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The Northern Lights Hotel

The Northern Lights is a small, beautifully designed hotel located in the historical center of St. Petersburg. The hotel is located in a 19th century building directly across from the former home of Vladimir Nabokov and is a 1 minute walk from St. Isaac’s Square, and a 5 minute walk from the Hermitage and Nevsky Prospect. The hotel is also a 2 minute walk from the famous Astoria Hotel.

The hotel is perfectly situated and designed to accommodate both business guests and cultural travelers. Every room has satellite television, telephone and high speed Internet access and work area. We also have a huge collection of English language movies that guests can watch for free in their rooms.

Designed in the classical style that was popular in St. Petersburg throughout the 19th century, the hotel offers the highest level of comfort for our guests at very modest prices. The hotel’s high ceilings, crystal chandeliers, exquisite plaster work and trim will take our guests back to pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg.

Whether guests stay with us during the White Nights season when the city literally glows with a special northern light or during the snowy, romantic Russian winter, the Northern Lights is the perfect place to stay to experience St. Petersburg’s charming and mysterious atmosphere.

To learn more information about our hotel or to make a reservation, please browse our site or contact us.


Tips for buying hotel management software

Introduction to hotel management for chain

The aim of this article is to publish a series of chapters focused on clear any doubts regarding hotel management tools.

As new technologies are advancing, emerging new opportunities to improve the management of a chain so we can control all the management areas of their establishments.

It is worth pausing and analyzing how we manage our hotel.

Do we want the software staying management in the cloud or prefer that our data remain on our own server ?, Would you like to have a more specialized software for hotel management chain and cost you decide?

The aim of the publication of these chapters is to solve these doubts and deepen on some concepts that we consider key to manage and administer a hotel or a hotel chain.


Chapter 1. Where to host your PMS: in the cloud or on your server?

If you’re wondering what the difference between affiliating to your provider hotel management software (also commonly called PMS) through license or SaaS (Software as a Service)? Do you know what your preferences are and what business model fits better of the two? Do you understand perfectly what is the difference and advantages or disadvantages generates one or the other?

Lately it is very common for software vendors to offer their customers the opportunity to opt for new modalities such as SaaS. It is certainly an interesting independent hotels and hotel chains, many talk about it but few actually dare to implement in advance properties.

It is important, first of all, that the hotel defines what will be their model on data management generated in hotel management software. It is a good indicator to understand to what kind of business model is directed.

1. License

11The main feature of this business model, considered more traditional, is that the data generated daily by or PMS are housed on the same server the hotel. It is an ideal model for all those who do not want to outsource the management of their data, their protection and security business.

How to acquire a license will normally be through an initial single payment. business consulting, configuration, customization, implementation and training: Apart from this initial payment, a cost that usually involves deployment is required. In addition, the hotel will have to pay a monthly fee associated with the service support, upgrades, creating new users, adaptations due to the change in legal requirements (taxes, billing, etc.).

In the market, we find providers of hotel management software who choose one of the following two licensing models:

  1. Initial license fee and annual renewal fee.
  2. single license fee for lifetime use of PMS.

The licensing model that sells Winhotel corresponds to the second option.

Although the license continues to lose ground to SaaS, it is a model still in great demand business. Currently, most countries have access to reliable, fast and moderate cost internet but many tourist, and even city areas receive an irregular service, preventing a model as SaaS reach an optimum level of user experience . In these cases it is advisable to opt for the license, which is installed on local servers and is not linked to service high speed internet.

2. SaaS (Software as a Service)

It is a software distribution model where the PMS and data are hosted on servers in the provider ( Cloud ) and is accessed with a web browser over the Internet. This is the model that, in a common way, say that is hosted in the cloud.

Points to consider in choosing a SaaS application are: reliability, SLA (Service Level Agreement), the price, the possibility of customization, connectivity applications your company data location and timing of scheduled maintenance .

The user pays a not high monthly by the use of hotel management software rate, implementation and service of software all in one installment.

