The New Soviet Person Takes to the Road
This chapter focuses on the expansion of Soviet tourism, which took off particularly dramatically in the 1960s, and it follows Soviet tourists in their first exposure to travel abroad. Beginning in 1955, tour groups began to visit fraternal socialist countries and in some cases capitalist countries. While domestic tourist and vacation travel would far outweigh foreign travel, the exposure of Soviet tourists to foreign vacation practices decisively if gradually changed the culture of Soviet vacations. What Soviet tourists encountered in Eastern Europe was the successor to a well-developed prewar bourgeois tourist industry, in which hotels and their associated services, restaurants, and trained city guides constituted a routine part of the tourist experience. Soviet tourists and tourism officials began to adopt these bourgeois practices in their own tourism philosophy, responding more positively to consumer demand for variety, comfort, service, and family vacations.
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