesnik. This is significantly higher than the data of the Federal tourism Agency for the whole market: in 2012-2014, the number of guests in Russian hotels increased 6%, to 33,8 million (by the end of 2014, more recent figures are not yet available).

Company: Oktogo

Founder: Marina Kolesnik

Year of Foundation: 2010

Head office: St. Petersburg

Fastest, according to Marina Kolesnik, the number of armor outside of the two capitals: in 2015 has increased by 70%. And for the first time regions around the two capitals: Moscow and St. Petersburg was made only 45% of Russia’s Oktogo armor. “Given that the residents of the two capitals account for only 35% of the bookings, we can say that the residents of the regions have become much more likely to travel to each other”, — said Kolesnik.

Preferences of Russians traditional. The most popular cities, according to Oktogo, are Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, the black sea resorts of Sochi, Anapa and Yalta and Kaliningrad. Increased tourists last year in Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod and Yekaterinburg. “By the end of 2015 the capital of Tatarstan is a must visit 2.1 million people”, — predicts Mikhail Zotov, the Director of urban development assistance Committee of tourism. Judging by the ratings on TripAdvisor Kazan monastery claims to be the third tourist capital.

The triple difference

According to Kolesnik, even before the devaluation of the rouble the average bill on trips abroad was 65% higher than the national average: 13.4 thousand 8.1 thousand rubles in 2013. In 2015 the difference was almost threefold: 21.3 thousand 7.8 thousand rubles. “Most of our clients prefer small hotels, guest houses or hotels in the segment of two-three stars — they account for 68% armor”, — says the founder of Oktogo.

When starting a project, Wheeler was already not a novice in the Internet industry: in the late 1990s she worked at Data Art, owning then Mail.Ru and was engaged in software development on the order of travel companies from USA and Europe. In 2011, Oktogo has raised $5 million from Mangrove Capital funds (Luxembourg), VC Ventech (France) and ABRT (Russia), and a year later joined the project “VTB Capital”, having invested $10 million Total investment in the project exceeded $31 million.

Founder of the online service for booking hotels Oktogo, Marina Kolesnik Photo: Alexander Maslov for

The earnings of the company, like other similar systems, — percentage of made through orders. Just Oktogo database more than 10 thousand Russian sites (the system connects independently, receiving up to 20% Commission) and more than 100 thousand foreign (to them Oktogo works through partners, the Commission is 10%).

In 2014, according to the system “path.Focus”, a Russian subsidiary (OOO “Octago”) reported revenues of 67.5 million rubles. and the first net profit of RUB 3.9 million. Data for 2015, the company has not yet disclose, but increase bookings by 50%, probably, should bring a comparable increase in revenue. If so, then revenue by the end of 2015 may exceed 100 million rubles.

According to Kolesnik, the service initially focused on mass tourism, not the experienced online booking system and prefer payment on arrival and in cash: the website Oktogo you can select an object for placement, including the form of payment for it (there is no such option, for example, Booking.com). Meanwhile, 65% of the customers of Tomorrow — people under the age of 34 years, including 18% are under 24 years of age. Young people, probably attracted by the opportunity to book is not a traditional hotel, hostels and apartments, rooms are often cheaper. For example, from 430 accommodation facilities, which Oktogo offers in Yekaterinburg, 272 are apartments.

Service Marina Kolesnik’t the only one who will benefit from the change of preferences of Russians. The main player of the domestic market online-booking of hotels Booking.com has in its base at least 35% more accommodation facilities in Russia (18 142) than Oktogo and revenue of its Russian subsidiary — 219,4 million rubles in 2014 — more than three times exceeds indicators of the Russian service in the domestic market.

North exit

The future founder of travel company “Magic of taiga” Mikhail Sazonov, studying in Baumanke, was fond of tourism: every spring they with friends floated down the rivers in the Caucasus. “I was also attracted by the far North and Siberia: I wanted to visit lake Baikal, the Altai mountains, the Putorana plateau,” he recalls. But scholarships and then salary IT engineer on such trips was not enough. So he had the idea to create her business: “First come up with an interesting route for yourself, and then sell it to the customers and going with them as a guide”.

Company: open company “Magic of taiga”

Founder: Michael Sazonov

Year established: 2009

City: Kaluga

Three years before freedom

In July 2009 Sazonov established in his native Kaluga company “Magic of taiga”. The initial investment was approximately 260 thousand rubles.

Most of them — 150 thousand roubles under 15% annual for the next three years the businessman has been in the NGO “Youth business Russia” dedicated to supporting young entrepreneurs. Another 58 thousand rubles amounted to state subsidies and reimbursement of expenses for the registration of an LLC — under the program of small business support. 50 thousand rubles Sazonov invested from their savings.

The lion’s share of investment went to buy equipment for expeditions to the far North and alloys — tents, sleeping bags, kayaks, etc. Base “Magic of taiga” became a big garage. The website of the entrepreneur himself did.

The company has two activities: luxury travel in the Russian far North and budget weekend trips in canoes on the rivers of Kaluga region.

The first three years Sazonov developed its business in parallel with the employment: “kayaking Trips held on weekends, and in the Extreme North went during the holidays”. To promote the “Magic of taiga” helped friend and companion Sazonova — a photographer-animal painter Vitaly Gorshkov. It was he who first proposed the expedition to organize on hard-to-reach of the Anabar plateau, located in the Krasnoyarsk region and Yakutia, in the expectation that “trampled” territory will be of interest to potential clients. The move worked: the first tourists called the “Magic of taiga” themselves, having seen the route description on the website, says Sazonov.

