World Cup good news for Russia

TurismoPlus.ORG /Foto:Makalu (Pixabay)

The great good news that the Soccer World Cup left to Russia is that about 3 million foreign tourists visited Russian cities to attend the matches.

“The number of foreign tourists grew from 14% to 18% thanks to the World Cup, but even if it is 10%, it is already good” Rosturizm head Oleg Safonov told reporters. Safonov added that a large amount of work has been done in the World Cup hosting cities from the point of view of creating comfortable conditions for tourists.

The significance of the championship for us is enormous,” he said. During the Cup the overall number of tourists, who visited the World Cup hosting cities, amounted to five million, he said earlier.

According to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev the number of foreign tourists came to Russia during the football World Cup were about twice as many as during the 2014 Winter Olympics. Medvedev added that Russia allowed to foreigners coming for football’s most prestigious tournament to enter the country without a visa.

Medvedev expressed confidence that the influx of foreign tourists would positively influence the perception of Russia around the world. Russia hosted the World Cup in 11 cities in the European part of the country over the past several weeks.

Until July 5, ten days before the end of the 2018 Cup the Russian tourism authorities assured that Moscow saw the heaviest visitors flow of more than 2.7 million, while St. Petersburg received more than 600,000, and Sochi, more than 500,000.

The growth of tourists visiting the World Cup host cities was from 19 percent in Moscow to 1,678 percent in Saransk, with the average growth of 74 percent.” This indicator grew by 20 percent in St. Petersburg and 235 times in Saransk when compared to the same period for June.

The foreign tourist flow grew 10 times in Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg and 15 times in Volgograd, whereas in the other World Cup host cities it increased 1.5-2 times.

Although the results of the 2018 Cup are welcome news for Russia, the income obtained by that country, which has not yet been disclosed, will not be that significant. This is due to the multi-million dollar expenses of an event of that profile.

While the extra boost in tourism will benefit Russia’s already healthy external accounts, the added support will likely be short-lived, experts said. Food, hotel, telecoms and transport industries would see a temporary boost in revenue, adding that Moscow airports would also benefit because “upgraded facilities will support higher passenger flows even after the event.”

According to forecast before de Cup the boost for the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) would be between $26 billion (€22 billion) and $30.8 billion over the 10 years from 2013 through to 2023.

The figures were based on expected revenue from growing tourism, large-scale construction activities and later knock-on effects from a raft of government investments. Forecasts indicated that total spend on the tournament would be $11 billion, not including some costly new infrastructure and stadiums that would have been built anyway.

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