Tourism as a tool against Putin’s propaganda

The exact number of Russian tourists visited Tallinn on Christmas and new year holidays, it is difficult to establish. But it is very significant traffic jams and long queues at the border in Narva — before the New year in Estonia, after the holidays in Russia. On new year’s holidays 2017 Russian tourists in Estonia was clearly more than last year. Perhaps affected by a depreciation of the Euro against the ruble. But, in any event, in a festive Old town you can see thousands of Russians.

…tourism ranks third among industries in the European economy

They were given not only the Russian language, but the typical behavior of tourists who constantly look around around and photographed almost every building.

Another criterion was that the Russians, in addition to the traditional Vana Tallinn buy kilos of Estonian and European cheese. Because the normal cheese in Russia, unfortunately, do not sell: these sanctions, the Kremlin has imposed on its own citizens.

In the fat years of high oil prices, the Russians are one of the favorite winter travel routes were Finland. From Moscow even flying the popular air Charter to Rovaniemi, capital of Lapland, home of Santa Claus. But today, when the financial situation became more difficult, and to indulge in a new year’s trip yet do not want, many Russian tourists are increasingly choosing Estonia. This also applies to shopping: the prices in Estonian shops usually lower than Finnish, although the range is similar.

Another important for the Russians factor is the virtual absence of language barrier. Although Russian language in Estonia is not a state, the staff of many hotels, restaurants, shops own it freely, according to their own business interests. And it’s effective move from the point of view of tourist attraction.

But of course most attracted to the special culture and architecture. The medieval old Tallinn by itself is associated with the Christmas story.

What other factors could increase the tourist flow of Russians in Estonia? After all, tourism is one of the most rapidly developing modern industries. He ranks third among the sectors of the European economy after trade and construction and brings considerable profit to those countries that can attract foreign visitors with its natural and cultural features.

Although in such a large country as Russia, there are many landscapes, like Estonia, Estonia may nevertheless be attractive for Russian tourists and from the point of view of natural beauty. In addition, here more strictly enforce environmental regulations than in Russia, and try to preserve the natural uniqueness intact, but to make their visit comfortable for tourists.

Tourism has the ability to change consciousness

And from the point of view of culture Estonia could originally play on is now widespread among Russians of the fashion historical past. To do this, it would be useful to develop a new tourist and even pilgrimage program during the Christmas days. While Russian tourists visit only the most famous Alexander Nevsky Cathedral on Toompea. But a much more ancient St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in the Old city, founded, according to legend, in the times of Yaroslav the Wise, known to few. Although in Russia there are only a few objects with such a history.

Russian tourists who are fond of literary history will be interested in the route places of life of the “king of poets” the Silver age of Igor Severianin, who in 1918 lived in Estonia.

In the Russian theatre of Estonia, it would be possible to bet not only the classics but also in plays by contemporary authors that in today’s Russia attract attention, although the reaction is mixed. For example, the play “Day of the Oprichnik” based on Vladimir Sorokin, staged by the Moscow theater Lenkom, has caused a lot of critical reviews in the Russian press. His production in Tallinn would be interesting not only for tourists, but also many Estonian theater.

Tourism has the ability to change consciousness. Sometimes political propaganda raises a wall between countries, but real travelling brings people together and break down those walls.

Many Russian tourists find in Estonia is not some sort of “Russophobe Europe”, as it inspires a TV and a civilized and friendly country, and it destroys the propaganda stereotypes. On travel sites you can find the most rave reviews of Russians visiting Tallinn: it is called “romantic city-Museum”, “the magic castle”, “the capital of the best beer in the world” and so on. Of course, tallini can take such comments with a somewhat skeptical smile, but is it bad if your city has such a positive image in the eyes of his guests?

Keen interest to neighbors stronger aggressive isolation

Popular websites and very help travelers build itineraries. But only one of the Internet for tourism promotion of the country a little. Of course, the inhabitants of Estonia, the leader among the European “e-States” — the Internet seems to be the leading communication tool. But in Russia it is not so — there are still more trusted sources of information that can be “hold”.

It has long been understood in Finland. For example, in Helsinki now 24 years out of colorful Russian-language newspaper “trade route”. There is a fascinating article about the history and culture of Finland combines with the mass of tourist and commercial proposals for the Russians from the Finnish business. This free newspaper is distributed at all border points, many hotels and tour agencies of St. Petersburg and other Russian cities, and, as a rule, readers quickly dismantled. In my opinion, the Estonian publishers would make sense to think about the analogue of such a media project.

Promotion of Russian tourism in European countries gradually change the Russian policy. Keen interest to neighbors will be (and already is now!) stronger the aggressive isolation, which the Kremlin is trying to drive the Russians.