The founder of travel company “Magic of taiga” Mikhail Sazonov Photo: Maria Ionova-Gribina for

Economy expedition

In 2015, the services of “Magic of taiga” was used by just over 200 people, which brought the company, according to the businessman, about 1.2 million rubles of profit.

The business season “Magic of taiga” short: from late may to mid-September. During these months manage to spend on average 25 alloys and hikes in the Kaluga region.

The short kayaking trip, two-day, costs 5.8 thousand rubles. person. The fleet of kayaks and equipment allows “Magic of taiga” for vacations for groups up to 40 people at a time. “We develop the route, provide all the equipment, take meals, transportation, guides, says Sazonov. Clients take a small backpack with personal belongings — and everything!”

Most people who want to raft the rivers of Kaluga region — Moscow. “Come friends, families with children,” says Sazonov. In the past two years, the “Magic of taiga”, he said, appeared corporate orders. Their “Magic of taiga” performs at the same rate as private — 5.8 thousand rubles per person, but orders are generally larger. To call the share of corporate customers entrepreneur could not.

Expedition to the far North — enjoy more expensive: for example, a ten-day journey to the Anabar plateau will cost 650 thousand rubles., and on the Putorana plateau in 690 thousand rubles with a group of six people. Considering the cost of tickets and rent a helicopter full price of the tour may reach 2.5 million rubles per group. “To the far North goes special contingent — medium and large entrepreneurs, says Sazonov. — There are fishermen willing to spend a lot of money to catch trout”. In 2015, the “Magic of taiga” was sent to the far North three groups of travellers, earning almost 2 million rubles.

A Grand development of the “Magic of taiga” Sazonov’s not waiting: this business is hard to scale. But the devaluation of the ruble hopes: she makes the trip to the far North more attractive for foreigners. However, not a single foreign customer, the company Sazonova has not yet happened.

The owners of the ice mountain

In the summer of 2014 to Samara caver Peter Jacobson turned Vyacheslav Timoshin, Director of “cold Mountain”, which operates underground storage. The owners have instructed Timoshin to find the company new sources of income. Yakubson offered to drive the object of the tour, recalls his business partner Veronica Panova. Panov and Yakubson (pictured) grew up Hiking, and I got acquainted on Kargalinskoe copper mines in the Orenburg region.

Company: OOO “VIP”

Founders: Peter Yakubson and Veronica Panova

Year established: 2014

City: Samara

To lift the veil of secrecy

With the object that boring now called “the fridge”, Samara is connected with many legends. “There were underground tunnels as the quarry: in the years 1938-1941 in them limestone was mined, says Yakubson. — During the war they kept the fish, which were fed to prisoners of the Gulag”. After the war in mines was an ammunition dump. Legend has it that in 1951 in the former quarries were kept of the first Soviet atomic bomb. Since the late 1950s, and until privatisation in the 1990s underground facilities with the area more than 25 thousand sq m was used as this fridge for storing strategic food supply of the USSR. Now operated by not more than 20%: some of the rooms organized mushroom cultivation, part used as a warehouse.

“No experience in the business we had, so we got into it,” says Panov. The owner of the object passed to businessmen in rent the unused part of the premises and provided a six-week vacation to the payment. The partners spent on the creation of business about 25 thousand rubles: about half left on the registration of an LLC (called “VIP”), the rest — for the purchase of helmets, and print marketing materials.

Ideas how to monetize the dungeon, Jacobson and Panova were many: the ice bar, skating rink, adventure games, laser tag (paintball with laser guns in the dark). Decided to start with discover: it didn’t need almost no starting investment.

The project, called “Old mine”, was due to the coupon services. “Money, of course, we hardly have earned, but know about us, — says Veronica. — We have partnered with local companies, we began to transport students to conduct corporate events”. “Most customers offered by the cooperation with the same small projects in Samara region and Russia who recommend us and we with them”, says Panova.

The founders of the “Old core” Yakubson Peter and Veronica Panova Photo: Maria Ionova-Gribina for

Economy dungeons

The tour includes a visit to the dungeons and refrigerators, where the temperature is minus 18 degrees, and a warm environment, where they grow mushrooms, Yakubson says. Tourists spend and in unused corridors, telling about the history of Samara and the Samara region. A staff of guides here — excursions are led by enthusiasts who receive piece-rate payment.

The main stream of tourists comes in the fridge on weekends: on Saturdays and Sundays there can be up to three excursions. Simultaneously on the object can go no more than two groups with a total of 50 people. The cost of an adult ticket — 700 rubles. Private tour costs from 5 thousand rubles in Addition to trips into the dungeon quests performed for children and adults (from 5 thousand rubles. for a group of five people).

Peak attendance “Old veins” was carried out in October—November 2014, when the dungeon for two months was visited by about 1.5 thousand people. After six months of work Yakubson and Panova began to pay his salary (the size they call it), and rents rose to 50 thousand rubles By the end of 2014, after working with launch less than five months, and OOO “VIP” had revenue of 359 thousand rubles and net profit of 104 thousand rubles, according to “the Circuit.The focus”. In 2015, the “Old mine” was visited by over 5 thousand people that could bring entrepreneurs not less than 2 million rubles.

The plans of the founders of the “Old core” — organize the underground mining Museum. “There will be exposition of tools, exhibition of minerals, says Yakubson. — Give the pickaxe in hand, let us load the cart”. Panova hoped that the visit to the refrigerator will include in the official route sightseeing tour of Samara in preparation for the world football championship 2018. “Huge earnings [draft], of course, we do not bring, — said Panov. But it’s fun for us and for the people”.