Russian capital may see 20 million tourists in 2018

Russian capital may see 20 million tourists in 2018
Moscow could have as many as 20 million visitors in 2018, according to the deputy head of the national tourism department Konstantin Goryainov.

Speaking at a Moscow travel business forum, he said the city expects around 17.5 million tourists by the end this year, and that the number should grow by 20 percent within two years.

According to Goryainov, nearly a million of tourists will come to Moscow to see the 2018 World Cup.

Last year, over 17 million people visited the Russian capital with almost 4 million coming from abroad. Most of the foreign visitors come from Germany and China, Goryainov said. A hundred thousand tourists come from France, the UK, and Israel, and at least another 50 thousand from the other countries.

In November, the deputy head of Rosturism Sergey Korneev said he expected the World Cup would attract more people from Southeast Asia, as well as boost tourism from the UK.

The 2018 World Cup will be held in 11 Russian cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad, and Sochi.

Moscow and St. Petersburg are among the most popular Christmas and New Year destinations for visitors from Ukraine. The country’s tour operators have guardedly said they have seen rising demand for winter holidays in Russia, according to the Ukrainian daily Vesti.