According to information released by the Tourism Committee of the Moscow City Government, the capital recorded 2,204,409 foreign arrivals in 2002, representing an increase of 22% in comparison with the previous year. The Tourism Ministry claims that the strong increase in arrivals is a result of a programme promoting tourism in Moscow and financed by the Moscow City Government budget. In 2002, US $4.54 million were allocated to this programme...
these budget funds are directed on advertising of city as a tourist direction,
participation in the international exhibitions and trade shows, publication of
visitor brochures, and tourism research.
The Tourism Committee tabulated that each US dollar spent in
the annual municipality budget brings back approximately 44 dollars in revenue
to the city. Based on this correlation, the Moscow City Government Tourism
Committee established that each dollar from the city budget allocated for
tourism purposed generates $1,75 in visitor spend. The Tourism Committee officials
use as a basis of their estimations the compiled statistical growth of tourism
influx and the average spend per foreign visitor estimated to be 405 US
dollars. No rationales has been provided behind the calculation of the average
HCD Group believes that the Tourism Committee
estimations require serious revamping. It is necessary,
first, to specify the evolution of tourist inflows supplied with program
measures, instead of taking the total number of visitors per annum, without
breaking them down into their respective purpose of travel segments (leisure,
business, Visiting Friends & relatives, medical treatment, etc).
Secondly, the estimations of average tourist in relation
to the research methodology should be revised. The suggested average visitor spend of $405 comes closer to average
expenses incurred by tourists from abroad, primarily from the European Union,
North America and South-East Asia. This average visitor spend is estimated to
be around $375 for 3 hotel nights in Moscow. This result has been estimated on
the average of sample tour packages throughout the year sold via tour
operators, travel agencies and hotel reservation systems and indexed by average
length of stay per foreign visitor.
Thirdly, visitors from CIS countries, who
constitute the bulk of the tourism inflow to Moscow, spend during their average
stay 3 to 4 times less than Europeans or Americans. In comparison to leisure
tourists, the business traveler comes to Moscow for other reasons than
sightseeing, irrespective of the amount spent in government funded promotional
Finally, it can be argued that that the
analysis submitted by Committee of tourism of Moscow is flawed and fails to
adopt sound methodology quantifying tourism trends and their correlation to
municipal promotional initiatives.