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MOSCOW, February 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian tour operators forecast a large increase this summer in the number of Russian and foreign tourists travelling to Sochi, Black Sea resort host of the Winter Olympic Games.
Travel companies have already started receiving reservations for Sochi holidays, says the Russian Association of Tour Operators. These are mainly for well-known and established hotels. Newly built accommodation has not been priced yet, the focus remaining on hosting guests of the Games, the specialists say.
However, the association reports no room rate pressure yet, some tour operators said to be expecting that new hotels and hostels may even offer lower lodging costs in future.
Sochi authorities estimate that tourist flow will increase by 30% this summer. Russian operators say the growing number of tourists will result from a "deferred demand" of booking-interest still to register and travelers wanting to visit the renovated city and its Olympic facilities.
The association says that about 3.8 million tourists went to Sochi last year. At present, there are some 880 classified lodging facilities registered in the region.