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Svetlana Gaevich Svetlana Gaevich

Svetlana Gaevich, Director, sales and business development, UTS Group, Moscow and St Petersburg, Russia

When and how did you get involved in the tourism industry? [I have been in the industry] since I graduated from the Linguistic University.

I used to be a French speaking guide from the beginning. For me, tourism is not a job but a passion.

What are the most important attributes of a good travel agent/tour operator?

It is a combination of different factors, like the team and its professionalism, individual approach to every client, nonstop quality control, creative strategy combined with practical attitude, good knowledge of the product and, of course, passion for the job.

What is the most frequently asked question that your company receives from customers?

Every day we get a lot of questions about Russia, its traditions and rules, but the most frequent questions are related to visa support formalities, transportation, money exchange, accommodation, sightseeing programmes, entertainment options, venues, restaurants and security.

What are the must-visits and must-dos in Russia that nobody should miss?

[…] We try to offer a unique travel experience, including Moscow and St Petersburg, Golden Ring and Karelia.

Exotic and beautiful landscapes; an unforgettable mix of sea and mountains in Sochi, the mysterious Altai with waterfalls and mountain lakes, the unique Kamchatka for wild life and nature lovers, a Trans-Siberian tour with a stop at the picturesque Baikal lake and the dramatic rituals of stunning Siberian shamans.

Which destination is on your bucket-list?

In Russia, I dream to go to Altai and Kamchatka, [while] abroad [it would be] Iceland.