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MOSCOW, February 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Nearly five million foreigners visited Moscow in 2011 - the number of foreign tourists who came to the capital city in 2011 increased by 12 percent against the year 2010, Chairman of the Moscow Committee for Tourism and Hospitality Sergei Shpilko told a news conference.
"A total of 4,470 thousand foreign citizens visited Moscow in 2011," he said.
Furthermore, he added, "according to the system of hotel data exchange, number of rooms taken in hotels of 2-3 stars grew by ten percent, which is a very big growth in this business."
According to Shpilko, Moscow has a great tourism potential and opportunities to attract more foreigners, but as yet these opportunities are not used fully.
"We are actively working on promotion of Moscow, in particular, by advertising on television, radio and in print media, but this is not enough: in order to increase the flow of tourists it is necessary to rebrand the capital city and it's not half-year’s problem."
The committee plans that by 2018 Moscow would host about 6-7 million foreign tourists.