Our correspondent Dmitry Soldatenkov found out whether there is sex tourism in Russia and whether travel agencies are trying to make money on it.
To begin with, let us remind skeptics that other well-known business publications sometimes do not hesitate to write about sex tourism. In 2003, "Kommersant-Dengi", for example, wrote about the Moscow tour operator "It's time to rest!" , which, among other things, advertised weekend trips to Kostroma, under the playful title "Love-tour - paradise for men." For 7900 rubles, clients were offered a program that included a visit to a strip club, as well as a trip to the sauna with an erotic massage session.
Now the company's website does not contain even a hint of the old "funny" routes. In the same Kostroma, only a sightseeing tour of the city and a ceremonial survey of the Ipatiev Monastery were announced. As one of the managers said, the team that organized the "love tours" left the company at the end of 2007. Contacts of enthusiasts are irretrievably lost. “The case turned out to be frankly unprofitable due to low demand,” added our interlocutor. "It's time to rest!" converted into a travel agency and now sells standard vouchers with an emphasis on domestic tourism. So is there sex tourism in Russia?
Disappointed with the old-timers of the genre, I started looking for followers on the Internet. The query "sex tourism" returned links to several travel agencies.
The site of the Moscow travel agency "Vita Travel" (an independent representative of the travel company "Sochi Sanatoriums") attracted my attention with an article under the promising title "New Sex Zone - South Coast of Crimea". It tells about the hot spots of Yalta and about the crowds of Turks hurrying from Istanbul ferries to the hot arms of Slavic beauties. However, as it turned out, this material - "with a beard", and dates back to the times when the peninsula belonged to Ukraine. The article ends with a proposal to leave a request for a tour, which prompted me to make a call to the travel agency. “We used to go to Thailand as a male company, but with the current dollar exchange rate, rest there has become too expensive,” I told the manager. - Can you organize a vacation in Crimea for hot guys like Pattaya? " To which Vita Travel replied that they do not do anything like that, they sell ordinary vouchers to sanatoriums, boarding houses and hotels. And the article on the site is just informational support from some "partners".
Nothing particularly "hot" was not pleased with the agency "Airport" (Tula), which in the section "Love-tours in Moscow, St. Petersburg" says only "a night in a hotel, whose rooms are equipped with everything necessary for love: jacuzzi, striptease pole, erotic accessories ... "I was promised to book a suitable place for a cheerful bachelor party, but they honestly warned that our company would have to look for beauties" for comfort "on its own.
Sites of some travel agencies described in paints a "paradise" for single travelers in Turkish and Egyptian resorts, where sultry macho, ready to join a warm company, await them. However, in practice, it turned out that such publications are nothing more than a marketing gimmick for attracting customers. Employees of travel agencies as one explained that they sell the most ordinary vouchers, and how to entertain yourself on vacation is a private matter of a tourist.
Five years ago, Ekaterina Zatuliveter launched Alturism, a project whereby people pay money to go to the Russian outback and help local residents improve and develop their territory. Why is it popular, how to make money on such tourism and what mistakes can be made when trying to raise neighbors to a common cause - says the founder of the project.
- How did Alturism come about?
- I wanted to do something of my own. But in business, the concept of money for the sake of money turned me off. If everything is for the sake of money, then it is easier to sit in the office from morning to evening, then close the laptop, go home, and let the bosses solve the problems. I was also not attracted to NGOs. Here you have to constantly adjust to grants, do only what the money is allocated for.
And then I learned about social entrepreneurship.
- Why tourism?
- Tourism has become a monetization shell and some kind of engine. The idea was to create active communities of people in the village who would be engaged in the development of their villages instead of complaining and waiting for someone to do everything for them. It is clear that pouring money into the creation of infrastructure will not help solve the problem of the disappearance of villages in our country, it is pouring into a black hole. Nothing will change if the consciousness of people does not change.
All problems, not only in the villages, are born from the way we think. We often expect some uncle to come and save everyone. We are waiting for the authorities to do one, the second, the third, then we discuss with friends in the kitchen how bad everything is. However, most people do nothing.
And when the thinking "we all owe us why no one is doing anything" changes to "we can improve our lives on our own", people start doing specific things and really improve the life of the community. This change in consciousness is the most important for me, and this is the basis of "Alturism".
