Shortage of tourist buses in Russia

Shortage of tourist buses in Russia

The press service of the Russian Union of Travel Industry (RUTI) reported on the shortage of tourist buses in Russia. Last year, the cost of transporting tourists increased by an average of 35% because of this. In some regions, this figure reaches up to 50%.

The RUTI conducted a survey in which 64 transport and 92 tour operator companies from 42 regions of the country took part. The respondents, in particular, noted the high cost of new buses and difficulties in updating the fleet. In addition, among the negative factors are the cost of auto parts, the lack of infrastructure for tourist bus stops, and the lack of parking spaces in large cities.

"More than 60% of the respondents agreed that it is necessary to increase the prestige of the work of drivers on tourist buses. At the moment, there is a serious shortage of personnel - specialists today choose the field of cargo transportation," the message says.

The RUTI proposed to introduce benefits for training tourist bus drivers and salary subsidies. Experts note that some experience is needed to work with tourists. In this regard, it is important to retain and attract professionals in this field of activity.

According to respondents, subsidies for replenishing the bus fleet, zeroing or reducing the recycling fee, reducing customs duties, as well as preferential loans could also be effective measures of state support.

"According to expert estimates, in order to meet the demand for high-quality bus sightseeing services throughout the country, about 3 thousand buses with a capacity of up to 50 seats are needed," the RUTI said.

Experts note that the indexation of the recycling fee for legal entities in August 2023 played a major role in the rise in the cost of bus transportation. Now the purchase of a Chinese bus in Russia, depending on the class, costs 70-300% more expensive than a year ago.

"In total, 3 thousand new Chinese buses were purchased in 2023. The base cost is 13-16 million rubles, although in China they cost 7.5-10 million rubles. The surcharge reaches 40% of the total cost. These are various kinds of fees, primarily customs (1.5 million) and recycling, which in August 2023 amounted to less than 600 thousand rubles, and now it is 1.8 million," the message says.

To reduce the cost of foreign buses, the RUTI proposed to cancel or reduce customs and recycling fees at least for a period until mass production of domestic tourist class buses is established.
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