10% Rise in Moscow’s Foreign Tourist Flow during Last 9 Months

Vladimir Savelyev, 03.12.2013 12:35
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The foreign tourist turnover at Moscow Airports has amounted to 4.4 million during the last 9 months, which is a 10% year-over-year increase since 2012. It was announced by Sergei Shpilko, the chairman of Moscomtourism, at a meeting of the Moscow government’s Coordinating Council for Tourism, reports TRN correspondent.

Mr. Shpilko also said that the fastest growth rate (6.1%) in terms of tourist flow was exhibited by the countries of the Far Abroad, while prior to this year the CIS showed the best growth rate results.

During the same period of time Moscow hotels received 3.9 million tourists, marking a 4% hotel-load growth. The collective profits of hotels amounted to 36 billion rubles, and they are projected to reach 50 billion by the end of the year.

Moscomtourism’s chairman also claimed that the 72-hour visa-free transit exclusively for foreign tourists arriving in Russia, which is now pending implementation, will not yield the desired economic effect, since the percentage of transit tourists is quite small. Case in point – for the past 9 months less than 1% of all the tourists who traveled through Moscow airports were transit passengers. That is why Mr. Shpilko suggested extrapolating this visa-free regime to include all tourists from economically-developed countries.

He believes that this measure will increase Moscow’s incoming tourist flow and fill the capital’s hotels with guests.

The bill regarding the introduction of amendments to the law ‘On the procedure of entering and exiting the Russian Federation’ has already been signed by the State Duma after its first reading. According to the bill, the 72-hour visa-free regime covers only transit tourists.

In his speech, the chairman of Moscomtourism also touched upon the discrepancy between the data on the number of Moscow hotels provided by Moscow Statistics Service and their actual number. According to Shpilko, there are more than 200 extra hotels in reservations systems. Given such statistics, it is impossible to fairly deem the collective capacity of Moscow hotels, which this year grew by 1,198 rooms.

Speaking on the topic of classification, Shpilko stated that the practice of ranking hotels on the basis of self-appointment discredits the classification system and leads to a lower-class service. Moscomtourism submitted its views on the matter to the Ministry of Culture.

Moscomtourism’s chairman also said that Moscow’s advertising campaign, which has been in full swing in 12 European counties since October, wherein red double-deckers (courtesy of ‘City Sightseeing Worldwide’ operator) are used as advertising platforms, will also continue next year. Moscomtourism offered Russiatourism to participate.

Страны, регионы и города: Russia
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