National marketing agency to promote Russia on tourism market

A national marketing agency, VisitRussia, will be set up in 2015, says a report posted on the website of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR).

A national marketing agency, VisitRussia, will be set up in 2015, says a report posted on the website of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR).

The intention to do this was declared at an international tourism forum held in Sochi on November 25-27, the report said.

The new entity will be established at the Federal Tourism Agency to promote Russia as a travel destination and to improve the country's image on the international scene, ATOR quoted advisor to the acting Federal Tourism Agency head Alexander Gorokhov as saying.

"There are two trends, i.e. a growing demand on the domestic market and general travel individualization. No one is catering for these trends here. No one is promoting Russia as a travel destination either," Gorokhov said in his presentation of the Federal Tourism Agency's position at a roundtable.

The country's "image is not very good at the moment: there have been too many negative issues in the information space," he said.

"Indeed, the government is dealing with this problem. Yet the tourism industry could achieve the goal more rapidly and at its own level, as this is done across the globe," the advisor said.

There are nine strategic markets in Russia which may be of interest to the tourism industry but there are no offices abroad or budget to support them, Gorokhov said. According to Gorokhov, China, Japan, Iran, South Korea, Turkey, Germany, Italy and Spain have potential for the Russian tourism market.

Thus, it is planned to open offices in foreign countries and to operate tourism information centers in Russia, he added.

ATOR said a professional team would be tasked to promote Russia but its members were so far unknown.

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