What arrangements will be made for youth tourism during the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow?

Grigori Reznichenko ::: Young people in the USSR. Answers to questions

The Olympics-80 Organising Commmittee and the Bureau of International Youth Tourism, Sputnik have signed an agreement giving Sputnik the right to sell tours and tickets to the 1980 Games to young Soviet and foreign tourists.

For the first time in the history of the Games the young will have a special travel agency to cater to them. Sputnik expects to host more than 60,000 young people from almost 100 countries. Together with the Soviet young people who will be taken care ot by Sputnik, this figure will rise to 160,000.

What makes Sputnik different from the other trav­el agencies in the Soviet Union is not only that its clients are always under the age of 35. The tasks and form of its operations are different. Financial profit is not the aim in developing youth tourism, lne mam thing is to give young people from other countries a chance to see the Soviet Union, to learn about the life of Soviet people and especially of the younger generation.

Apart from seeing the Soviet Union, its places of interest, and learning something of its history, the tourist groups catered to by Sputnik take part in friendship evenings, discussions, seminars, informal meetings and so on. In other words, young tourists will have an opportunity to meet their Soviet coun­terparts and have frank conversations and exchanges of views. Sputnik has drawn up a special Olympic programme consisting of three parts: sports events, sightseeing, and cultural events.

Most tourists will be on one of the two nine-day tours. Only a very small part of the tours will cover the entire 18 days of the Games. Each tourist will have an opportunity to attend five or six of the major sports events held in Moscow and other cit­ies, including Tallinn, where the yachting events will take place, and Kiev, Minsk and Leningrad, where the preliminary football games are to be held. Special excursions have been organised for these cities.

Everything possible will be done to meet the tourist's needs. For instance, it is quite probable that there will be football fans in some of the groups whose tour does not take in Kiev, Minsk or Lenin­grad. Sputnik will arrange one-day visits to these cities for the matches.

Sputnik hopes that its young clients will not only be passive watchers of Olympic contests, but also participants in some extra-Olympic events. For in­stance, those who like jogging can run the Olympic mile-1980 metres-and at the finish receive a badge or medal commemorating the occasion.

Sports fans coming to Moscow for the Olympic Games will probably include people who go in for some kind of sports themselves. It has been estimat­ed, however, that tourists attending Olympic Games spend not more than 30 per cent of their time at the various contests. So Sputnik will be offering its young clients a number of excursions in Moscow and to nearby towns and to other parts of the country known for their ancient architectural monuments. There will be visits to Vladimir, Pskov, Baku, Yere­van, Grodno, Kaunas, Bukhara and Samarkand. There will also be other excursions taking into ac­count special tastes and interests.

And of course, in every town there will be op­portunities to visit exhibitions, museums, or to at­tend theatre or concert performances.

In Moscow Sputnik has three excellent hotels. Part of the tourists will be accommodated at the youth camp "Zhemchuzhina" just outside Moscow and in some of the best student hostels in the city. A spe­cial International Olympic camp for 2,500 people is being built in a scenic spot in the outskirts of Moscow. And while on tour the visitors will be ac­commodated at Sputnik centres located in various parts of the country, including the Black Sea and Caspian Sea coasts, along the Volga, in the Caucasus and on the shores of Lake Sevan high in the moun­tains of Armenia.