Learn Russian, and make sure you are up to speed with Russian “Formalnost” (Formality)
“Despite the recent wobble with the rouble, Russians are Europe’s fastest growing outbound travel group, reaching 31.5 million trips in 2013. According to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, 54% of Russians stay up to 14-21 nights on a single vacation, spending most on hotels, food outlets and shopping malls.
Make sure you are in the know about Russian “”Formalnost” (Formality) when greeting your guests. First contact is preferred with formality and a clean-cut appearance. The typical greeting is a firm handshake while maintaining direct eye contact. Respect of authority is important, therefore only use first names when invited to do so.
Russians are wary when contact is only about business. Establishing relationships, by knowing a guests’ preference on personalized services and amenities that are beyond the basics, speaks volumes.”