Culture Ministry to step up promotion of tourism in Russia

Russian tourists spent $36 billion abroad last year, Russian Deputy Culture Minister Alla Manilova told reporters on Tuesday.

Russian tourists spent $36 billion abroad last year, Russian Deputy Culture Minister Alla Manilova told reporters on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the West knows practically nothing about Russia, she added.

"They know St. Petersburg and the best informed people are aware of the Golden Ring. Few have heard about Baikal or Kamchatka. On the whole, Russia was not a part of the global tourist market. We decided we must promote the tourism and culture potential of Russia. We also realized that we must offer a brand new tourist product," Manilova said.

Three tourist destinations are being created: the Northwest, the South and the East, and the center of the country, the deputy minister added.

"Geography is not the only principle; the routes are also related to history, traditions, culture and national consciousness. Tourists have changed much in the 21st century: They are tired of globalization and want something exclusive," she said.

"An investor pool is being formed to create tourist infrastructure around monuments and other sights on these routes with support from the Russian budget," Manilova said.

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