Moscow may develop new tourist information system

An information system to help foreign tourists navigate their way around Moscow may be developed this year, Moscow’s top tourism official told the Izvestia daily on Tuesday.

Moscow in Russia
Moscow in Russia

“As part of a complex plan for 2011 we are tasked with developing an information portal and a system of navigation like in other capitals. Measures which require no significant funding will be done as soon as possible,” said Sergei Shpilko, who heads the city’s tourism committee.

The low amount of tourists visiting Russia is the result of the lack of a developed network of tourist facilities in the country and Russia’s poor image abroad, experts say. Moscow leads the list of the most expensive hotel rates on an average per day cost, beating out New York, Paris and Hong Kong, according to research by Britain’s Hogg Robinson Group.

“We should develop one, two and three-star hotel chains, open hostels and mini hotels, search for suitable construction sites – not in residential districts near the Moscow ring road, but close to the historic center,” the official said.

Last summer, the Russian government has approved a 332-billion-ruble ($ 10.1 billion) program aimed at developing the country’s tourism sector until 2016.

In accordance with the program, the flow of foreign tourists to Russia should increase sevenfold by 2016. If the program achieves its goal, Russia will manage to attract 15 million foreign tourists every year.

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