Guest Card
A tourist product that improves the quality and reduces the cost of a visit to Ekaterinburg
The Ekaterinburg Guest Card is a municipal program of privileges and discounts produced by the Ekaterinburg History Museum. It allowed tourists to spend time in Ekaterinburg comfortably, excitingly, and cost-efficiently. After purchasing a Guest Card, the holder could visit 30 iconic museums and cultural venues in Ekaterinburg for free, go on a free tour, and get 2 free hours of bike rental or at a climbing center. The card also provided the holder with discounts (5 to 20%) and various bonuses in theaters, souvenir shops, 40 popular restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, and bars.

The Card set included:

  • A plastic Guest Card that gave access to all privileges

  • A unique printed city guide: the multifaceted history of Ekaterinburg laid out in 240 pages

  • A designer's folding tourist map with hand-drawn buildings

  • An augmented-reality postcard that allows one to learn more about the life and secrets of the signature buildings of Ekaterinburg
All products are available in Russian and English.

The work on the project began in 2018 shortly before the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It was supposed to be a long-term project. Its goal was to increase the tourist attractiveness of the city and the convenience of discovering new places for its guests. The Guest Card was also intended as a gift to local residents who are interested in the history of their city.

Before the launch of the project, the Ekaterinburg History Museum team conducted an analysis of similar products in the country and around the world, carried out economic analysis and pilot market research. Proposals from 80 partners of the museum were hand-picked for each category (museums, theaters, hotels, restaurants, coffee houses, bars, souvenir shops, bike rental offices) and combined into a package. The museum entered into financial or partnership agreements with all those institutions. The partner institutions installed online terminals to read guest cards and send data to the project operator. A city guide with main sights was published. Advertisements of the project were placed in most of the city hotels and in 15 offices of partner tour operators and travel agencies. A portal was developed for the project. It contained information about the partners and tourist routes for the city guests.
The Water Tower on the Plotinka dam, a branch of the Ekaterinburg History Museum, became the visit center of the project and the main salespoint for the Guest Card. In the tower, city guests could also recharge their phones, buy souvenirs, coffee, and tours around the historic center of the city.

According to the economic plan, the project was supposed to reach a break-even point in 2023 and before that, it would be supported by subsidies from the City Administration. However, due to the change of management in the administration, the project did not obtain support in 2019. As a result, the entire development of the project bore heavily on the budget of the Ekaterinburg History Museum. This situation prevented the museum from following the original plan. With no support from the City Administration in 2020, the museum was forced to wind the project down. Today it is no longer active.