The main advantages of this model are

  • The user is unaware of maintenance.
  • It does not require initial investments. The hotel pay for what you use.
  • At any time you can decouple the supplier without penalty
  • Accessible from anywhere, at anytime and from any device (laptop, Tablet, Smartphone)
  • No local installation required
  • Increased availability and data security

The few disadvantages of this model are:

  • total dependence on the supplier.
  • Reduced supply of software yet.
  • Distrust for sharing data.

In the case of Winhotel, we offer a tool for hotel management, based on SQL SERVER FOR MICROSOFT whose defining characteristics are integration and parameterization, in order to increase productivity by optimizing daily operations and maximizing the tools for strategic management.


Our client may choose any 2 models posed in this post. Do not hesitate to  ask for more information  if you wish so.


Chapter 2. How is your ideal hotel management software?

In Chapter 1, we talked about the differences between affiliating to your PMS provider through licensing or through SaaS. We have highlighted the main advantages of a model and another in order to clarify frequent doubts on this subject.

Today we will continue talking about  hotel management  but we will from another point of view. They will determine the modules that can not miss in the PMS.

For a hotel management software covers the main needs of any hotel, you must have a series of modular packages and integrations that then we will name and describe briefly but clearly.

1. Management reserves

Reservations are a key element of daily operations, as they are the hotel business unit.Today, online bookkeeper can get through many sources. The online agencies are increasing their prominence year after year, while traditional agencies, but remain important for many resort hotels, are losing ground. Own hotel sales channels through the corporate website up the rest of annual bookings. Online positioning methods and social networks facilitate direct sales, so it is a channel to take into account now and in the coming years. It automate all these processes will help the hotel can allocate resources to other more laborious affairs.

2. Management fees

The hotel market is evolving more and more quickly, requiring more flexibility in rates, prices and offers. If the management system does not allow you to address these market requirements, simply you’ll stay back and will sell less.

3. Reception

From the reception module are performed tasks check-in and check- out. It is very likely that during guests’ stay at the hotel, the receptionist has to make various changes (room, date of departure, pension scheme, etc.). This module presents basic as the receptionist should be able to consult at any time,

4. Billing and collection

This module will allow the hotel handle billing automatically, thus reducing the number of daily tasks. Responsible for these tasks should be able to query and modify, at any time, everything related to accounting management, credit management and billing.

5. Reporting

It is crucial to obtain as much data analysis as deemed necessary, since they depend on the future strategic decisions of the hotel. Therefore, we consider important to have an analysis tool that allows us to produce various reports on employment, customer history, historic reserves and invoices or lists of planned occupation.


Chapter 3. What supplements are needed to improve hotel management?

In order to save time and money, improve customer management and achieve greater automation, the trend to integrate various external to the hotel management software functionalities arises. Thus greater centralization of functions that can be managed and controlled from a single site is achieved.

The most important additions to the hotel management environment can be divided into seven areas, strategically defined:

1. Payments

Any facility for the customer to pay will be useful. Therefore, a key point is to provide the hotel comfortable payment systems and customer adapted. In our case, we offer integration with other data-phone and and payment by fingerprint.

2. Documentation

We all know what happens when we arrived at a hotel. If the hotel does not have a reader agile documents, you can make eternal waiting while the receptionist notes of our personal data. A good OCR (digital document reader) or fingerprint reader documents can add value to the hotel. The customer will thank you.

3. Presence

All hotels want to know when a room is occupied or not. This type of information helps the general organization of the hotel: housekeeping, monitoring the use of heating and / or air conditioning, etc. Through automation, fingerprint or magnetic card integration, the hotel can control this type of thing.

4. Billing

This is one of the most important integrations for complete management of the hotel. This is to maintain integrated hotel management software , all accounting and billing system. This is the way to be able to view, modify and run hotel operations in a centralized way.

5. Customers

As in any business, managing the customer base is more than essential. For this reason, while we are working hard in this area. The image conveyed by the hotel in its online environment must be treated with cunning. There are several tools to manage online reputation of the hotel. In Winhotel certainly we recommend integration with our manager reputation , where the hotel can be compared to its competition, see what your customers think and access valuable information for the company.

The hotel can also carry out an integration with a system of loyalty or CRM Hotel , where you can establish a point system for its customers and access information that will allow you to segment your customers.

