The Tourism Development Center of the Sverdlovsk Region (established by the Ministry of Investment of the region) in the coronavirus year 2020 signed contracts for more than 21 million rubles, which mainly relate to the presentation of the region's tourism potential at various events. At least three of these exhibitions have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, most of the contracts are received by the same firm from Yekaterinburg. In the very center they say that all purchases are carried out strictly according to the law. Meanwhile, representatives of the tourism industry claim that dubious financial schemes are being implemented through the Tourism Development Center, and the head of the Ural Association of Tour Operators Mikhail Maltsev directly says that the center's work is ineffective and dubious purchases only negatively affect the image of the Sverdlovsk Region.
According to the SPARK system, this year the Tourism Development Center of the Sverdlovsk Region, which has been headed by Elmira Tukanova since 2013, managed to conclude contracts for 21.7 million rubles. Of these, most of the money - 16.7 million rubles - will be received by OOO Visit Ural - Siberia, a travel operator that conducts business and cultural events in Yekaterinburg.
Most of the contracts received by the company are related to various presentations of the tourist potential of the Sverdlovsk region at various events and exhibitions. For example, in February, a contract was signed with the company for the presentation of the tourist potential of the Sverdlovsk region at the ITB Berlin 2020 exhibition in March in Germany. The cost of the contract was 500 thousand rubles. For this money, Visit Ural - Siberia LLC undertook to hold one presentation of the tourist potential of the Sverdlovsk region at the Russian stand in the presence of 15 people and collect at least 15 business cards from representatives of the tourist business, the media and officials. The exhibition's website says it has been canceled. The contract has not been canceled and is in the "execution" stage.
According to the public procurement website, Visit Ural - Siberia LLC also received contracts for the presentation of its tourism potential at the 27th Moscow International Tourism Exhibition "MITT" in March 2020 (699 thousand rubles), the XV International Tourism exhibition "Intourmarket" in Moscow in March (599 thousand rubles), at the 20th Kazakhstan International Exhibition "Tourism and Travel" in Kazakhstan in April (599 thousand rubles), at the forum-exhibition on tourism "OTDYKH 2020" in Moscow in September (501 thousand rubles). It is worth noting that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the MITT exhibitions in Moscow and Tourism and Travel in Kazakhstan were postponed to 2021. The contracts with the firm to hold presentations there have not been canceled.
Visit Ural - Siberia receives contracts for events. The largest contract - for 2.7 million rubles - is associated with the organization and holding of the international tourism forum "Big Ural - 2020". The event took place in Yekaterinburg on September 25-26. As the director of the Tourism Development Center Elmira Tukanova wrote on her Facebook page, the forum was attended by 2,861 people in two days, including representatives from 37 regions of Russia.
The same company received 1.9 million rubles for organizing the IV Ethnographic Festival "Tagil Kaleidoscope", 2.5 million rubles for organizing a professional skills competition among masters of folk arts and crafts "We Glorify a Labor Man!" rubles - for a presentation at the exhibition-fair “Ladya. Winter's Tale - 2020 "in Moscow.
It was this company that got a contract for 1.4 million rubles for the development, formation and promotion of the brand "Imperial Route", and then another 400 thousand rubles for the participation of the Sverdlovsk region at the joint stand "Imperial Route" at the forum OTDYKH 2020 (this is a forum, for the presentation of the Sverdlovsk region at which the company has already received 501 thousand rubles).
The company "Visit Ural - Siberia" is run by the entrepreneur Oksana Trofimova-Niedental. Judging by the page of the businesswoman on Facebook, she and the director of the Tourism Development Center of the Sverdlovsk Region Elmira Tukanova are friends, they regularly publish joint photos from various events, comment on each other's cats.
The company's website says that the firm has existed since 1998. According to SPARK, since 2017, the company has regularly received contracts from the Tourism Development Center of the Sverdlovsk Region for several million rubles (in 2020 - the largest amount). In 2019, the company's net profit exceeded RUB 10 million.