LONDON, November 4 (Itar-Tass) - The strengthening of Russian positions and the growth of its influence in the world has the most positive effect on the inflow of foreign tourists, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai said on Monday.
He attended the opening of the Russian stand, one of the largest, at the World Travel Market in London.
The political will of Russia's authorities to maintain the process of promotion of tourism in Russia has already yielded significant results, Rifai noted. This year, 26 million foreign tourists have visited the Russian Federation. Thus, Russia has a considerable growth of eleven percent in the sector.
As a result, Russia is among the world's ten most visited countries. It is the ninth and has a substantial potential for the further growth, the secretary general noted. It is a natural reflection of the strengthening of Russia’s positions in many world affairs, its economic growth and increased geopolitical influence, he said.
The entire world is waiting for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. They are of great importance not only for world sport, but the entire world tourism, Rifai said. It is a chance to create a new image of Russia as an attractive country for world tourism. All are looking forward to next year and the Sochi Olympics, he added.
The Russian Federal Tourism Agency's head Alexander Radkov said the London fair was very important for world business. "This year, we have focused on the professional participation in the London show. We wil present new tourism possibilites of Russian regions. They have a new conception," Radkov noted.