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Old 16th October 2010, 10:14 AM
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Russia hopes to join ranks of top tourist destinations

"We are going to do everything possible so that a foreign visitor feels comfortable in Russia," the deputy minister for tourism and sport, Nadezhda Nazina, told AFP.
The Russian government will soon be considering a 352-billion-ruble (11.7-billion-dollar, 8.5-billion-euro) plan to improve infrastructure, train specialists and launch a major advertising campaign, she said.
If the plan is successful "in five years up to 40 million foreign tourists could visit Russia every year," Nazina said.
Russia last year attracted only 2.3 million foreign visitors, according to the federal tourism agency, placing it far below the top destinations for international tourists.
The top two destinations, France and the United States, attracted 74 million and 55 million visitors respectively in 2009, according to the World Tourism Organisation.
To reach its target, Russia would need to attract about as many tourists every year as Italy, which last year hosted 43 million foreign visitors.
Industry experts in Russia said they would love to see the plan succeed but were highly sceptical.
The figure of 40 million tourists "is a prediction that is in the realm of science fiction," said Maya Lomidze, the executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia.
"Too many conditions would have to be met for this plan to be realised. The main necessity is that we have hotels at affordable prices. Russia is a very expensive country," she said.
According to a recent study by travel consultancy the Hogg Robinson Group, the average price of a hotel room in Moscow is 402 dollars (288 euros), the most expensive in the world. In Paris the average price was 318 dollars (227 euros) and in New York 297 dollars (213 euros).

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Old 16th October 2010, 01:21 PM
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Re: Russia hopes to join ranks of top tourist destinations

Well if hotels cost $400 a night, the plan is simple. Build some more
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Old 16th October 2010, 04:07 PM
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Re: Russia hopes to join ranks of top tourist destinations

Quote:
Originally Posted by domainguru View Post
Well if hotels cost $400 a night, the plan is simple. Build some more
Thats what they did in Manhattan... Hotel prices are def down but there are still some really expensive places here. :P
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