Finally, it is always useful to have a CRM to maintain a relationship management system fully integrated with the customer. Linking the CRM with the PMS involves a number of advantages:

  • Ascent and descent Automatic data between the hotel management software and CRM in both directions: integrated management.
  • Marketing campaigns and e-mailing with full agility.

6. E-commerce

Today it is essential to have tools that allow the hotel market their products and services through electronic media. It is clear that if customers are in the media, the hotel should also be there.

It is important that the hotel count on a good channel manager  where you can coordinate the various channels. Another key point to consider is to integrate booking engine with PMS, to consult our customers make reservations on the corporate website.

And finally, the hotel must provide the client that it can communicate or consult with the hotel. To do so, the hotel must be visible on new devices that the customer usually uses, such as tablets, smartphones, etc. In this case, a link should form a  mobile application with PMS would be best suited.

7. Pay per consume

In this area, are the integrations in which the customer usually only pay for what you consume. Some of the additions that are included in this area are as follows:

  • TV-PPV: The main objective of this integration is to allow information to flow between the PPV and hotel management software. This information, to be processed, need a management system that fits this information to be used in the PMS.
  • Mini bar: This integration is to control the beverages per room. This is a sensor system that detects pressure Minibar consumption and informs the hotel management software, thus being registered.
  • Wifi: This integration aims to connect the wireless management software with PMS. In order to make this connection, the software must identify the person who is accessing this service and save on hotel management software. This identification is made by the identification number. Thus, each time the customer uses the wifi, will be registered at TDC and consequently in the room bill to which this customer belongs.
  • Switchboard: In this case, it is allowed to flow information between the PBX and PMS. This information, to be processed, need a management system that fits this information to be used in hotel management software, on the one hand, and the control unit on the other.

Thanks to advances in technology, we can afford to offer hotel management software most comprehensive and cover all the needs in a hotel. The hotel management software Winhotel is the one with all the information that allows us to properly manage our hotel and therefore is useful that this information can be accessed through various integrations offering a unique management tool.


Chapter 4. Fits or you adapt?

In this chapter we wanted to examine various business models implemented in each hotel.Each hotel has its own business model and as is logical, must find the right tool that allows you to manage your establishment. The questions we ask today are:

Your PMS fits your business model? Or conversely, you and you have to adapt your business model to hotel management software?

At first glance, seem somewhat redundant 2 questions but I think are important and worth distinguishing the meaning of each. In this post we will try to give answers to questions just ask.

Fits Your hotel management software to your business model?

The hotel industry is changing and the needs of today are not the same as yesterday. In addition, each hotel is different and it is important that the chosen tool to manage it is flexible and able to adapt to your business model.

Some hotel chains have several hotels of different categories, size or type. Despite these differences, the hotel is interested in having implemented the same management tool for all their hotels.

Therefore, the hotel should be familiar with the characteristics of their hotels and based on these opt for a PMS or another. It is important that the PMS chosen to be flexible, covering all areas of management that the hotel needs. For example, a hotel management software specialized only in city hotels will not serve the chain if it has other sun and beach hotels.

 Or are you and your business model that adapts to PMS?

There are hotels that aversion to change, are reluctant to discuss these issues we raised today. Not study the possibilities offered by the market and comply with the same PMS who have spent years using, can harm the hotel management. As we said before, the hotel world changes every day and we work in this sector must be proactive and see those changes coming.

Some hotel management systems are very rigid and, for example, do not allow contemplate various rates, creating room types that fit the reality of the hotel, etc. A management system as is a hotel management software must be able to adapt to the needs of each hotel can parameterize all necessary functions. Otherwise, the PMS risk becoming obsolete and lose value against the hotel.

How can we see coming changes?

It is clear that none of us are able to predict the future but we can keep up and updated in order to know what we call trends.

In our company promotes continuous learning this sector and professional defect, we are obliged to keep our product  core  in constantly updated, always chasing the best adaptation to the needs of our customers, continuously improving.

We do not want the customer suits us. The hotel should do their work without worrying about the details of the management tool you use. This tool (PMS / hotel management software) should help and support the work of the hotel and therefore should  suit  him and the business model that has strategically implemented in your company.

