MOSCOW, January 20, 20:18 /ITAR-TASS/. The number of Russian and foreign tourists who visited Moscow for the New Year holidays has increased by 20-30 percent on the average, Sergey Shpilko, the chairman of Moscow’s Committee on Tourism and the Hotel Industry, said on Monday.
Referring to a recent opinion poll, conducted in January, when more than sixty of Moscow’s tour operators were interviewed, Shpilko noted a substantial growth of individually travelling tourists, who most often stay in hotels or apartments. Besides, there was a trend towards longer periods of stay in the capital for the New Year and Christmas holidays, from a day or two to two-three days, he said.
Shpilko explained an increased demand for visiting Moscow in this period as a result of the committee’s efforts to promote the capital in general and the New Year holidays in the city in particular. In autumn, a mass advertising campaign was launched in 22 biggest cities of the country and at the international markets. In five Russian cities with populations over one million, the committee organized a large-scale road show Welcome to Moscow, aimed to increase New Year’s sales, alongside a number of promotional campaigns in the media and on the Internet.
“The emphasis was very much on informing the internal and the international community about the attractiveness of some New Year holiday offers in Moscow,” Shpilko said. “One of the latest autumn campaigns was advertising the capital on double-decker tour buses of the City Sightseeing company in twelve main tourist cities of Europe, including London, Berlin, Rome, Milan and others. In December, the committee issued a city travel guide as well as a New Year’s Moscow map.”
“We have managed to show our guests that the New Year holidays are the best time to visit Moscow, which is not only free from traffic jams in this period, but can also offer a really interesting tourist programme,” Shpilko said. “We created unique conditions for tourists to get acquainted with the Russian capital. For eight days, 63 Moscow museums and art galleries offered free admissions to visitors. Besides, the city was illuminated for the festival, and there was a global Journey to Christmas fair organized in the pedestrian areas and central squares of Moscow.