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Moscow increases the inbound flow

08:07, 2 сентября 2013

According to the Russian Federal Frontier Service, thenumber of international arrivals in Moscow from January to June 2013 amounted to 2.7 million people. That is 10.4% more than for the same period of 2012. In addition, for the first time the rate of increase from foreign countries (13.1%) is higher than the one from CIS countries (8.2%).


According to the tour operators, the current quantitative index was achieved due to the expansion of Moscow hotel base. ‘Now there’s a good choice and we can get good prices for 4-5* hotels for both work days and weekends. Due to the policy of hotels, tourists live in perfect conditions in the center of the city and our partners appreciate it’, - explained the director of the Tari Tour Msrina Levchenko to RATA-news. Indeed, in six month of 2013 two major hotels were opened in Moscow. They are the Novotel Moscow City with 360 rooms and the Nicholas Kempinski Moscow with 211 rooms. In addition, according to the chairman of the Moscow Committee for Tourism and Hotel Industry Sergey Shpilko, there are more investments in creating mini-hotels and hostels. Since the beginning of 2013 two dozen mini-hotels and hostels were rented, all in all there are 235of them.


Operators also give tribute to the tremendous work that leads the Moscow government in order to make the city the most convenient for residents and tourists. ‘Within the last two years the capital was transformed. It’s nice to do walking programs about such parks as Kolomenskoye, Kuskovo, Tsaritsino. Now there’s not only a historic component, but also aesthetic as the parks are clean, beautiful and comfortable. More and more often we hear that Moscow has become more attractive than St. Petersburg.’ – Said the Head of the excursion departments of Roza Vetrov Company Elena Chistyakova.


Most foreigners came from Germany - 152.1 thousand people, and China - 147.7 thousand people. Among the five leaders upon arrivals in Moscow are France - 75.7 thousand people, the United States - 70.6 thousand people, and Turkey – 68 thousands. Similar to the previous year, China showed the highest increase in the number of tourists. It increased the inbound flow by 37.8% if compared to the first half of 2012. Other countries included in the top ten on the inbound market demonstrated good dynamics as well. Thus, Japan increased 15.3%, the UK - 12%, Italy - 11.4%, sand the United States - 7.9%.


Tour operators consider the numbers to be realistic. Thus, the Tari Tour Company and the Roza Vetrov Company informed about 15% growth for the first half of the year. Other companies agree that the inbound flow is growing mostly due to the Chinese market. ‘The fact that there are more and more Chinese is already visible – there are lots of them in the streets. Actually, most of them come with budgetary groups, that’s why they don’t spend a lot: mostly on walking excursions, and the only one they pay for is the Kremlin. But we also had VIP groups from China who booked everything exclusive,’ – explained Elena Chistyakova. She also noted that there’s demand from such new market as North and South Korea and Vietnam. Tourists from India come actively but they still face problems with food – there turned out to be very few Indian restaurants and the prices are way too high.


The Director of the Troika Company Anton Solovyov is also sure that we can see the growth due to eastern markets. ‘Even if the European flow is increasing, mostly it’s due to business trips. The real tourist flow is not noticeable; the European flow has been stagnating for several years due to a number of problems. They are well known to the industry - an expensive flight, destructive Russian visa centers abroad, the lack of a full-fledged advertising of our tourist possibilities,’ – he explained. At the same time, as the expert considers, Europeans are still interested in Moscow and want to come for a visit. The only thing we are to do is to move in the right direction. ‘The government is now doing a lot to create a positive tourist environment in the city. But if we do more pedestrian streets and open the city for guests, including the foreign ones, it is time to think how to make the most important museum of the capital, the Kremlin, more accessible. It’s really very difficult to get there and it negatively influences the image of the capital,’ – noted Anton Solovyev.


According to statistics, the flows from visa-free regime countries increased as well: Israel added 7%, Brazil – 10.6%, Turkey - 15.8%.


According to Marina Levchenko, Turkish tourists more and more get interested in Moscow and Russia. ‘They come to our country both directly and through Europe. They are interested in cultural programs. So there are good prospects for further development for our tour operators,’ – she explained. However, not everyone sees the prospects. As one of the big compantis told RATA-news, they don’t work with Turkey due to its migration insecurity.


Among the countries which have small flow volume but showed good arrival dynamics are Greece (30.3%), the Czech Republic (30.1%), Slovakia (25.4), Belgium (22.5 %), Finland (12.5%), as well as Argentina and Mexico (21%).


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