Published on : Friday, July 13, 2018
The soccer World Cup held in Russia this year has helped “destroy stereotypes” about the country and is expected to boost foreign tourism by 15 percent as fans head home and spread the word that they had a great time in Russia, said Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets.
The month-long tournament, which ends with the final between France and Croatia on Sunday, hasn’t so far reported major security incidents.
Golodets said, “We expect a serious increase in the international influx (of tourists). We hope that this influx will increase next year by no less than 15 percent, thanks to the policy of openness and the recognition of Russia that occurred during the World Cup.”
Russia has hosted more than 700,000 foreign soccer fans during the tournament, spread over 11 cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi.
“We’re very pleased about how people have responded to the atmosphere,” Golodets said. “It seems to me that the World Cup has allowed us to destroy stereotypes that existed in the world.”
Russia also hopes to boost development in the regions that have hosted matches. The government will soon announce a legacy plan for ensuring that the newly-built stadiums do not fall into disuse, Golodets said.
The World Cup stadiums will host major cultural events, including music festivals, and their operations should be fully stable in the next two to three years, Golodets said.