Also, villages are the most "fragile", they disappear before our eyes, which brings problems for the whole country.
- How can you change people's minds?
- Through the collaboration of people with different types of thinking. I was educated in the field of conflict resolution. And for my project, I adapted the technology used by the UN and the OSCE to resolve conflicts. In a short time, international organizations must make sure that people who have recently killed each other change their minds from aggressive to at least neutral, so that hostilities do not resume.
I decided that if you can change your mind from aggressive to neutral, then from dependent to proactive too. It turned out to be true.
For this to happen, people with a proactive and dependent mind must take part in the work, the result of which is more important than the relationship to each other. And it doesn't even matter what exactly proactively thinking people will do, it is important that their consciousness during this work will influence the consciousness of the people with whom they work. This may sound unlikely, but this is exactly how it happens. And after that, an active local community emerges, which, without alturists, creates projects and works on its territory, developing it.
Would it ever occur to anyone to travel to a cemetery or plane crash while on vacation? We are used to the fact that vacation should leave pleasant memories: a luxury resort, warm sea, delicious food. However, adherents of dark tourism have a completely different opinion. It is much more pleasant for them to spend a couple of days in the crypt or to experience the drive from visiting Fukushima. "Tape. y ”talks about unusual travel habits in an attempt to understand why some people associate their holidays with grief and death.
For the first time the concept of "dark tourism" appeared in the pages of the International Journal of Heritage Studies in 1996. It came into use four years later, when two professors from the University of Scotland, Malcolm Foley and John Lennon, published the book "Dark Tourism", which described the phenomenon in detail and talked about its varieties. However, they could not explain the reasons for the love of travelers to the places of tragedies.
Perhaps the most famous area of "dark tourism" can be called India - the coast of the sacred Ganges. Here, local residents cremate their dead, and their ashes are scattered over the waters of the river. At the same time, corpses are burned not in electric crematoria, as in the rest of the world, but in the old fashioned way - on a funeral pyre. The deceased, dressed in the finest and most beautiful clothes, is brought to the place of burning on a bamboo stretcher. If a person dies at an advanced age, the ceremony is attended by musicians who perform folk songs.
Tourists are not prohibited from observing the funeral process. Most often, travelers go to Varanasi, where wealthy elderly Hindus come from all over the country - especially to die. It is believed that if a person dies in this sacred city, his soul will no longer be reincarnated, and he will come out of the wheel of Samsara.
There are few places on earth for those who love to tickle their nerves, like Varanasi, so "dark" tourists have to be content with places of mass deaths and natural disasters, which, although not burial places, preserve the memory of tragedies.
For some travelers, when choosing a destination for a vacation, a single factor plays a dominant role: the number of people who died in a particular place. Their favorite sites are concentration camps in Poland, the Khmer Rouge "killing fields" in Cambodia, the Katyn training ground near Smolensk, or the Gulag sites. They also love torture museums and former maximum security prisons, where in recent years more and more hotels and restaurants have been opened, as well as places of executions and historical battles with a large number of victims (for example, at Gettysburg or near Prokhorovka).
A separate line in the top list includes routes in the footsteps of serial killers - for example, Chikatilo in Rostov-on-Don or Jack the Ripper in London.
Another popular type of "dark" recreation is disaster tourism. Adherents of such leisure make pilgrimages to places of man-made accidents, natural disasters and natural disasters. Favorite destinations are "toxic tours" to Chernobyl or Fukushima. At various times, trips to New Orleans, which fell victim to Hurricane Katrina, and to Southeast Asia after another tsunami or earthquake were popular.
Perhaps the most harmless kind of "dark tourism" is walking in cemeteries. Ordinary travelers do not deny themselves the pleasure of looking at the bizarre tombstones. Many people go to the cemeteries specifically to look at the resting place of their favorite performer, artist or writer. In many countries, graveyards, along with other cultural sites, are considered attractions. Popular rental service Airbnb recently even invited its clients to spend the night in the largest cemetery in Paris.
Holidays with children in Russia in 2021 is a hot topic at all times. There are a lot of places to go to. This is KMV, the Golden Ring, Black and