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Monthly Newsletter - July 2013



It was extremely difficult for Russians to travel outside the former Soviet Union during the USSR times. To beat the boiling summer temperatures (that can be truly high in russian cities despite its severe cold reputation) Muscovites and all other Russians were only allowed to travel within the USSR or, if they were lucky/loyal enough, they could visit one of the Eastern Bloc countries, such as East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Albania, Yugoslavia (these countries weren't official parts of USSR, but were considered to be allied countries). Back then the most popular seaside destinations were situated on the costs of the Black sea: Crimea on the northern coast (Ukraine), Golden Beach on the western side (Bulgaria) and Sochi on the eastern coast (Russia).


At the moment it has been more than 20 years since Russians decided to get rid of the USSR regime and obtained freedom to go wherever they want (unless their visa application is not rejected, which is another topic). Visas are required by Russians for most countries in Europe, which may be the reason why Turkey, a country that insures Russians visa-free access, is the leading leisure-time destination (other visa-free countries are Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Israel and Egypt).


According to the 2013 Russian tourism report (by Stark Tourism Associates), the number of Russians traveling abroad increases year by year and was only mildly affected by the Financial Crisis (according to the report, the good growth of outbound tourism in the last decade is driven by Russia's gas and oil rich economy). In 1995 only 2.5 million Russians took use of their new chance to travel outside the former USSR, in 2008 it was already 11.3 million (which is the same figure as Moscow population, so if you imagine that all 11,510,097 Muscovites went on holiday, you can understand why we overhear Russian language every 15 minutes while strolling around the london streets).

Top 15 non-CIS destinations in the first decade of the 21st century were Finland (3 182 000 visitors a year), China, Turkey, Egypt, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland, France, Czech Republic, Thailand and UAE (301 000 visitors a year). The Great Britain is not included in the top 10 positions with its 230 000 russian visitors a year (17th position), but remarkable increase is expected by the recent years demand for luxury travel on the Russian side. The most favourite luxury markets for outbound travels are the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Holland. Wealthy Russians are tempted by leading brands, opulent hotels, jewellery and exclusive restaurants. International tourism expenditure was £21.4 billions spent by Russian tourists in 2011.


According to VisitBritain, national tourism agency, Russia is Britain's 28th most important market for volume of visits and 20th for the amount spent by visitors. In February 2013 VisitBritain has announced the plan to spend a total of $157,000 on advertising the UK as a tourist destination to boost number of Russian visitors. Britain is highly rated by Russians for its cultural heritage, history, luxury services and nature. Wealthy Russians will spend generously on travel but they will be expecting a high level of quality and service.


Intourist is the largest russian travel operator and though it is still quite common to travel with agencies in Russia, now Russians follow the trend of their western counterparts and prefer traveling on their own. Furthermore, profession of tourist agent was included by the Russian newspaper Argumenty i Fakty in the list of 10 professions to disappear by 2020. According to their estimations, by 2020 librarians, copywriters, lecturers, postmen, call-center operators, tailors and some other professions will no longer be needed. Hopefully, their estimations are a bit exaggerated!


Russians are very internet savvy and in spite of the fact that they still prefer to book their holiday through traditional travel agents, the number of trips booked via internet or made on their own is growing every year. In terms of finding relevant information they rely more on russian internet search engines like Yandex or Rambler. Therefore, if you think about advertising your products or services, forget about Google and turn your head towards so called runet (Russian-language internet).


English language has become rather broadened in today's Russia and school kids have to learn English at schools (according to VisitBritain estimation 15% of Russians have foreign language knowledge). Although majority of Russian visitors to the UK will at least understand English, they may be too shy to use their knowledge and they'll highly appreciate it to receive written information in Russian (restaurant menus, flyers, brochures, russian speaking tour guides...).


There are many myths about Russians and their national character. For instance, rumours have it that Russians don't smile and consider smiling without a purpose to be a manifestation of foolishness (this is not myth though, this is a clear truth, but it has it's purpose). Other myths are dealing with ill-famous Russian bureaucracy, mafia, drinking of vodka etc. Are these rumours myth or truths? Follow us on and Facebook and learn much more!

And finally, our golden business tip to succeed (not only) in tourism industry in Russian marketplace is: learn a bit about Russia, try to understand some of their national peculiarities and learn few Russian phrases. Russians will grow fond of you.

ADDITIONAL BUSINESS TIPS FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN HISTORY - 'Learn from Napoleon's mistakes and make your Russian mission a big success' by Ignaty Dyakov

Fools learn from their own mistakes, cleverer ones learn from others. Russians are proud to celebrate 200 years of their victory over French Napoleon in what Russians call The Patriotic War. The Borodino battle in early September 1812 had predetermined the outcome of the war and indeed Napoleon's fate in general. So what mistakes did Napoleon make that ruined his success-to-be story in Russia? What could you learn from his experience in order to succeed?

