Moscow Private Tours (www.moscowprivatetours.com) – a leading company in the field of private tours for foreigners in Russia with more than 2000 tailor-made tours sold yearly. However, the coronavirus pandemic and ban on international flights has pretty much stopped the flourishing well-established business.
‘We have realized the scale of the upcoming changes by the end of February and it was already crystal clear to us that a large number of usual activities will become online, including tourism. However, we did not fancy following down the road the majority of our business colleagues did: launching online tours in the form of lectures with showing photos of locations or Google street view for donations’ – says Vyacheslav Kholopov, the founder of the company.
With 4 months’ time to market, after numerous tests and dummy runs Moscow Private Tours are ready to present an absolutely unique product: Live Tours Moscow (https://live.tours.moscow) – a real-time stream of tours around Moscow with professional guide in small groups and a real ‘being there’ effect. Private Live Tours are also available.
The ‘being there’ effect is achieved by means of Full HD video and the ability of the participants to directly communicate with the guide (not by comments or likes but by voice in live broadcast). In order for every participant to have enough opportunities to interact with their guide the number of participants in each tour is limited to 8.
‘This is a non-standard technology and to use it we had to create our own media-server as the existing services of the streaming industry have either limited quality of the video (Zoom, Skype, Google Meets) or have considerable latency issues (Youtube, Facebook, Instagram)’ – explains Vyacheslav.
Currently there is one Moscow Live Tour in English language available on the website: the tour around the must-see sights of Moscow – the Red Square, St.Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow Kremlin, the Bolshoi Theatre. The high level of mobile networks coverage in Moscow has even made it possible to include the visit of Moscow metro stations in the live tour! The company is planning to expand the list of the offered live tours that are traditionally popular with tourists.
The live tours have sparked interest not only of those foreigners who have visited Moscow before and wanted to refresh their memories of Russia but also of those who are only planning to visit this country. The company is looking to launch live tours in other languages shortly and also present a similar service in St.Petersburg.
Moscow Private Tours company believes this new format of excursions will stay in high demand even after international tourism has recovered and will prove to be an excellent tool for promoting Moscow as a travel destination.