Russia Expects Foreign Tourists to Spend $2bn During World Cup

The Russian Ministry of Economic Development has said it expects the increased tourist flow during the soccer World Cup to significantly boost Russia’s economy.

“According to our estimates, foreigners will spend over 100 billion rubles ($1.6 billion) during the World Cup,” Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin told the Sovetsky Sport newspaper.

The minister said he was confident that Western sanctions against Russia won’t affect the event.

“There’s politics, there’s the economy, and then there’s the life of regular people. The demand for a global competitive sports event, such as the World Cup, is always high,” Oreshkin said.

According to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, about 400,000 foreign tourists will visit Russia for the World Cup in June-July. The growth of tourist flow in Russia will continue, with a 20-percent increase expected next year.

Oreshkin said the modernization of infrastructure for the World Cup will have a “positive effect on many sectors of the economy and the quality of people’s lives.”

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place at 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, and Samara – from June 14 until July 15.