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News

2003-01-21

Usually 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 visitor spend.

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 tourism programmes.

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.

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