Russia has seen 22% increase in tourist visits in the first half of 2012

Foreign tourists made 993,000 visits to Russia in the first half of 2012, a year-on-year increase of 22 percent, the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm) said, citing the Federal Service for State Statistics.

More than 13 million foreigners visited Russia in the first six months of this year, or 15 percent more than over the same period last year.

Visitors included 148,000 Germans, who made up the largest single proportion, 113,000 Chinese, 63,500 Americans, 51,500 French nationals and 51,000 Finns, Rosturizm said in a statement on Monday.

It said 56 percent more Australians came to Russia in the first half of 2012 than in the same period of last year, which was the highest year-over-year increase, while the number of Turkish visitors rose by 46 percent, Chinese by 43 percent, Japanese by 41 percent and Swiss by 29 percent.

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