Being constantly in touch with our customers also helps us meet your needs. Listen to their questions and suggestions also allows us to meet the staff and little by little, training them in the field of hotel management.

 What advantages are obtained from a correct transposition of PMS to your business model?

To conclude, they will highlight the main advantages that can be obtained after having managed to adapt the software to your hotel management business.

  1. Adaptation of hotel management software to all areas incumbent on the chain. This allows the hotel to centralize all areas, and can make decisions based from a general point of view and not limited by departmental information.
  2. significant reduction in costs. This centralization and adaptation, it is very effective and economical. Being the hotel management software tailored to the needs of the hotel, the hotel should not allocating resources to adapt.
  3. Less management time on each task or process. times are reduced on each task and process due to the efficient organization and planning derived from a hotel management software adapted to the hotel chain.
  4. Very detailed segmentation thanks to higher data stays, reservations and billing software hotel management to CRM Hotel.


Chapter 5. Process implementation of a hotel management software

After discussing the importance of choosing a good  hotel management software that  can adapt to the needs implicit in managing a hotel. It is very common that once the hotel has been decided by a good software to manage your hotel, dude with the forms and deadlines for implementation.

To carry out a good implementation is very important to be close to the customer throughout the process and maintain a  dialogue  constant. Then we will explain how we do.

What is a good implementation?

In Winhotel we are convinced that the secret to achieving an ideal implementation is to plan the process so that the implementing company is organized and fits the hotel establishment that wants to be implemented.

In our case, this planning for the implementation of the management system is divided into 4 steps:

  1. Data collection . This first step is to collect all necessary and related to the hotel structure (features of the hotel complex , room, accommodation arrangements, etc.) data. This first step is essential to move to the next stage where a technician of our team will adapt the hotel management software to the needs of the hotel.
  2. Initial parameterization . Once you have collected all the necessary data, you can start configuring the program so that it perfectly suits the characteristics of the hotel. Once you have configured the data, the tool is ready for the user to start using it .
  3. Training . So that the user can start to use the tool and parameterized, you must be trained. In our case, this part is almost always done in personbecause we believe that the user should be able to ask and answer any questions at the same time that happen. Hence the importance that wementioned earlier that there is always a dialogue between the user and the implementing company.
  4. Subsequent monitoring implementation . After any type of implementation is important to track in order to readapt certain parameters that might at first had not been taken into account. The process monitoring is essential to fully complete the implementation.


Chapter 6. Customizing Hotel Management Software

As we have said in previous chapters, it is very important that the PMS is flexible enough to adapt to the characteristics and needs of the hotel establishment.

In this post we will distinguish  three levels of customization  of hotel management software. These levels are intended to reflect the importance of a PMS is flexible and capable of adapting to the characteristics of a hotel.

It will explain a very general first level of customization, consisting of the collection of data determinants of the hotel establishment and subsequent parameterization. The second level focuses on how you want the user to use the program. Finally, it will explain a third level refers to supplements that can see a PMS .

General Customization: the structure.

This type of customization refers to the initial implementation process of the PMS is to collect all necessary and related to the hotel structure (features of the hotel complex, room, accommodation arrangements, etc.) data. Once collected, proceed to the parameterization is to adapt, in general, the most relevant aspects of the establishment so they can be managed from the PMS.

concrete or retail Customization: the user.

There are users who want a series of special customizations either to manage their quotas, assign various forms of fees or apply special discounts to the tariffs previously assigned.

  • Quotas . Usually hotels, distribute their quotas in 3 channels: tour operators and travel agencies, websites and booking channel itself.
  • Rates . Following the schedule set by the hotel, it will have to set rates for the whole year. As a general rule the bigger is the hotel chain, will be more standardized rates.
  • Special discounts . These discounts will act as a tool of  revenue . The user (hotel) may modify the set value for a fee, applying special discounts. Some of the discounts may be applied for long stay, short stay, advance bookings for loyal customers, etc.

Further customization: integrations.

