For the tourist season is coming, the west has prepared several reports covering the situation with tourism in Russia on the whole and Moscow in particular. In March of 2008 the experts of the World Economic Forum in Davos revealed their data at the international travel exhibition in Berlin. Their version says that Russia appears the 64th on the list of countries rated in accordance with their attractiveness to tourists.
The main causes of the foreign tourists` dissatisfaction are the worn out transport infrastructure of Moscow, catastrophic situation on the Moscow roads in terms of traffic safety, unreasonable hotel prices and a lack of proper hotel rooms, disrespect towards private property and mistrust to the Moscow police (militsia) which cannot protect the city guests from criminals.
However, the above data is provided by the experts. At the same time ordinary visitors of a tourist website, when sharing their impressions about Moscow, mark the general dirt and insanitariness going along with the unreasonable expensiveness of services, the quality of which tourists often rate as completely downscale. All tourists complain about the unfriendliness and discourtesy of Muscovites.
As usual, foreign guests to Moscow find some things not only unacceptable but even weird. For instance, no one of them is able to understand why in the hotels, equipped with multiple glass doors, the doors never open opposite to one another but one always needs to pass through a long glass corridor to reach the next door. According to a joking version of one of the tourists, it was designed that way to make it easier for KGB officers to watch the hotel visitors. However, a more reasonable explanation is based on the fact that Russia is a northern and cold country and the doors are situated in this way to avoid draughts.
Amongst the advantages of Moscow the tourists mainly mention two: plenty of seductive prostitutes with a wide spectrum of prices on their services and the intense cultural life of the city. In this way Moscow does not appear on the list of the most boring European cities that includes, for instance, Brussels, Zurich, and Warsaw. However, the foreign citizens can hardly find joy and fun to be more important that safety of their health and life.
After seeing presentations of the Russian regions and their offers at ITB in Berlin, the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization Francesco Frangialli is sure that Russia has all chances and great potential for reaching a position in the top 10 of the most attractive countries.
In 2007 2.2 million tourists visited Russia; this number is slightly different from the number of tourists to Russia in 2006 – 2.4 million. Traditionally, the most popular and most visited Russian cities are Moscow and St. Petersburg.