Fight for Chinese tourists: illegal guides take over the market

Fight for Chinese tourists: illegal guides take over the market

Anastasia Markova, IA "Irkutsk Online"

November 18, 2017 5 comments about 10 minutes to read

Drive to the Barguzin Valley.

Nikolay Semenyuk traveled through 27 cities of Russia.

History and traditions of the people living in the Irkutsk region.

Hot discussions

Mamai has always been very popular among freeriders and powder lovers. How to get to the place where to live and what to take with you, said a freeride fan, Irkutsk director Maxim Savchenko.

Snow on Mamai begins to fall early, in October. Enthusiasts constantly monitor its appearance, when you can safely ride 30-40 meters without hitting stones. And in November they are already skiing on certain slopes.

Now that there are more than 30 winter huts on Mamai, people live there almost all year round. Everybody knows each other. It's hard to call them even watchmen. These are more guides, half of the time they spend with groups of tourists, and half - live for their own pleasure. And of course, they receive operational information: whether it is snowing or not, where they saw a bear in the summer and where, therefore, it is better not to go, which spreads quickly through groups and chats.

We are snow worshipers. I remember that there was an abnormal snowfall in Baikalsk, the route to Kultuk was blocked, you can't get there by car, but the trains ran. My friend and I took tickets for the first passing train, almost Khabarovsk - Vladivostok. The reserved seat, five in the morning, everyone is asleep. We go into the carriage, and friends with boards and skis are already sitting in all the empty seats. Everyone thinks the same: if it snows, right or wrong, you should be on the mountain.

If possible, get to Mamai by car. In groups, simply declare your desire to go to Mamai, find a car and, having paid for gas, get to the place. Usually they call in there on the night from Friday to Saturday. Some hire a minibus that takes them to the turn. There are people who hitchhike.

Around the turn, which is the 193rd kilometer of the P-258 highway from Irkutsk, you will see a homemade sign "Mamai". Or find the Bolshoi Mamai River on the map. You can focus on the tourist base "Heart of Mamai". The entrance to the highway is behind it: through a clearing in the forest and to the power transmission line, and from it you turn to the right and to the intersection with a large forest road, along which you are already going to the winter quarters.

Either from the hotel you return along the highway towards Irkutsk literally 100 meters. There will be the very long road along which you need to go up. If you are driving a SUV or a jeep and are not afraid for its safety, you can drive the entire flatland from the track to the ascent, and this is a decent distance - several kilometers.

How to get and what to take on Mamai

Drive to the Barguzin Valley.

Nikolay Semenyuk traveled through 27 cities of Russia.

History and traditions of the people living in the Irkutsk region.

Hot discussions

At the beginning of July, additional voyages appeared on water excursions along the Circum-Baikal Railway. The schedule changes are due to the high demand for sightseeing. Regular additional flight is scheduled for Thursdays. In addition to this direction, there are other excursions on Lake Baikal and Angara that you can go directly from Irkutsk. One-day and multi-day routes have been developed for tourists.

Irkutsk — Circum-Baikal Railway The Circum-Baikal Railway is one of the main attractions of the region. This is a unique monument of engineering art. The Circum-Baikal Railway has a huge number of man-made objects: tunnels, bridges, viaducts, retaining walls.

Now the railway can be viewed from the lake, walking on a motor ship. The vessel has a capacity of 100 seats, is equipped with comfortable armchairs, there is a cafe-bar on the upper deck. During the trip, tourists see Cape Tolsty, Cape Polovinny. At the stops, you can have time to see the ancient tunnels of the Circum-Baikal Railway and have a picnic on the shore of the lake. On the way back to Irkutsk, the motor ship stops for half an hour in Listvyanka. Schedule: The route is valid from May 25 to September 25. The motor ship "Barguzin" departs every Saturday and Sunday from Irkutsk ("Raketa" pier). There is an additional Thursday flight in July and August. The ship departs from Irkutsk at 11:00 and the ship arrives back to the city at 18:30. ticket price: 1200 rubles per person.