Additionally, there are several additional hotel management software that can be integrated with the same solutions. We will not explain what they are each of these integrations as a few weeks ago, we published a  post explaining what these solutions and what areas are included. In addition, we have scheduled for later, an exclusive section to expose the type of integration that can complement a hotel management program.


Chapter 7. Hotel management software: city vs. Sun and beach.

Despite the general characteristics of a hotel referred to in the previous chapter, there arealso other aspects to consider when managing a hotel through a  hotel management software . Not be the same manage a city hotel that one sun and beach. Therefore, the hotel management software  for which is chosen, should contemplate both scenarios.

What differentiates a city hotel and a hotel sunny beach?

There are several differences between these two types of hotels. From the standpoint of hotel management, the main factors to consider to make clear this distinction are:

  • Customer profile . The customer profile of a city hotel will not be the same as that of a sun and beach hotel. The customer staying in a city hotel will have a profile more focused on business, most of these customers travel alone and require different customer services sun and beach. The customer profile of a sunny beach hotel will, more familiar general rule and leisure travel with intent.
  • Stay . The average stay client a city hotel will normally be less than that of a customer of a sun and beach hotel.
  • Rates . A city hotel, possibly, expect lower rates a variety of sun and beach hotel as the latter often marketed more tour packages and different offers through various channels.
  • Marketing channel . Until recently, the sun and beach hotels tend to market their product through traditional channels. The city, however, came earlier in the dynamic market their product in the media and channels  online .
  • Seasonality . Seasons will not be distributed in the same way. A sun and beach hotel is almost summer, while a city hotel can get in medium-high season all year.
  • A bed . Normally in a city hotel, the most common pension is the bed and breakfast (AD). Instead in a hotel sunny beach, customers often tend to hire all inclusive (all inclusive).
  • Types of services offered . By having so many different clients between a hotel and the other it is normal that different services are offered and tailored to the needs of customers. A city hotel, usually have more focused on the business area (wifi, conference room, meeting room, etc.) services. Instead, a sun and beach hotel possibly will offer excursions, tours, etc.

A hotel management system should consider these differences and be flexible to the point that suits the circumstances of each case. This requires insight into the hospitality industry and its surroundings.

Remember that, today, a chain can have, for example, 10 hotels and these need not be of the same type. With the benefits of the technology lately come to manage and make better use of the information generated by intelligent systems, worth a chain bet by using the same hotel management software in all their hotels. Thus, integrating data generated by the PMS with a good set of BI (Business Intelligence) , they are obtained great advantages designed to interpret and leverage information on the chain. This information will be useful in defining strategies applied to customer management: sales and marketing.


Chapter 8. Decision of buying a hotel management software

Any commercial actions you take a company must be linked to a strategy outlined above.Such actions require a previous study. It is clear that you must know the product, the market and the customer’s environment who will pretend to teach our offer.

There is another factor to consider and, moreover, must be treated delicately. This is the decision process of purchasing a product. Not all products are sold alike. Consumers have established certain buying decision processes that commercial and marketing departments must know and respect.

In recent years, there is talk that there is an increasingly accepted that the products but services are sold philosophy. It is becoming easier to copy a company get exactly the product of its competence and, therefore, the most significant difference can be achieved with the service provided.

Let us not forget that because, in this section, we are trying to relate different concepts with matter in which we consider ourselves experts: hotel management software . In this context, we understand that the process of purchasing decisions by consumers, is slow and complex. We must not forget that the more complex and costly decisions are more consumer deliberation is required and more people participate in the process. 

In the case of buying a PMS , we find a complex process that involves a consumer attitude that the seller must take into account.

How complex buying behavior?

This type of behavior fall on consumers heavily involved in purchasing the product and aware of the differences between different brands. The more expensive the purchase, the consumer will engage more because they need more time for reflection. In general, a purchase with these characteristics can be considered, by the consumer, as risky as it requires a significant change and a considerable investment.

In general, the consumer does not have a great knowledge of the product category and should learn much about it. It will go through a process of cognitive learning. And this is precisely where we enter into play us. Our job will be to educate the user and gradually teach the functionality of our product. As time passes, the user will identify needs and we must facilitate and provide one after the other, our solutions.

