The number of tourists visiting Moscow has grown to 21 million per year, Sergei Sobyanin said in an interview to Govorit Moskva (Moscow Speaking) radio station.
“We can see that holding new events attracts more tourists. Otherwise, the number of tourists would have remained at 12-14 million. Now there are 21 million,” he said.
According to the Mayor, event tourism provides Moscow with about 600 billion roubles per year. Various city and international festivals bring people from other countries and Russian regions to Moscow.
“A decision was made to let tourist groups from Chine enter Russia using group visas instead of personal ones, which really simplifies the entry process for Chinese tourists. In addition, the devaluation of the rouble made shopping in Russia cheaper than in China,” Sobyanin said.
Event tourism is thriving in the capital. For example, the Journey to Christmas city festival of the Moscow Seasons series, held between 16 December 2016 and 16 January 2017, brought Moscow over 4.8 million tourists, 600,000 of which were foreign citizens. During this period, city hotels, shopping centres and restaurants drew in an additional 56 billion roubles.