Here’s one for all of you out there who’d like bothering better than to emulate legendary Russian President Vladimir Putin. Depsite all the hoopla over Mr. Putin going shirtless and flying jets, honest men will admit they’d like nothing better than to hang out like Putin does in the backwoods of Mother Russia. Well, for many Russians, this manly man dream will soon come true.
According to Russia’s State Tourism Agency Rostourism, enthusiasts will soon be able to retrace President Vladimir Putin’s footsteps in his beloved Siberian holiday spots. According to the report, public demand for copying Putin’s itinerary has been strong, so his wilderness excursions will be recreated for those with a penchant for bare chested, bear riding, gun shooting, wilderness fishing experiences. If only Rostourism could recreate all the myths and true experiences about the world’s most enigmatic leader, maybe ordinary Stanislav could book an experience like this one.
Okay, in all seriousness, last month, western media went all out reporting Mr. Putin was on some kind of a macho image photo shoot with his pal Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. The reality though, is that the Russian president is at home in nature since forever. Despite the negativity coming from Putin enemies, most people in Russia and abroad identify with the former KGB colonel’s exploits in Siberia and elsewhere.
On the new tourism initiative, Rostourism boss Zarina Doguzova said in an Instagram post for Putin’s 69th birthday last week.
“This encourages millions of tourists to discover Russia’s beauty. Thanks to your support, the tourism and hospitality industry have entered a new development stage.”
According to this Yahoo! report by Maria Vasilyeva, recent street interviews reveal Russians expressing enthusiasm for the idea, while worrying such trips might be expensive when compared to package holidays abroad.
Russia’s government has pledged to support the COVID-hit travel industry, including by offering cashback for trips booked using the country’s card payment system Mir. Doguzova said in July she expected internal tourism to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021.