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Tourism and Rest in Russia

Tourism and Rest in RussiaA man never stays at one place. At all times there were travellers who discovered new lands, animals, minerals. These people study planet to tell their descendants about it.

As known from historical sources, our ancestors travelled to other countries in ancient times. So groups of Krivichi (structure of teams of the Kiev princes) went to Tsargrad, i.e. to the Byzantian empire; this fact is 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 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 there were no conditions for development of mass cognitive tourism for a long time. Practically, the only kind of travel was pilgrimage.
Only since Peter's I time it is possible to speak about formation of the all-European traditions of travelling in Russia. It is considered that Peter I, visiting mineral sources of Spa in Belgium for medical treatment, 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 travels abroad became the usual form of leisure for aristocracy. At this time Russian cultural tradition of travelling 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 communication 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 noble youth as a way to escape class norms and decencies. It was not simple to go abroad at that time. One of memoirists 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 is required."

To go travelling was possible only under the special sanction of the Emperor, i.e. travel became a symbol of freedom. The German inn-keeper from frontier city noticed, that Russians leaving Russi, 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, it became much easier to go abroad, and resort tourism ceased to be the privilege of aristocracy. Travels abroad were included in leisure of the educated and solvent public.

On the whole, scale of international tourism in Russia was significant. At the end of XIX - the beginning of XX century Russians rested on the French sea resorts. The prices were quite accessible to the average-income person at that time. Simularly to present times a rest abroad was sometimes even cheaper than in Yalta. Local tourist business was guided by Russian tourists. In Nice a newspaper in Russian was issued.

Trips abroad were more common and comfortable than travels over Russia.
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, construction 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 into the Russian Society of Tourists. The organization was a member of the international tourist league and united about 5 thousand persons. MagaziTourism and Rest in Russiane "Russian tourist" was issued.

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

After 1917 tourism and excursion activity in the country developed, but its submission to the purposes and problems of the state became a characteristic feature of Russian tourism. By 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 the last years) of free choice of route forms culture of mass tourism, which assumes tourism on purposes, functions and motives, for majority of the European countries. The increasing number of people get an opportunityto choose travel route according to their taste. Influence of tourism on people, economics and environment has got such scale that it is possible to speak about tourist revolution.

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