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Russian Travel Industry in 2007
December 26, 2007 17:54

The year 2007 appears to be successful regarding tourism development. This optimistic statement of the head of the Federal Tourism Agency Vladimir Strzhalkovsky opened the yesterdays press-conference that was organized to sum up and discuss the results of the travel industry in Russia in 2007.

The total turnover, according to an estimate by the head of the Agency, has reached $US50 billion. Strzhalkovsky also marked the successful (from his points of view) process of bringing to life the federal law On the basics of tourist activity in the Russian Federation that let protect the customer rights more efficiently and make the travel market operate in accordance with the norms and principles of the international law. The head of the Federal Tourism Agency also told about the formed United Federal Registry which now includes 4125 tour operators. The Agency has been considering applications by 300 more travel companies submitted in November. According to the Agency, the travel infrastructure in Russia is actively developing along with the growth of the service level.

During the year Russian citizens went on trips abroad more and more often. The total number of leaving abroad reached 26.3 million people within nine months which excels the same numbers of 2006 by 18%. According to the data provided by the head of the Federal Tourism Agency, the number of foreign citizens visiting Russia is approximately the same as it was in 2006. However, approximately, if believe some other Russian statistic organizations, means a 11% decline of trips to Russia. One of the reasons the number of foreign tourists coming to Russia has declined is the decreasing number of Polish (- 85%) and Chinese suitcase traders on the near-border territories. Another reason is strengthening of the Russian national currency and the fact that Russia is becoming a more expensive country especially for the countries where the state currency is US dollar.

Amongst the potential reasons of the decreasing number of foreign tourists to Russia the head of the Federal Tourism Agency also mentioned a lack of information about Russia and its travel opportunities abroad. In 2007 the advertising budget of the country, according to Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, was around 137 million roubles. The sum was enough for organizing exhibitions, releasing printed production, hosting foreign journalists and organization of the events dedicated to the Year of China in Russia. At the moment there is no valid information of whether the advertising budget for 2008 will be increased. It is only known that according to the State Duma of the Russian Federation, the Russian budget for 2008-2009 implies 149.7 million roubles for promoting the country at the international travel market, which exceeds the financing for the same purposes in 2007 only by 12.3 million roubles.

It is known that the year 2007 has been proclaimed the Year of India. Due to this Vladimir Strzhalkovsky announced that travel companies working with tourists from India would get some preferences and also promised to give some privileges to travel companies if they take extra-responsibilities of deporting fake tourists from the country.


Translated by Lavrentyeva Natalya


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