We had a slightly different day yesterday in that we spent half the day developing our Museums Toolkit to help us better cater for Russian tourists. We met with our colleagues from Visit Britian in the British embassy (we even saw the Ambassador!) and then met with some very helpful tour operators and then a couple of journalists from Time Out.
We had a tour around the Kremlin museums which houses the most incredible collection of material from the Tsars and then we were shown their education programme. They are extremely proud of what they have set up and run workshops facilitated by people dressed in replica pieces.
After the Kremlin we had a whistle stop tour of the Moscow Museum. This interesting museum houses the collection that tells the story of Moscow, but they are in a state of flux before they undergo a massive redevelopment, so really exciting. They have incredibly high ambitions for their space, but are still developing their ideas.
Here are a few things we learnt yesterday:
- Russian tourists want free entry to museums in the UK, but have a high spend when they are here.
- visas are still a massive problem for Russia tourists, it takes a long time and is expensive, but they can be used several times once they have one.
- Russian visitors tend to come in groups (around 50%?), as individuals, or as part of a language school
- they tend to stay 4-7 nights and 62% just go to London, Manchester is seen a a likely return visit destination
- Russians want their holidays to be relaxing, but educational as well, so they really like culture
- Russian tourists investigate places before they arrive, so they would benefit from a webpage in Russian. They also like an audio guide in Russian.