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05.11.2018

EACT Meeting in Moscow

Photo: Meeting in the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation © RDA

Upon invitation of Sergej Shpilko, President of the Russian Union of Travel Industry (Rossijskij Sojus Turindustrii RST), and Vice-President Olga Sanaeva, the European Alliance for Coach Tourism (EACT) held a meeting in Moscow.

In the course of the meeting, the Belarusian Union of Travel Industry joined EACT as new member. The President of the association, Filipp Guly, officially signed the membership application in Moscow.

RDA President Benedikt Esser emphasises: “The EACT membership of Russia, the largest country in the world, is a significant gain for the alliance, but so also is the accession of the Belarusian Union of Travel Industry. Especially with regard to a growing range of tasks and our future work in Brussels. It is important today as never before that tourism fulfils its economic and cultural bridging function, particularly in view of our present geopolitical situation.”
 
Dieter Gauf, Secretary General of EACT and RDA CEO, stated: “It is a progress for coach and group tourism in Europe that by means of the membership of Belarus a geographical gap between Central and Eastern Europe can be closed. Belarus, as important transit country, is of particular importance on this occasion. EACT does not only represent members of the European Union, but also the whole political environment of Europe.”

Topics that were discussed in the EACT meeting, which was leaded by Co-Chairman Willy Della Walle, were perspectives of cross-border travel, obtaining visas when travelling through several countries requiring visa, questions and issues faced by Russian tour operators when travelling to Germany and the European Union, combined coach-flight travel as well as further specific questions, arising e.g. from multiple transit from Belarus to Russia. The far-reaching consumer rights in the European Union were hereby discussed as an important criterion in travel organisation to Eastern Europe.

Della Walle, President of the Chapter Caroperator of the Italian CONFARTIGIANTO, travelled to Moscow with a delegation from Italy. He reported about his personal experiences when organising travels to Russia.

Following the meeting, the EACT delegation visited the Busworld Russia. The Busworld Russia is a partnership between Busworld and ITEMF Expo. The Eastern European and Central Asian markets were discussed during conversations with Mieke Glorieux, CEO of Busworld, and Luc Glorieux, founder of Busworld.

One highlight of the EACT meeting in Moscow was the meeting with Olga Yarilova, state minister for tourism in the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. She is also the deputy of the culture minister. Unlike it is the case in Germany, where tourism is represented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, tourism is represented by the Ministry of Culture in the Russian Federation. The cultural, socio-political function and importance of tourism is often more strongly emphasised in Eastern Europe and other countries.

“The importance of culture in tourism is also emphasised by the leading theme of the RDA Group Travel Expos 2019 Living Culture! “, said RDA President Esser during the meeting. Furthermore, Esser used the opportunity to present the RDA Group Travel Expos in Friedrichshafen and Cologne, Europe’s largest exhibitions for the coach and group tourism sector.

Later that day, intensive conversations with Natalja Widineewa, Director of the centre for tourism development of the city of Moscow, and the deputy director Olga Shandurenko took place. Other participants of the meetings were representatives from tourism service providers such as Irina Mashtakova, Marketing Director of ANKOR, as well as from other Russian regions and cities.

Benedikt Esser sums up: „The concept of the RDA Group Travel Expos was able to convince in Moscow! The participation at the RDA Group Travel Expos has already been agreed upon. Furthermore, we want to recommend Moscow and the region as a very interesting destination when looking for new destinations.” He thanked Gernod Loose, Chairman of the Board of the Russian Union of Travel Industry in Germany, for excellent organisation of the meeting.

Contact

Annette Heinemann
Phone: +49 2244 90 33 33
Facsimile: +49 2244 87 74 22
E-mail: presse@rda.de

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