Irkutsk — Bolshiye Koty A small village has recently become popular among tourists. This is due to the proximity of Bolshiye Koty to Irkutsk, and at the same time, isolation, which made it possible to preserve the picturesque nature. The area around the village belongs to the Pribaikalsky National Park. Closer to September, the water in this place of Lake Baikal warms up well. The village houses the Museum of Baikal Studies and the aquarium of the Institute of Biology. Schedule: Flight No. 1 operates from July 1 to August 21. It departs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Irkutsk at 9:00, arrives in Bolshiye Koty at 10:30. From Bolshiye Koty it departs at 12:30, the ship arrives at Irkutsk at 14:00. ticket price: one way per person - 520 rubles. EU number 2 is valid from May 28 to June 29 and from August 23 to September 25. Sent daily, except Monday and Thursday. The ship leaves Irkutsk at 12:30 and arrives at Bolshiye Koty at 14:00. Departures back at 18:00, arrives in Irkutsk at 19:30. ticket price: one way per person - 520 rubles. EU number 3 is valid from July 1 to August 21. The motor ship departs from Irkutsk on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Departures from Irkutsk at 14:45, arrives in Bolshiye Koty at 16:15. Leaves back at 18:30, in Irkutsk - at 19:30. ticket price: one way per person - 520 rubles. Each motor ship on the way to Bolshiye Koty stops at Listvyanka. One way ticket to the village is 320 rubles, the return ticket is 250 rubles.

Listvyanka Bay A walk along the bay starts from Listvyanka, which can be reached by boat or minibus. During the voyage, the guides tell about the legends of Lake Baikal. The route is served by the motor ship "Ivan Babushkin" - this is the largest pleasure motor ship on Lake Baikal and the most comfortable for large groups of up to 100-120 people. There is a bar on the boat. There is a cinema and karaoke. The duration of the flight is 1 hour.

The cost of a pleasure trip: for adults - 270 rubles, for children - 170 rubles.

Irkutsk — Peschanaya Bay Peschanka is one of the most popular tourist destinations. This is the only place in Siberia where the average annual air temperature is positive. The velvet season on Peschanaya is July-August.

Irkutsk — Chivyrkuisky Bay The shores of the bay have many bays and picturesque headlands. The bay is considered one of the most picturesque and warmest on Lake Baikal. However, it is rather difficult to drive along its banks by car. Therefore, the route of the ship is designed in such a way that tourists can see the most interesting places of the lake: Peschanaya Bay, Zagli, Olkhon Island, Ushkany Islands.

Irkutsk — Severobaikalsk — NizhneangarskDuring the trip, you can see how the lake changes from south to north.

Why beginners shouldn't lose their guard there.

March 30, 2020 19 comments about 8 minutes to read

Interview with Natalia Rusanovskaya.

Express your gratitude to the doctors.

Hot discussions

On IRK. u There is a special project “It's good where we are” about Irkutsk residents who have moved abroad for permanent residence. Now they talk about the situation that surrounds them.

Maria Mikhailova, Georgia (Tbilisi)

Now almost all areas have stopped. Many people, including me, were left without work and earnings - I myself worked as a guide and snowboard instructor. Only pharmacies, grocery and household goods stores, banks, gas stations and special services operate. This will not have a positive effect on the economy. But we must pay tribute to the government and the decision to freeze loans and mortgages for 3 months.

Quiet for those who have at least some kind of "safety cushion", money is simply nowhere to take and it is not known when the opportunity to earn it will appear. We are waiting for the end of April - the state of emergency has been declared before that time. Next, let's see how everything will recover. We just sit at home, because we understand: the measures were introduced for our safety so that people do not contact each other.

Denis Kosolapov, Israel (Haifa)

I don't see anything critical in the situation. You can go to the store, take a walk with the dog. True, now it is forbidden even to gather together on the street to play sports. Grocery stores are open, now there is no sold-out. Although there was excitement and pandemonium: they bought buckwheat and toilet paper. I only go to the store and move strictly in the car. I have a mask, but I never put it on - terribly uncomfortable. For violations of the quarantine regime, a fine of 500 shekels (about 11 084 rubles - approx. Units) or 6 months in prison is provided.

We are promised the following assistance from the state: if you work legally, you will receive 75% of your earnings. If you received any benefits, you will continue to receive them. It's all.

Kristina Baranowska, Poland (Warsaw)

Like everyone else, we sit at home. People watch the media and wind up even more. The quarantine was tightened - you can go out only in three cases: for five minutes with a dog, to the nearest store and to work. We belong to the first category and go out for a walk around the house. Yesterday a woman attacked me, whether I was watching TV and what I was doing on the street, threatened with the police. The police are everywhere, checking transport, streets, shops.

