The behavior of Russians abroad has long been a topic of dirty jokes. A collective image of a Russian tourist is a cad, who likes to drink and arrange scandals. Changing a stereotype is hard, and many Russian vacationers notice cool attitude to themselves in foreign countries. Is it true that the tourist industry is not loyal to Russians?
The quality of hotel rooms, restaurant service, attention to wishes of guests and the speed of response to their requests are not always the same for Russian and non-Russian guests. There are many complaints saying that hotel managers save rooms facing construction sites or other unpleasant facilities primarily for Russian tourists. A Russian tourist may often have to fight for a room with a sea view. For many Russians, the concepts of "cheap holidays" and "good holidays" are the same. Looking for last-minute trips, one does not have to hope much for most comfortable accommodation. Foreigners are initially more prepared to spend some more on their holidays rest, and in accordance with their capabilities, tour operators purchase best rooms in advance for them.
Traditionally, Russians are less demanding. A broken socket or a hair dryer, an empty mini-bar will not become the subject of heated debate at reception desk. Some do not have enough knowledge of a foreign language, others will not find it a serious reason to throw a sandal, and some others will simply ignore such things. As a result, hotel employees "relax", which immediately affects other guests.
It is generally believed that in the hotels, where the number of Russian tourists is the largest, hotel employees are less hospitable, less attentive, etc. Europeans and most demanding Russian tourists try to buy tours to the hotels, marked as "Russians Free". In such hotels, one may expect better menus and better service.
However, even with a high level of service, attentive individuals may notice some inconsistencies related to Russian and European tourists. For Europeans, bar drinks will not end at the last moment. European tourists will have their drinks served in glasses, rather than plastic cups that go for the Russians. One has to acknowledge, though, that most foreign tourists do not try to take fruit and sweets out of the restaurant. They do not swim in pools at night either. It is difficult to imagine a European, who wakes up early in the morning to take a most comfortable sunbed, put a towel on it to indicate that the bed is taken and then go to sleep in the hotel a little more.
Is it any wonder that the categories of good/bad tourists ceases to be conditional ones. Some hotels give their guests color bracelets during check-in. This allows hotel employees to see "danger" from a distance, and even a non-typical Russian tourist will receive typical service and attitude. This practice angers many Russians, but they can not change the routine. In some cases, discrimination is expressed even more clearly. A hotel may have a restaurant that does not accept visitors wearing a certain color of bracelets.
The language barrier is a separate issue. No knowledge of English leads to lack of confidence for many of those who travel abroad. Turkey is the best country at this point, where Russian-speaking staff and entertainers are commonplace. In other countries, calling a doctor, arranging a tours, changing the number or making claims will be much more difficult. It is very convenient for hotel employees not to understand the speech of an unhappy guest, especially if it is a part of the unwritten policy of hotel administration. A problem will not be solved, because the problem does not exist.
Is there a way not to be treated as third-class tourists? Appropriate behavior, politeness and respect is highly valuable, but they are unable to protect people against trouble. While stereotypes do not play in Russians' favor, Russian tourists have two options left: either turn a blind eye on minor nuances, or budget up larger amounts of money for holidays. Premium hotels are more homogeneous in terms of the social status of their guests. Such hotels, as a rule, have highly professional employees, who never display demonstrate a negative attitude to guests.
Su-35 and Su-30 fighters were carrying out a scheduled training flight, when the incident occurred