MOSCOW -- "Bolshoi, circus, Kremlin; Bolshoi, circus, Kremlin;
that's what the tourists have been doing here for 25 years, and
we're going to lose them if we don't show them something new," said
Elena Eritsyan, chief executive of Kuskovo, an 18th century estate
and museum on the outskirts of Moscow.
"There are dozens of museums, like ours, that visitors love, if
only the tour operators would include them in their itineraries.
But it's also our fault, because the idea of actually marketing a
museum to operators is completely new in Russia," she said.
Eritsyan is a maverick on the Moscow museum scene. Several years
ago, Eritsyan first tried to convince museums that they needed to
sell themselves to the tourist industry in order to lure
"The museums here were shocked by the concept of marketing. I've
had to prove to curators that a museum is not an academic concern,
but a place where history should come alive in a fun way," she
She proved her point last summer after hosting a gala
celebration for a leading bank on Kuskovo's grounds, complete with
catering and jet ski performances in front of a stately palace.
"Looking at the museum as an event magnet is the way of the
future," Eritsyan explained.
Eritsyan plans to take other steps to promote the museum, such
as advertising in publications that international travelers might
read; staging changing exhibitions that would appeal to tourists,
and holding classical concerts three times a week in the summer in
the estate's main palace.
"Summer is when most of the theaters are shut down so we thought
tourists might consider coming here for their fill of culture.
"Right now, doing such events might not be profitable for us
financially, but it will enhance our image in the long run and that
is what counts," she said.
Kuskovo will be represented along with other Moscow museums at
World Travel Market in London, which is held at Earl's Court from
Nov. 16 to 19.