RUSSIAN EXTREME, or a business trip after the New Year holidays. Opinion of Natalia Yurkevich, business travel director of Polus gold mining company

Natalia Yurkevich, business travel director of Polus gold mining company is speaking about problems that are usually faced with when planning business trips during the period from 1st to 14th of January.

Holidays, especially the New Year and Christmas are almost sacred for our fellow citizens. We have had New Year holidays for many years in this country. Russians almost never go on business trips during this period. And if business forces you to travel, our fellow countrymen are ready to face lots of surprises, unexpected acquaintances and ongoing celebrations on their way.

Foreign guests do not usually understand the scale of the New Year fuss and do not expect to face so many nuances.

Our department has often helped arrange transport and accommodation for foreign partners who go to the mining regions of Russia. They took the decision to go on a trip and informed us right before the journey. We usually managed to settle everything in due time. But New Year holidays are a special time with its nuances in business communication and transport.

We understood that we had to inform potential travellers that we would be out of office from December 31st till January 10th and that we would not be able to answer their letters. No one would be able to help them order services and settle the problems quickly, which is more important. Those who despite all our reasonable arguments refuse to cancel their business trips are provided with hotel and taxi phone numbers and addresses. This information may be useful in case flights are delayed or cancelled.

Our staff still remember the experience when one of our guests was to come back from a small Siberian town on January 7th, and the flight had been cancelled, as it often happens. His Russian visa expired the next day, so he had to hurry. As the result, he got into a real adventure. First he had to find at least one employee from the administrative department. When the employee was found, the traveller’s evacuation started. His holiday route started from a car trip along an almost impassable snow covered road to the nearest railway station, then was a train journey to a large airport and only then a flight to Moscow. You can draw another conclusion from this experience — it is not recommended to plan a trip that ends right before your visa expiration date, especially when this date falls on winter holidays.

Long-sightedness, awareness good mood and readiness for surprises are the basic aspects not only of the trip itself, but also of its organization!