MOSCOW, March 15. /TASS/. Tourist flows from the United States to Russia went up by 25% in January-September 2017 on the previous year, despite the on-going anti-Russian propaganda, chief of Russia’s Tourism Agency Oleg Safonov said in an interview with the Izvestia daily on Thursday.
"In the first nine months of 2017, Russia’s border authorities reported a 25% increase in the number of American tourists coming to Russia as compared with the same period of 2016. The anti-Russia propaganda only stirs interest to our country with US citizens," he said.
According to Safonov, the West’s Russia-bashing campaign only encourages interest to Russia. "People are told all sorts of wild tales about what is going on in Russia, no wonder they want to come here to see everything firsthand," he said, adding that US tourists are not disenchanted with what they see in Russia. "They see a modern, peaceful and developed country," he noted.
He also told about the agency’s plans to encourage inbound tourism from other countries. Thus, the agency plans to send about 387.63 billion rubles (6.8 billion US dollars) under a new federal tourism development program for 2019-2025. "I think we will be able to increase inbound tourist flows by 20-25% by 2022," Safonov added.