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Football fans expected to outnumber mainstream tourists in Russia during FIFA World Cup

June 05, 16:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW

400,000 foreign fans will visit Russia for the World Cup, according to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia

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MOSCOW, June 5./TASS/. The number of traditional tourists, not associated with the Russia-hosted 2018 FIFA World Cup, will see a decline in June-July, Executive Director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia Maya Lomidze told a news conference on Tuesday.

"The number of mainstream tourists, who are not fans, will decline by 700,000 people in June-July," she said. At the same time, 400,000 foreign fans will visit Russia for the World Cup. Lomidze said that on the whole, a 10%-15% drop in the tourism sector is expected this year.

However, next year, forecasts see Russia getting a boost from hosting the World Cup. "Tourism is expected to grow at least 20% next year," the executive director said.

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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