National joint-stock company Intourist was founded on 12 April 1929. In Soviet period the business sphere of the company included almost all areas of hospitality and tourism industry. Intourist was a leader of the national tourist market in areas of both inbound and outbound tourism. Annually with the help of Intourist millions of foreign guests visited the USSR, and our compatriots had the unique chance to spend their holidays not only on Soviet, but also on foreign resorts.
Intourist owned 450 hotels on the territory of the USSR, four hotels – on Caribbean Islands, two – in London, one – in Paris and one – on Cuba; 20 own airplanes, four cruise ships, three trains of heightened comfort and restaurants for 85 thousand places of simultaneous service. At the end of 80-s Intourist provided services for more than 2 million foreign tourists annually.
In June 1990 in the course of economic reformations, which had started in that period, the reorganization of the company was carried out. In 1991-1992 the RF government made a decision to separate privatization of Goscominturist property, under which hotels and transport bases were transferred to the Russian government and privatized separately afterwards, and NJSC Intourist was separated as tour-operating and concomitant businesses.
In this period numerous tourist firms appeared in the country, which worked with both inbound and outbound tourism. The most intense competition was observed in the sphere of outbound tourism, and Intourist company, that formed in period of Soviet economy couldn’t adapt to quick-changing market demands. So it had to give up leading positions on the market of outbound tourism to new, more mobile companies. However, Intourist managed to keep leadership in the field of inbound tourism.
In July 1994 NJSC Intourist passed under control of JSFC Sistema and was renamed in JSC External Economic Joint-Stock Association on Tourism and Investments Intourist.
JSFC Sistema is the largest public diversified corporation in Russia and CIS, which manages quick-growing companies in service sectors of the economy. It creates and manages leading enterprises in certain sectors of service market, including telecommunications, high technologies, bank business, real estate, retail trade, tourism, medical services and mass media. Combined the companies, controlled by JSFC Sistema, are serving more than 100 million customers in Russia and CIS-countries, in Eastern and Western Europe.
The government of Moscow and SJSC «Moskva» are also large shareholders of NJSC Intourist (SJSC «Moskva» belongs to the government of Moscow and is engaged in development of tourist potential of the capital).
In 2005 the shareholders of the company came to a decision that Intourist should regain its leading position in all segments of tourist market.
Under the realization of this strategy NJSC Intourist carried out several large investment projects. In December 2005 NJSC Intourist became the owner of 51% of Airbroker Company «Aircharter». In 2006 the company acquired control packets of two leading tour-operators, specializing in outbound tourism: «Skyway» on Moscow tourist market and «Riviera» on Saint-Petersburg market. In addition to this Intourist closed a transaction on obtaining of several hotel assets – hotels «Cosmos» and «Peking» in Moscow, «Savoy Westend Hotel» in Karlovy Vary, as well as took into management hotels in Nizhny Novgorod, Petrozavodsk, etc. Than in 2006 Intourist began the restructuring of its expanding assets, and now it represents the vertically integrated tourist holding, consisting of managing company and four divisions – operating of travel tours, retail sales of tours, hotel business and transportation services.
Intourist intends, like other largest world operators on tourist market, to control all links of price chain of its business. Now the holding controls all elements of this chain – tour-operators, host agencies, charter organizers, hotels (in ownership or in management) and trade offices.
In 2007 as a result of annual activity the Intourist Group of companies for the second year in a run became the leader of the rating «Largest tourist companies of Russia», made by publishing house «Kommersant» together with information agency «Turinfo».
Effective realization of the strategy of Intourist Group of companies allows leveling down the risks and increasing profit, by the constant raise of the quality of produced services.