Tourist police in Russia: the purpose of creation, functions, reviews
The appearance of the tourist police in Russia once again underlines the importance and successful development of this industry in recent times. Domestic and inbound tourism is gaining momentum, and in large cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and in a number of other regions, full-time police units do not cope. The new police unit is currently operating only in the capital, but, looking at the successful experience, other areas with massive inbound tourist traffic reveal a desire to create a Tourist Police in their region.
Tourist Police: Foreign Experience
The most striking example of the existence of such a unit can be seen in the United Arab Emirates. Our tourists are advised to carefully read the memo on staying in this Arab country before the visit. In the UAE there are a lot of bans in connection with Islamic traditions, as well as very strict legislation, where the death penalty is the usual punishment for a crime.This applies not only to alcohol, smoking in the wrong place or storing drugs. Tourist police may impose a fine for inappropriate behavior in a public place or for a tourist not throwing a piece of paper in a trash can.
Few other tasks from their Israeli colleagues. Here, the duties of the tourist police are more focused on the safety of the tourist. Units accompany the tour buses, pre-check sightseeing objects for threats, including terrorist ones. In Israel, it is very difficult to get to the airport (for example, Ben-Gurion) without numerous checks.
What was the purpose of the tourist police in Russia?
The main purpose of the unit is to ensure the safety of both tourists (mostly foreigners) and the local population. The problem of the preservation and integrity of tourism facilities (national parks, monuments, historical buildings, etc.) has also recently become topical.
Other objectives for creating a tourist police are as follows:
- quality control of travel agents and tour operators, carriers, accommodation facilities for travelers in the region (documentation, certificates, permits, approvals, etc.);
- work with claims, complaints and statements of guests;
- information and advisory activities;
- assistance in calling ambulance and other emergency services in emergency situations.
Another goal arising from all of the above is to improve the image of the region, increasing its attractiveness from the point of view of tourism.
The brief experience of the tourist police in the capital has shown that in many situations it is enough just to have a person in shape to prevent or stop offenses in places with a massive gathering of tourists. For example, near the staff do not drink alcohol, do not litter and do not swear.
The functions of the tourist police include communication with tourists, the identification of any problems or difficulties and assistance in solving them. Many tourists do not know how to get to this or that place, where you can eat, how to get to the hotel. Employees provide a public order, suppress offenses in the tourist centers.
Which regions need tourist police?
It is planned to create such units in regions and cities with large flows of tourists.For example, St. Petersburg receives more than 7 million tourists a year, which exceeds the population of the city. Heads of cities such as Sochi, Nizhny Novgorod, Volgograd, Kazan, also see the need to create a tourist police. This issue is particularly relevant in the run-up to the World Cup in 2018 in Samara, Yekaterinburg, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Kaliningrad and other Russian cities.
The Crimean peninsula, the Altai Republic and the Altai Territory in the last decade have become very popular among tourists. In some places, the police do not cope with all the responsibilities assigned to them due to the lack of staff in the staff.
The idea of creating separate units governing the sphere of tourism does not support a number of cities and regions. For example, in the Kuban Cossack detachments perform what the tourist police are engaged in, and have done an excellent job with their duties for several years.
In the Republic of Dagestan, they say that the offenses against tourists are almost zero. This is due to the peculiarities of the mentality in this region, which is famous for its hospitality and the warm welcome of all visitors.In addition, during the high tourist season (May - October), the staff of the police increases in places of large concentrations of tourists.
The mayor of Veliky Novgorod does not consider the problem relevant for the route “Golden Ring of Russia”. In some cities, the issue of tourist information is solved with the help of student volunteers who help vacationers navigate the historical centers. Riots, crimes and other kinds of offenses were not revealed there.
Who will work in the tourism policy?
In one of the Russian newspapers, this unit was called the elite. Indeed, only the best of the best are selected to the tourist police in Moscow. Here you need not only education, good physical training and ability to use weapons, but also a high level of intellectual development and compulsory knowledge of a foreign language, and preferably several (at least at a conversational level).
The position of the tourist police officers are invited men and women aged from 18 to 35 years old, well erudite, friendly towards the people around them, sociable and able to quickly establish contact with the interlocutor.Preference is given to candidates who are fluent in English, as well as those whose height is above 170 cm.
The advantages of the post
The proposed salary of an employee of the tourist police in Moscow is average, but for knowing and also applying a foreign language in practice, a monthly surcharge is assumed (so far it is 20,000 rubles). Turpolice also give surcharges for the complexity of the work, busy schedule, special regime, etc. Important is the possibility of obtaining legal education completely free of charge and further career growth.
Mostly the work is pleasant and comes down to an easy conversation with a foreigner. The risks to the officers of the regular and tourist police are not commensurate.
Results, feedback on the work
Tourist police units have been working in Moscow since the summer of 2014, during which time the department can boast of positive results and successful activity. According to feedback from employees, one of the biggest difficulties is a busy schedule "on foot" when patrolling pedestrian zones. Sometimes there is no time for lunch, you have to work in bad weather conditions (rain, snow).
Turpolitseys say that they are assigned a certain territorial area (for example, the Alexander Garden), in which they are in a six-hour shift. During the duty, about ten times foreigners turn to them to find out how to get to the cafe or shop, ATM, etc. Often asked to take a photo for memory.
Some employees combine their studies in high school with work and enjoy the daily opportunity to practice speaking in a foreign language. Others are moving to the post of tourist police from the post guard.
The main result of the two-year existence of the tourist police in Moscow is that the capital is recognized as one of the safest tourist centers in the world. Offenses against foreign tourists are now sporadic, conflict situations are effectively resolved. The attractiveness of Moscow, and hence of Russia as a whole, in terms of tourism has increased many times.