No commercial task is simple in our area but it is very rewarding to win new customers as it is a result derived from a series of actions designed and executed jointly and in which various departments involved. It is a long process but very complete and requires much perseverance.

The sale of technology-based intangible not usually follow the same strategy as tangible products and low technology. These latter types of products tend to follow more traditional strategies. Instead, in our field, we are forced to innovate and implement new business processes.


Chapter 9. Usability applied to a hotel management software

After 8 chapters elaborate on the  hotel management , and it can be concluded that when opting for a PMS or other many factors must be taken into account.

After all, a  hotel management software  is nothing more than a tool to be used by workers and the address of a hotel to manage one or more hotels. Therefore, we understand that the PMS must meet a series of requirements already have been explaining throughout this section.

It will be important to consider what functions covered by the program, either by preset modules or through integrations that can make the complete program.

It should also be taken into account where to host the program. Today, as already explained in  chapter 1 , most such programs stay in the hotel own servers through a license or stays in the cloud (SaaS). In Chapter 1 the differences between the two modes are explained.

There are many more factors to consider but today I want to focus on one in particular: the usability applied to  software management of a hotel . Last week, I wrote a post on the web usability . Today, I will apply the concept of usability to PMS, highlighting the importance of the hotel staff expect a powerful and easy to handle.

For a PMS is usable, it must be intuitive, practical and easy to use. Recall that must also be easy to learn due to high staff turnover there in a hotel, especially if it is a seasonal hotel establishment.

It will be interesting to the company providing PMS offers constant and continuous training to its users so that they know all the benefits of the program and developments become available. It is important to keep current management program as well as the user should be abreast of developments in the field. The training not only has that given the traditional way. One of the ways to form the user is providing explanatory videos, even if PMS is really usable, will not need more explanation than purely functional. Otherwise, you may do so without any instructions.

The design of the tool management will need to be pleasing to the user’s eyes. To do this, it is recommended not to use too warm colors because they can be aggressive when working.If you look at color theory and the ideas it conveys the emotional marketing, we find some basic rules that we must not lose sight.

When we talk about the program to manage a hotel should be intuitive, it means it must be functional and should be usable by mere intuition of the user. Ideally, from the same screen can be accessed to display the current state of the rooms, and can also change the status of the same, adding or removing reserves.

Ultimately And finally, it comes to facilitate the work of users and for this we must make various behavioral studies and keep trying in order to conform fully to the needs of the user.


Flexible Chapter 10. Is your hotel management software?

As the last chapter, we will discuss the various considerations that must take into account depending on the country where the hotel intending to set up a hotel management system is located.

Each country holds a world of difference to another and any management program should take into account. Then they will capture a number of factors that seek to develop in order to emphasize the relevance.

cultural distance

The first factor to consider, though the first may sound strange, is culture. The company that is responsible for developing this type of management software should know how their future customers work. Often, the development of such programs tend to follow scalable business models. Such models allow a comfortable internationalization of products. Still and from my point of view, it is worth observing and knowing the ways of working of future customers and measure the cultural distance between the country’s supplier management program and country hotels where you want to implement such program.

Language and currency

The second factor is the language and currency. A PMS should support different currencies and different languages contemplate if you want to operate globally. It will be interesting because the rates and revenues can be dynamically converted from the local currency to any other currency.

As for the language, the ideal is that the client can determine and choose, automatically, the language with which to express wants the  hotel management system . Therefore, a provider of hotel software should consider the languages that are used in countries where ithas a presence.

If we get into an international environment where understanding is a critical factor to be competitive, companies need to begin to overcome all kinds of cultural and linguistic barriers to successfully expand their business globally. To this end and in order to establish business in any country, it is necessary to adapt the contents of your company, whether technical or commercial.

Legislation and regulations

Finally, the third factor to consider is the legislation that each country is governed. For me, the most important fields are related to regulations concerning electronic invoicing, a standardized tips and forced inclusion in invoices and / or tickets and taxation.

On the one hand, it should take into account the rules on electronic invoicing, since it is not the same for all countries. Then we shared a table explaining the situation of some of the countries where  Winhotel  is present and therefore has developed solutions designed to overcome these differences. It is not so much the importance of these solutions have been developed compared to the importance of a PMS is flexible enough to encompass these differences and adapt to each case of simple and practical.

