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MOSCOW, March 14, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian tourists made about 15.5 million trips to the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States uniting former Soviet republics, the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism), Alexander Radkov, told a meeting of the CIS Council on Tourism, held within the framework of the International Economic Forum for business leaders of the CIS member states.
“The past year ended successfully. Russians made about 15.5 million tours to the CIS countries - six percent more than in 2012,” Radkov said. “In their turn, citizens of the CIS countries made about 20 million trips to Russia. The tourist flow has grown year on year by ten percent.”
“These are very good figures which indicate that Russians have started being interested again in travelling to the CIS countries,” he said.
Radkov stressed that “in order to increase the tourist flow between Russia and the CIS states, it is necessary to create a common information space, to make up a single calendar of events which are held in the CIS countries and may be interesting for tourists”.
“In this regard, it is especially important to adopt a strategy for the development of tourism inside the CIS, which stipulates cooperation on a number of issues connected with the development of the tourism industry,” he said.
“It is necessary now within this year’s Year of Tourism in the Commonwealth of Independent States which features dozens of events that we focus on addressing our common problems”, Radkov told participants in the forum.
He suggested organising a cinema festival in one of the CIS countries as well as a festival of culinary tourism, which might be very popular in the CIS, considering people’s interest in wine tours.
“We could create [television] programmes to discuss problems of transport availability, classification of hotels and visa issues in the CIS countries,” he said adding that they should be interesting and understandable for viewers.
Radkov recalled that one of the major events of the Year of Tourism would be a conference in Russia devoted to the development of tourism and the creation of new tour itineraries across the CIS countries.
This year was declared the Year of Tourism in the Commonwealth of Independent states. This decision was taken at the meeting of the CIS heads of state in Minsk on October 25, 2013. One of priority tasks was elaboration of a joint development strategy in the travel industry up to 2020.