Travel websites made to discover

Opera Software, the Russian Tourism Industry Union and GEO magazine to spot the best travel website in Russia

Opera Software, the Russian Tourism Industry Union and GEO magazine have announced today the launch of a contest to determine the best travel website in Russia. The winning website will be included in the Opera browser’s Discover feature, which will allow the multi-million Opera browser audience to become familiar with the website on a regular basis right on their PC or mobile phone’s home screen.

Russian-language websites or blogs that are dedicated to tourism and travel can take part in the competition by submitting their website URL to Entries may be submitted until August 31, 2013.

The winner will be selected by the jury of the competition. From August 31 till September 30, 2013, the jury will be reviewing all content appearing on the websites and evaluating them based on the following criteria:

  • The quality of the published content
  • Publication frequency
  • Visual design of materials
  • Design and functionality of the website.

The jury includes Vladimir Esipov, the Editor-in-Chief of GEO magazine; Yulia Ishunina, the Photo Editor of GEO magazine; Irina Turina, the Press Secretary of the Russian Tourism Industry Union; and Alexandra Lartey, Marketing Director for CIS countries at Opera Software.

Alexandra Lartey says, “At Opera, we believe that the great content is moving the web forward. By launching this contest, we would like to support and encourage local websites to produce high-quality, engaging content for Russian users and to reach new audiences. I look forward to seeing the winner’s content in our Discover feature’s feed.”

“The internet is an engine for tourism as people now search for all kinds of travel information on the web. There are many sites and blogs in Russia about tourism and travel, but it’s sometimes impossible to differentiate them in terms of their content,” says Irina Turina. “In this regard, we want to find the most creative and competent websites with interesting and trusted content. This is a good tool for promoting those websites that really deserve it.”

“I am very interested in getting to know more Russian travel websites and look forward to reading fascinating, high-quality travel stories. Who knows, perhaps some of the competition participants will even cooperate with GEO magazine in the future,” adds Vladimir Esipov.

The contest is open to online-only publishers (e.g., no print media or online versions of print media) of Russian-language websites/blogs that are dedicated to tourism and travel, 18 years or older only. The winner will receive an opportunity to feature his/her website/blog in the appropriate section of Opera’s Discover feature, for a duration and coverage territory as decided solely by Opera Software. Opera Software may discontinue featuring the website/blog in its Discover feature at any time for any reason. Limit one (1) entry per website/blog. The winner will be announced in a subsequent press release on Opera’s website and notified via email. The winner must respond within seven (7) days of being contacted. Opera Software is not responsible for any content published on the winner’s website/blog. The full list of official rules can be found at By submitting an entry, you agree to be bound by these rules. Entries may be submitted between August 14, 2013, and August 31, 2013.

About the Russian Tourism Industry Union

The Russian Tourism Industry Union is the largest industry union, including tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, health resort institutions, transportation, insurance, consulting, IT companies, educational institutions, mass media, public and other tourism industry organizations.
Presently, taking into account the associated members and organizations included in associations and unions, as well as those united in travel agency networks, the Russian Tourism Industry Union represents the interests of more than 2500 travel industry companies from Russia, neighboring countries and beyond. The main goals of the Russian Tourism Industry Union are creating a civilized tourist market in the country and increasing competitiveness of the national travel services.

About GEO magazine

GEO is the leading European popular science magazine about the world around us. The magazine was founded in 1976 in Germany. Its main topics are dedicated to traveling, science, ecology and photography; its key genre is the journalistic story. GEO magazine has been issued in Russia under the slogan “The unexplored world: the Earth” since 1998 and holds the 4th place in the world in terms of its circulation after the GEO versions in Germany, France and Spain. GEO Russia belongs to the GEO International magazines series. The magazine is currently published in 20 countries throughout the world, under the license of the G+J Publishing House, located in Hamburg. GEO magazine received “Best travel magazine” award in 2008 and 2009, according to the results of the website reader’s poll.