It should be noted that there are also countries, such as Chile, where the government requires and imposes a special format for submitting invoices. That is another aspect to take into account and should not be ignored.

Do not forget that another factor to be considered is the tax model that has and maintains each country. The tax system is different for each country. A PMS should be able to address these differences and adapt easily and flexibly to them.

Everyone on a diet!

This problem affects many countries. In the United States, for example, 70% of the population is overweight and 30% is obese. According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), two thirds of the population of Luxembourg, Canada and the UK have a high weight. So Russia is only following a global trend, although it is not a pride for the country. Generally, excess weight goes hand in hand with many other health problems such as cardiovascular disease (the leading cause of death in the world). Between 2000 and 2008, the number of people in Russia with that diagnosis increased to 27%.

Viktor Tutelian, director of Nutrition Institute of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, argues that one of the main causes of obesity is the absolute ignorance of the schemes. In an effort to combat such ignorance, the Russian Ministry of Health has prepared a list of dietary recommendations for citizens. The main idea behind these recommendations is thatto maintain a weight establehay fed five times a day instead of three. Meals should have more fruits and vegetables, we must reduce the intake of sugars and fats and eat fish at least once a week. Certainly, all these recommendations are significant, but is likely to take little effect. Those who are really concerned about overweight find how to lose weight without government assistance. Meanwhile, those who are concerned LNO, so pay little attention to the recommendations of the ministry as they do the heavy smokers warnings on cigarette packs.Surveys show that, for most Russians, overweight is far from being a concern.

Also, traditional Russian cuisine does not accompany the standards of a healthy diet. Due to the climate of the country, there are few dishes that require fresh vegetables or fruit, and many include salting or smoking. The most common food in Russia is the meat and potatoes and a generous amount of bread: delicious and nutritious, but very high in calories. In addition, for several years fast food has become part of the regular the 3 week diet system review of Russians. When McDonald’s arrived in Pushkin Square in Moscow in 1989, the first rows to order a Big Mac could last five hours. Currently, McDonald’s is so ubiquitous and popular in Russia and elsewhere. IEntrad any major mall and find that people are still queuing to buy a Big Mac, but now only have to wait five minutes.

It may be too late to change the eating habits of Russian adults, but still hope to children. In many Western countries, childhood obesity is becoming endemic. In the UK, for example, 9.6% of children were obese in 1995, today, that figure has risen to 15.5%. In Switzerland, 22% of children are overweight; in Spain, 34%; in Italy, 36%. By contrast, in Russia only 10% of the children padece.Sin But before it is too late, the country needs toconsolidate these data in the place where children spend most of theirtime: school.

In autumn, the Moscow authorities began a risky experiment: they ordered to halve the salt content in prepared meals in school canteens.According to statistics from the WHO (World Health Organization), reduce salt intake lowers the risk of having high blood pressure. Although such ameasure seems obvious, it proved counterproductive. Children stopped eating in school canteens, and alerted parents found a solution: salt shakers began to give their children to be brought into the school.

They say the next step of this ill – fated experiment will be reducing the use of sugar in school meals. No doubt that the ingenious children begin to bring their own sugar.

Of course, the children are not responsible for the food without salt them seem bland. It will take time to get used to new eating habits. Parents want their children to eat, but the quantity and quality of food that is less important. The main problem is that in Russia, few care about health: the large number of drinkers and smokers give proof. Sociologists say health in Russia itself is not an ideal or a matter of social prestige. It is prestigious to have a house, an expensive car or a lot of money. But few seem toreflect on the number of years they can enjoy such abundance.

It seems unlikely that such an attitude is changed, regardless of the number of recommendations issued by the Ministry of Health. We must simply trust that Russia, which so quickly adopted fast food, do the same with the current trend, with healthy lifestyle.

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Northern Lights St. Petersburg

Russia vacation
Санкт-Петербург, Ул. Большая Морская, 50. Tel/Fax: +7 812 571 9199, +7 812 570 0334, +7 812 570 6409
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