By Netpal Travel Bureau
Occurred in 11 Russian cities, including Moscow, St Petersburg and Sochi, the month-long FIFA World Cup, ended on July 15, 2018, comes as a boost in an already positive period for Russian tourism. Hosting more than 700,000 foreign soccer fans during the tournament, the contribution of tourism to Russia’s GDP is projected at US$2 billion for 2018. Evidently the lion’s share of these is accountable to the World Cup. Organizers expect not only the increase in tourist flow, but also the changed intensity of expenditure.
Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets who was appointed in May, 2018 to oversee sport and culture, mentioned that they hope this influx will increase next year by no less than 15 percent. “The reason behind is the policy of openness and the recognition of Russia that occurred during the World Cup. Moreover, the fans head home, spreading the word having a great time,” further informed Olga Golodets.
The government will soon announce a legacy plan to ensure newly-built stadiums do not fall into disuse, Golodets informed, she declined to give details or a price tag for further investment though.
World Cup stadiums will host major cultural events, including music festivals and their operations should be fully stable in the next two to three years.
Weakening of the rubble, active advertising of Moscow and St. Petersburg abroad, more so the World Cup, all are responsible for the tourism growth in Russia. Furthermore, the country attracted tourists from countries with whom it has signed a visa-free travel agreement.
In 2017, the visitors’ influx in the capital, Moscow, grew up by 13.2 per cent, while in St. Petersburg, it’s increased by 8.4 per cent. The number of tourists in Moscow amounted to 21.5 million people, while St. Petersburg was visited by 7.5 million people.
Estimate reports, the average annual occupancy of hotels in Moscow in 2018 could grow by 5 per cent, amounting to overall 80 per cent. In St. Petersburg a 3 per cent increase is expected, reaching 71 per cent. The World Cup had great effects on the sector, over and above free railway travel and affordable airfare rates and has been without major security incidents.