Academic journal article European Journal of Tourism Research

Connections between Scientific Research and Education in the Field of Tourism and Leisure in Russia

Academic journal article European Journal of Tourism Research

Connections between Scientific Research and Education in the Field of Tourism and Leisure in Russia

Article excerpt

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formed in 1922 as a result of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian and Caucasian republics joining together. With the territory taking up more than one-sixth of the Earth's surface, the USSR was the biggest country in the world. It extended approximately 10,000 km from west to east (through 11 time zones) and more than 7000 km from north to south. There were five climatic zones within the country. The USSR had the longest frontier in the world (more than 60,000 km).

After World War II, the USSR, as well as the US, were superpowers. The USSR had huge political, economic and military power, and headed one of the most powerful (equally with NATO) military blocs: the Warsaw Treaty Organization. The Soviet Union had a leading position in the world socialist system. The country was a UN Security Council permanent member.

In Soviet history, the period 1987-91 is known as perestroika ('restructuring'). It was directly connected with Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee, who declared a new course in state development and initiated profound changes in all spheres of Soviet society. Perestroika can be conditionally divided into three periods:

§ The first period (March 1985 to January 1987) was called 'acceleration'. This period was characterized by the admission of some drawbacks of the existing Soviet political and economic systems and with some attempts to improve them with the help of several large administrative campaigns (for example, an alcohol-free campaign). There were no radical reforms in that period, though many representatives of Soviet administration were replaced by new executives.

§ The second period (January 1987 to June 1989) was the beginning of large-scale reforms. An attempt to reform socialism into democracy was made. The policy of 'glasnost' ('openness') was proclaimed in public life. Private property became legal in the economy and the first joint ventures with foreign companies were formed. In foreign policy, 'new thinking' aimed at improving international relations with Western countries became the main doctrine. Along with these reforms, general instability increased, the economic situation changed for the worse, ideas of separation emerged in national regions and the first national conflicts took place.

The third period (June 1989 to December 1991) was characterized by a crucial destabilization of the political situation within the country and the expansion of a large-scale economic crisis. As a replacement for socialism, creating a democratic society and a market economy was undertaken. The USSR lost its superpower status and other important positions worldwide. Inside the country, Soviet republics started to adopt declarations on state sovereignty. The elimination of the Communist Party and the breakdown of the USSR were the expected results of these events.

Officially, the USSR crashed on 26 December 1991. The Russian Federation is its legal successor.

The connections between scientific research and education in the field of tourism and leisure

Scientific and educational activities in the field of tourism and recreation in Russia have appeared at the same time, being inseparably linked to organization of first trips. From a historical perspective, the generation of special scientific knowledge and its distribution through the system of education had several stages, which differ in forms, mechanisms and integration.

The Russian school of tourist studies started at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. At that time there was a fashion for mountain trips, which came from Western Europe, and the first mountain clubs according to the Alpine societies' model were created. For example, the Russian Mountain Society was founded in 1900 in Moscow, and was aimed at large-scale mountain studies and distribution of knowledge about their nature through mountain trips, excursions and climbing. …

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