July 01, 2001

Travel Notes

Just 1% of all tourists traveling worldwide are traveling to Russia, reported Deputy Minister of Economic Development Vladimir Strzhalkovsky. This sorry fact calls for new approaches to promoting Russia as a tourist destination.

One-third of tourists visiting Russia in 1999 came from countries beyond the former USSR, and they spent just $374 mn. By comparison, tourism brought Hungary some $2.4 bn, the Czech Republic $3.6 bn and Poland $6.1 bn in 1999.

“The country suffers from a catastrophic shortage of 2- and 3-star hotels to be able to host tourists on a large scale,” Strzhalkovsky said. The Ministry plans to push for the opening of 2- and 3-star hotels in top-visited Golden Ring cities like Suzdal, Vladimir, Yaroslavl and Rostov.

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