ATLANTA -- Capitalizing on growing luxury and cultural travel to
Russia, Tour Designs here is offering commissionable packages to
the annual Mariinsky International Ballet Festival in St.
Petersburg, Russia, next year.
"Russia's selling very well for us this year, and more
individual travelers are going upscale," said Marylou Foley,
president of Tour Designs, which has sold Russia since 1980. "In
fact, we've consistently had some trouble finding [high-end]
rooms," she added, noting that upscale and cultural travelers are
proving a lucrative and dependable niche.
The festival at the Mariinsky Theater -- known in Soviet times
as the Kirov -- kicks off Feb. 21 for 10 days of dance from Russian
ballet companies and star foreign performers.
Performances include a reworking of Prokofiev's "Cinderella" and
an evening of George Balanchine ballets.
Tour Designs' land-only itineraries combine evening performances
and backstage visits with five-star lodging at the Hotel Astoria,
gourmet dining and daytime sightseeing opportunities, among other
The company is offering a choice of three itineraries to the
ballet festival: an 11-night package to the entire event, priced
from $4,699 per person, double, or $6,369, single, plus air fare;
and two five-night tours priced from $2,299, double, or $3,120,
Tour Designs pays 10% commission and offers net rates on groups
of eight or more.
Although only four Americans booked the tour in 2000, the first
year it was offered, 10 went this year, and Foley said she can book
up to 100 attendees for the Feb. 20 departure.
To book, call Tour Designs at (800) 432-8687, e-mail [email protected].