Please follow this link to read further -


We are more than happy to announce that preparations for our new project - Russia4Brits - are in a full swing.

The non-commercial project launched by Russia Local in partnership with the on­line information agency Russia Beyond the Headlines and supported by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' cultural department Rossotrudnichestvo as well as by the number of other organisations and companies (TBA soon) intends to promote the interests of international cooperation and cultural exchange in a unique and inspiring way.

The project takes the form of a nation-wide competition in which students at British schools, colleges and universities must produce a creative work on the theme of Russia, her culture or history, using the help of Russian mentors and students as they undertake research and develop their ideas. Through such cultural exchange, the project aims to support not only the future of Russo-British but international relations more broadly.

Participants will be offered a list of inspirational, challenging and sometimes provocative topics, which can be used as a springboard for their submissions. Children will be trying to find answers on such questions like Image of Russia in the world. What can Russia inspire people to? What is in Russia for me? Business opportunities in Russia. UK-Russian relations. What's the media coverage of Russia like? As the media creates a sometimes unpleasant image of Russia, how can you, as a young generation, change it? etc.


Are you interested in being involved in this exciting project? We are more than happy to offer you one our partnership or sponsorship packages. Your participation will be rewarded from the outset through a number of promotional opportunities (your logo on our marketing materials, on dedicated web-page, social media, newsletters, press releases; your banner can be displayed during the finals and award winning ceremony, you can enjoy our goodie bags, free in-house “Doing Business in Russia” training, free translation services and sample tuition lessons.

The project has already guaranteed not only the support of the cultural department of Russian Embassy but also the newspaper Russia beyond the Headlines, and negotiations are currently underway to secure the partnership of various other media. The degree of your involvement is flexible to suit you, and we would discuss the details of any partnership in a personal meeting tailored to the interests of your organisation.

You can find Russia4Brits on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

For further information please contact Stanislava Adamkova at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Nothing can fit these hot days better than new Belka Production's play called Sunstroke. The performance is inspired by Anton Chekhov’s The Lady with the Dog & Ivan Bunin’s Sunstroke and will be presented between AUGUST 28th - SEPTEMBER 21st 2013, The Platform Theatre, King's Cross.

Shows start at 7.30pm Monday-Saturday, Matinees 3.30pm on Thursdays & Saturdays. Tickets £10 - £16. Previews on the 28th and 29th August, all tickets £10.

For tickets please visit or call 020 8123 1604 for further information.


'I must have lost my mind. It was like an eclipse... or rather, as if we had both suffered some kind of sunstroke.'

A blisteringly hot Russian summer: a Muscovite banker meets a solitary married woman on the Russian Riviera; a dashing lieutenant on board a holiday steamer down the Volga has a chance encounter with a beautiful young woman. In the intoxicating heat, passions burn high and their lives are changed forever.

Two of the great masters of Russian literature, Anton Chekhov and Ivan Bunin, explore the bittersweet nature of love outside marriage, its romantic idealism and the painful realisation of irreversible loss.

Chekhov's The Lady with the Dog and Bunin's Sunstroke are dynamically adapted for the stage for the first time by Belka Productions.


Director: Oleg Mirochnikov
Movement Director: Liana Nyquist
Designer: Agnes Treplin
Lighting Designer: Howard Hudson
Sound Designer: Michael Umney
Projection Design: Simon Eves


Rosy Benjamin, Katia Elizarova, Oliver King, Stephen Pucci, Masumi Saito


Don't miss your opportunity to display your logo on Belka Productions' marketing materials, social media, electronic invitations, mailouts, programme or the theatre's website. Various promotional opportunities will also be available during press nights and performance itself. You can choose between the season sponsorship packet or production sponsorship (which allows to choose between the support to Sunstroke or Dashing Fellow which takes place in spring 2014). Sponsorship packages are flexible and can be tailored to meet your needs and requirements.

Phones: +44(0) 20 8123 1604, +44(0) 7765 425 473

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Post: Belka Productions Ltd
28 Old School Court
Drapers Road
London N17 6LY

For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
For press enquiries contact Sheridan Humphreys, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Belka Productions is a company dedicated to staging little known Russian plays and new adaptations in the UK, acting as a focus for Anglo-Russian cultural exchange. We currently receive no public funding and are reliant on the generous support of our patrons and sponsors. If you are able to support our work in any way then please get in touch or visit or website – for further information.



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