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Tourism and Rest in Russia

The man never stay at one place. At all times there were travellers that discovered new lands, animals, minerals. They studied our planet for their descendants to know all about it.

As known from historic sources, in the antiquity our ancestors travelled to other countries. So, groups of Krivichi (in the structure of teams of the Kiev princes) went to Tsargrad, i.e. to the Byzantian empire; this reflected in the annals.

Peculiarities of Russian tourism development.

The aspiration to "enlargement of horizon" was initially peculiar to inhabitants of Russia. "The desire to change of places" as a feature of Russian national character was inherent to representatives of different layers of the society.

Because of prevalence of agricultural population over Russia, for a long time there were no conditions for development of mass cognitive tourism. Practically the only kind of travels remained pilgrimage.

Only since Peter's I time it is possible to speak about formation of the all-European tradition of travels in Russia . It is considered, that exactly Peter I, having visited with the purpose of treatment mineral sources of Spa in Belgium, became the first Russian health-resort visitor.

During the reign of Catherine the Great each nobleman had the right to go abroad and return at any time.

From the beginning of XIX century, it is possible to speak about travels abroad as about the usual form of leisure of aristocracy. At this time Russian cultural tradition of travels responded to all leading ideological currents of Europe. Close communications with Germany (because of geographical affinity and traditions) were characteristic. Many figures of Russian culture studied at German universities.

Dynastic communications of Russian imperial family with German ruling houses played the great role in tourist preferences of aristocracy.

Trip abroad was perceived, first of all, by nobiliary youth as a way to escape from class norms and decencies. It was not simple to go abroad at that time. One of memoirists of that time wrote: "Passport for travel abroad costs 500 roubles in silver, it was permitted to go abroad only on business or with the purpose of medical treatment, and in the first case the guarantee of trading firms in reliability of the traveller was required."

To go to travel was possible only under the special sanction of the Emperor, i.e. travel became a symbol of freedom. The German innkeeper from frontier city noticed, that Russians, leaving Russia, are happy "as schoolboys sent on vacation, and coming back, they are sad as people which had a misfortune".

From the beginning of Alexander II reign, to go abroad became much easier, and resort tourism ceased to be the privilege of aristocracy. Travels abroad were included in culture of leisure of the educated and solvent public.

In the whole scale of the international tourism in Russia was significant. At the end of XIX - the beginning of XX century Russians made a considerable part of having a rest on the French sea resorts. The prices there were at that time quite accessible to the average-income person. The same as now, rest abroad frequently was cheaper, than in Yalta. Local tourist business was guided by Russian tourists. In Nice a newspaper in Russian was issued.

Trips abroad were more distributed, than travels over Russia and were more comfortable.

In Russia the first tourist organization appeared in St. Petersburg in 1885. It was "Enterprise for Public Travels to All World Countries" which acquainted compatriots with European countries. It had commercial character and was engaged in the organization of collective trips abroad, creation of hotels for tourists.

The most mass tourist organization in pre-revolutionary Russia became Russian Touring-Club in St. Petersburg, based in 1895 and later transformed in the Russian Society of Tourists. The organization was a member of the international tourist league and united about 5 thousand persons. Magazine "Russian tourist" was issued.

After the first Russian revolution, in the country the period of relatively political stability and economic growth came. The public organizations engaged in socially focused tourism appeared.

After 1917 tourist and excursion activity in the country was continued, but its submission to the purposes and problems of the state became a characteristic feature of Russian tourism. Up to the end of 80th years the distributive system of trips abroad (at which people did not have free choice) operated. "Shopping-tourism" - old tradition.

The opportunity (which has appeared in the last years) of free choice of route forms usual for the majority of the European countries culture of mass tourism which assumes variety of kinds of tourism on purposes, functions and motives. The increasing number of people get the opportunity of choice of travels to their taste. Influence of tourism on people, economy and environment has got such scales, that it is possible to speak about tourist revolution.


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