The future of autotourism: how services for travelers by car are being developed in Russia

The future of autotourism: how services for travelers by car are being developed in Russia

The heart of the Rosneft company is located in Moscow - its key offices, scientific institutes, the largest gas station in Russia, as well as oil depots and about 300 gas stations of the oil company’s retail network, where you can not only refuel your car, but also have a tasty snack, relax, and use various convenient services and charge your electric car. Even the precise and smooth movement of the Kremlin chimes is ensured by lubricants of its production.

The company actively supports initiatives to develop domestic tourism and is already implementing a number of regional projects aimed at popularizing auto tourism in the regions where it operates. The determining factor in the development of such travel is not only the hospitality ecosystem, but also the infrastructure of transport routes. Comfort and availability of everything you need on the road is ensured by the Rosneft gas station network.

“Moscow has the widest range of tourism offers. This includes culture, architecture, gastronomy, hiking routes, and active recreation. Various entertainments. Moscow is one of the first capitals in the world in terms of accessibility and variety of museum exhibitions. Today in the capital there are more than 400 museums and exhibition halls, more than 20 thousand catering establishments, hundreds of parks. In addition, the capital, as the largest transport hub, attracts lovers of road trips. And the city continues to develop popular transport directions, offering new solutions and routes. Most road trips to Moscow are made from St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and the Samara region. The convenience of traveling around the capital increases with the improvement of transport infrastructure. Over the past 12 years, more than 1,000 km of new roads have been built,” said Irina Shilkina, head of the tourism department of the Moscow City Tourism Committee.

She added that in the summer the capital signed a memorandum of cooperation with the oil company. The first step towards rapprochement was a joint project called “Travel to Moscow with Rosneft.”

“Why is this project good? It allows participants of the gas station loyalty program to take advantage of special offers offered by the RUSSPASS portal. As part of the cooperation, the company was offered to receive maps and tourist brochures about Moscow at 10 gas stations,” Shilkina said.

According to Diana Hristova, deputy director of the division of the Russian travel planning service RUSSPASS, today travelers are increasingly turning to digital services, and for the industry and regions such services are a good platform for promotion. “RUSSPASS is a service for planning trips throughout the country. All regions are represented on it, each has its own page. The ecosystem combines 30 services. Each segment of the tourism industry has its own solution, with the help of which our colleagues can promote their services and talk about them. Routes and audio guides are provided. The ecosystem unites regions, partners and travelers themselves. We are a showcase for promoting the region at the federal and international level,” said Hristova.

She also spoke about the joint project of the service and oil workers. Interesting offers are available to users of the company's loyalty program, for example, special prices at hotels or a compliment from the chef at a partner restaurant. All this also develops auto tourism.

“Videos with information about the joint project with Moscow were posted on more than 1,000 screens of our gas stations; according to our estimates, the coverage of the campaign was more than 12 million people across the country. All our employees strive to make a stop at our gas station comfortable and enjoyable. We have developed a new standard of service for our guests and clients, we are expanding our offerings of related products and services, and we are expanding our cafe offerings. We provide and guarantee quality control of our fuel,” said Vasily Georgiev, head of the operational management department for regional sales of Rosneft PJSC, in his speech.

He emphasized that more than 1.5 million people use the network’s services every day. There are almost 3,000 Rosneft gas stations in 61 regions across the country. “The development of automobile tourism is an important topic for us. Therefore, fuel sales are not enough for a modern gas station. Multifunctionality is important: shops, cafes, services and a high level of service. Our clients can stay overnight, take a shower, and take a break from long trips. We support domestic tourism development projects. We are implementing a number of projects aimed at popularizing auto tourism in the regions where we operate. These are Arkhangelsk, Tula, Voronezh, Ulyanovsk,” Georgiev continued.

The company launched a special information platform for tourists, “Russian Horizons: Come with us!” The project allows you to plan or select an interesting route to interesting places through the infrastructure of roadside services and gas stations. Several modules are already available on the project website that travelers can combine. For example, a route along the M-10 highway between two capitals.

“The project has a number of differences from its analogues, thanks to its unique navigation functionality. All interesting points on the map become route points that you can independently collect and change at any time during your trip. Each route undergoes an independent assessment by the National Association of Automobile Tourism and Caravanning. More and more people are eager to see the country from their car window. Any journey begins with refueling the car. We tried to make a convenient website for travel, the application is currently under development. Interesting routes from Moscow to St. Petersburg, Sochi, Voronezh and Tula are now available,” Rosneft representative Andrey Borovik clarified the details of the project.

The President of the National Association of Automobile Tourism and Caravanning, Sergei Lobarev, spoke about how the project was verified in practice.

“There are more than 50 million vehicle drivers in Russia. We create comfortable conditions for them. This summer we conducted two expeditions at the request of the company. This is Moscow-St. Petersburg, where we examined more than 30 gas stations, and also drove from the capital to Krasnaya Polyana, where we looked at more than 80 gas stations. The approach itself was not to hide negative elements from the company, to tell what tourist sites could still be “hooked”, what to add. There are 5% of organized road tourism on buses, and the rest are independent tourists. Which were previously overlooked, so it is gratifying that the concept of road tourism is now being created. And that region, those roadside service facilities that understand that it is necessary to develop it will be in the black,” Lobarev said.

An example of the successful implementation of a project for the development of autotourism, in addition to Moscow, can be called the Tula region.

“Tula is primarily associated with gingerbread and the samovar, but it is also the arms capital of Russia, a workshop, and the birthplace of the Wild Mint festival and the Tolstoy theater festival. Guests will also find our wonderful new embankment and gastronomic quarter “Iskra”. Using big data analytics, we determined that our tourists most often travel by car. Either they come from Moscow and the region by car, or, using railway transport, they switch to car sharing. Therefore, in recent years we have been placing a big bet on automobile tourism routes,” said Elena Martynova, director of the Regional Foundation “Tourism Development Agency of the Tula Region”.

She added that in Tula itself there is an acute shortage of rooms on weekends. Therefore, it is important to build new routes for automobile tourism that will redistribute tourist flows. It is necessary to show guests of the region new points, new opportunities, to tell about those objects about which it is not easy to find information.

“In addition, two federal highways M-2 and M-4 pass through our region, and guests often travel along them in transit without stopping in the region. But by taking advantage of the partnership with oil workers, we get direct access to a new target audience, the opportunity to tell them about our interesting places. By the way, in the new routes that we will develop together with the company, we will include unexpected sites to visit, for example, a nutria farm,” Martynova shared.

“Our region is interesting because it is transitive. Now many people go to Belarus and this path lies through us. Our interaction with the largest Russian oil company along the highway should yield good results. The presence of a National Park on the territory of the region with campsites and glampings operating today, lakes makes us, like no other, suitable for motorists,” Deputy Director of the ANO “Tourism Development Center of the Smolensk Region” Alla Yunash spoke about the prospects for cooperation.

Let us remind you that the international exhibition and forum “Russia” is held by decree of the President of the Russian Federation from November 4, 2023 to April 12, 2024 on the territory of VDNKh. The Rosneft exposition is located in a pavilion built according to the author’s design project. The pavilion’s digital equipment and interactive exhibits tell visitors about the history of the oil industry and the company, its prospects, scientific developments and social projects.

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