January 1, 2016 4 comments about 5 minutes to read

Drive to the Barguzin Valley.

Nikolay Semenyuk traveled through 27 cities of Russia.

History and traditions of the people living in the Irkutsk region.

Hot discussions

There are 10 days of New Year holidays ahead and you need to spend them with maximum benefit. We offer you an overview of entertainment outside the city. Surely everyone will find something to their liking.

We recently wrote about where you can go skiing, snowboarding or tubing on vacation, the most detailed information is here. If you want to change the scenery, then you can go on a short trip. You can read about vacation options in Krasnoyarsk, Khakassia, Tyva or Kemerovo region here. Follow this link for a detailed program for a vacation in Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk or Vladivostok.

The Taltsy Ethnographic Museum has prepared an entertainment program for Irkutsk residents and tourists. Starting from January 2, from 10:00 to 17:00, merry New Year's fun awaits you. Everyone will be able to ride a carousel, ski, ice slide and arrange a snow battle. In addition, quite recently, a small ice rink was opened on the territory and a picnic area was equipped.

In autumn, the museum was replenished with new expositions - a sable and a salt barn, as well as a 17th-18th century Gostiny Dvor. The cost of an adult ticket is 200 rubles; tickets for children, students and pensioners - 100 rubles; car parking - 100 rubles.

A little further - in Listvyanka - you can not only visit the usual nerpinarium (open from 11:00 to 18:00, performances every hour, ticket for an adult - 500 rubles, a ticket for a child - 400 rubles), but and ride a dog sled at the Baikal Sledding Sports Center at the Tyuryumins' estate. The pleasure is not cheap, but there are a lot of positive emotions. 10 minutes on a sled will cost 1,700 rubles, 20 minutes - 2,500, and a half-hour ride will cost 3,500 rubles (prices per person). Excursion and communication with dogs will cost less - 250 rubles per person. It is necessary to book the time for skiing in advance by phones: 8 914 940 44-74 or (3952) 96-60-03, a prepayment of 10% is required.

April 6, 2017 13 comments about 19 minutes to read

Drive to the Barguzin Valley.

Nikolay Semenyuk traveled through 27 cities of Russia.

History and traditions of the people living in the Irkutsk region.

Hot discussions

"Russian and Chinese are brothers forever" - this common phrase migrated into the field of public diplomacy from a song written back in 1949, at the peak of friendship between the USSR and the PRC. And since then he has lived his own rich life, filled with either poisonous sarcasm or syrupy affection. Now fraternization with the Chinese is taking place totally - from Moscow to the very outskirts.

In the eastern regions of Russia, there are already those who fear that the Chinese brothers would not strangle us in their arms. Experts of the tourism market state that the flow of guests from the Middle Kingdom, wishing to survey the main Russian attractions - Moscow, St. Petersburg and Baikal, has been growing like an avalanche over the past four to five years. And the segment of illegal and semi-legal Chinese tourist business is growing at an outstripping pace, the main goal of which is to absorb this entire flow, create a closed-loop system - when Chinese tourists arrive at Baikal by flights of Chinese airlines, use the services of Chinese guides, settle in Chinese hotels, buy souvenirs in shops, owned by the Chinese.

The combination of these two trends - the avalanche-like growth of tourist traffic and the development of illegal tourist business - is reflected in the official data of the Tourism Agency of the Irkutsk Region. According to the head of this department, Ekaterina Slivina, in 2016 the number of tourists in the Irkutsk region increased by 33% compared to the same period last year, including 2.7 times more guests from China (40 thousand people), and tax deductions from tourist activities grew by only 8%. Let's follow the Chinese tourists along the entire route to roughly determine where the income from Lake Baikal settles.

Photo by Ilya Tatarnikov


The main flow of tourists to the Irkutsk region from China in 2016 was delivered by aviation. During the peak season, which falls on the summer months, Irkutsk airport received 18 charter and six regular flights a week. Add to this an indefinite number of Chinese arriving in Irkutsk by air and arriving by train from Moscow, St. Petersburg - as part of a large tour of Russia, and it turns out that in the Irkutsk region in the summer there were up to 6 thousand tourists from the PRC every day, which is 150 groups, each of which - about 40 people.

Before the next flight from China, the greeters gather in the arrivals hall of the Irkutsk International Airport. These are, as a rule, guides who will work with groups all the days of their stay at Lake Baikal.

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