2016 tourism results: Moscow tops tourist rankings and hosts popular festivals

2016 tourism results: Moscow tops tourist rankings and hosts popular festivals
Moscow continues to attract tourists both from Russia’s regions and abroad. The city appears at the top of tourist rankings, and continues to develop its hotel infrastructure and host large festivals.


The Russian capital came first in the  tourist appeal ranking among the country’s regions. The ranking was based on criteria such as city infrastructure development and environmental conditions. Unique cultural and historical features, as well as the media factor, also played an important role. In the 2015 rating, Moscow ranked third.

The number of people who want to visit Moscow is growing. This year, some 17.5 million tourists have visited the city. Moscow was listed among the top 10 cities of Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel ranking, along with Los Angeles, Lisbon and Seoul. The city also made it into the top seven travel destinations on National Geographic’s Best of the World list.  

The UK company Post Office ranks Moscow as one of the most accessible European cities for tourists, putting the city in ninth place.

According to Momondo.ru and RoomGuru.ru, the city tops the list of the 10 most popular New Year holiday tourist destinations among Russian cities.


Hotels get star ratings

The city’s hotel infrastructure continues to actively develop as well. In order to provide accommodation to tourists, 870 Moscow hotels with a total of 58,100 rooms were assigned star ratings. Those include 27 five-star hotels, 74 four-star hotels, 184 three-star hotels, 40 one-star hotels, and 447 no-star hotels, including 230 hostels.

Earlier, the Moscow Committee for State Construction Supervision reported that next year construction and reconstruction of nine hotels with 1,900 rooms will be completed. Those include the Belgrade Hotel on Smolenskaya Square, one of the architectural landmarks of the 1970s.


Call centre operates in several languages

What should you know about Moscow’s tourist resources? Where can one get information on public transport? What should be done in emergency situations? For answers to these and other questions, you can contact the tourist call centre, whose operators speak Russian, English, German, French and Chinese, at: +7 (800) 302 31 12, +7 (800) 350 51 12, +7 (495) 587 71 12.


A Guinness World Record-setting festival and pyrotechnical show

Moscow is gradually becoming one of the world’s centres of event tourism. Many visit the city with the sole purpose of attending a festival.

For instance, the Times & Epochs Festival of Historical Reenactments, hosted by the Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve, is very popular among city residents and guests. This year, its theme was Ancient Rus, the era of the state’s establishment during the 9th-12th centuries. The festival featured a unique large-scale two-day re-enactment, the Battle of One Thousand Swords.

For the first time, the Times & Epochs Festival took place beyond the Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve as well. The events of the Bylina Fest, a festival of old Russian epos, were held at six thematic venues on Moscow’s central boulevards.

The festivals held as part of the Moscow Seasons programme have also piqued the interest of tourists. This year’s festivals included Our Product, Moscow Ice Cream, Moscow Jam - Gifts of Nature, Back to School, and Golden Autumn. Each festival drew 2.5-8 million people. The Journey to Christmas Festival started on 16 December and will end on 15 January, and is expected to welcome over 12 million people.

Moscow’s Circle of Light International Festival was first held in 2011. Throughout the years, its audience has grown 30 fold, with 7.5 million people attending the event in 2016. This and the past year, the festival set a Guinness World Record, this year in two categories, for the largest projected image and for the greatest light output in a projected image. The light installations “The Custodian” and “Infinite MSU” broke the records.

The festival video projections were displayed on the façade of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, the Rowing Canal, the VDNKh exhibition centre, the Bolshoi Theatre, Izvestiya Hall and Digital October Centre.