The presentation of the National tourist web-portal Russia.travel for the travel community and the public was made at the 3rd St. Petersburg international tourist forum.
The project was launched by Rostourism in 2013 under realization of the Federal Targeted Program “Development of domestic and incoming tourism in Russian Federation
Automated information system “AIS Tourism”, a product of IT-based management of the Federal Agency for Tourism. It is one of 20 sub-systems among which are: automation of control processes and support of tourist activity; control of program activity in tourist sector; control of project activity in tourist sector; control and monitoring of progress in implementing program events of the Federal targeted program “Development of domestic and incoming tourism in Russian Federation
The basis of the content of the Russia. Travel is composed of tourist sites and attractions of Russia the current aggregate number of which approaches 12 thousand. Among them are tourist attractions, historical sites, monuments, cultural heritage properties and other. Developers of the Russia. Travel used expertise and practices of most popular tourist web-portals of Switzerland, Norway, Great Britain and other.
Yaroslav Omelay, deputy general director of IT Center of the Federal Audit Chamber said that they liked the technical implementation of the portal ,its conformity with best world practices and standards. Its platform is based on wide capability to integrate with external services. Well-developed solutions for mobile devices communication with efficient tools for navigations are used.
Industry experts appreciate its being in demand and its high potential with regard to market promotion of Russian tourist products.
“The creation of the national tourist web-portal is a very significant step towards provision of Russian and foreign tourists with qualitative and truthful information about tourist sites and attractions of our country. Of special importance is the fact that it is adapted for smartphones and ipads because the first and most essential stage of any travel is inspiration and choice of destination that is most frequently created on mobile devices. In the process of development the portal is filled with hi-resolution photographs, video, texts and becomes a helpful tool for the professional industry as well; it is no secret that Runet contains far more licensed pictures of foreign sites than of Russian attractions.”, Dmitri Yakovlev, OZON. Travel general director said.
The National tourist web-portal is currently developed by Rostourism and the workgroup it founded together with the Internet-Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF). The mission is to develop concepts of information technologies targeted at development of travel industry, improvement of information accessibility and attractiveness of domestic tourist sites and attractions.
The actual trend is to attract those startups for development and upgrading of the National Tourist web-portal that can provide users with maximum useful services and functions.
The Moscow-based media-center of IIDF City Hall recently hosted a three-day Hack’n’Roll event organized with support of Rostourism. It is a large-scale hackathon for Russian startups, businessmen and designers targeted at design, implementation and launch of services on the Portal of a series of services for tourists in shortest possible time.
Over 200 designers from Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Crimea and Israel participated in the event.
Of 90 applicants only 19 teams reached the final stage. During three days every team made a presentation of their concepts defending them in front of experts. Then for 24 hours they developed a prototype of the service and presented the results to the jury consisting of representatives of Rostourism, IIDF and #tceh who assessed the economic potential of the project, its novelty and implementation of the concept.
The winners are: Allways.travel — a service for making complicated routes at the Russia-Travel with purchase of tickets and accommodation at minimum rate in one click; Local Guide — a service facilitating tourists’ search of professional licensed guides all over Russia, contacting them and organizing excursions; BookInna — a B2B platform for travel agencies and theme sites targeted at organization of package tours without tour operators.
Other projects were also of considerable interest in terms of NTP functional development. For example, a planner of walking and automobile tourist routes integrated in the portal with Dioguide Letme.travel will promote development of domestic tourism ; in this regard the developers’ team was invited to Rostourism to discuss possibilities of future co-work.
Other promising projects — “Virtual travelling Russia” by VirQ and DriveDots are interesting but need further developing.
“One of IIDF key tasks is to connect startups with industry leaders. Cooperation with Rostourism within the framework of the Russia.travel development gives young teams an opportunity to create perspective services both for Russian and foreign users. The first results of the hackathon are very optimistic; we are ready to discuss possible investments with stronger teams”, — says Evgeny Borisov, IIDF Development Director.
“Tourist services invest significant funds in data collection and processing of the content — good-quality descriptions, photographs, geo-location parameters , etc. Rostourism carried out the work and made available a grand volume of data regarding tourist attractions and sites. It is of great help for online services targeted at domestic and incoming tourism in Russia. It was interesting to follow startups that integrated with the Russia. Travel at the hackathon. They got insight in the mechanism of the industry and what big partners can offer which resulted in serious updating of strategies and changes in technological solutions”, Renat Garipov, general director of #tceh concludes.