Russia Prepares for Increase in Arrivals

Russia is set to see a 20 percent increase in visitor arrivals over the next four years fueled by the hosting of major sporting events, according to the Travel Industry Global Overview unveiled at the World Travel Market (WTM) Vision Conference-Moscow, and published on Breaking Travel News.

Russia is hosting an array of sporting events over the next six years, climaxing with the FIFA World Cup in 2018. The sporting schedule starts next year with Moscow’s hosting of the World Athletic Championships and the Rugby Sevens World Cup. Also in 2013, is the Universiade (University games) in Kazan, while 2014 sees Sochi have the Winter Olympics.

These events will bring an increased focus to the Russian inbound tourism industry, which will help visitors peak at more than 28.3 million, up 20 percent on 2012’s inbound tourists figure of 23.7 million.

The Euromonitor International report reveals this increase will be mainly fueled by European destinations with Finnish visitors increasing by 16 percent to nearly 1.3 million visitors in 2016. Visitors from the U.S. will increase by 15 percent to 301,000 in 2016.

However, the report also notes that visa barriers are currently a major restriction for inbound tourism to Russia. Visitors from most countries require a visa to enter, which must be obtained in advance. Another restriction highlighted is hotel prices in the main tourist destinations, which are reportedly prohibitively high.


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