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Russia-China tourism cooperation fruitful

Updated: 2013-11-22 13:28
( Xinhua)

SAINT PETERSBURG -- The cooperation between Russia and China in tourism has yielded fruitful results and expanded mutual understanding between the two peoples, a top Russian tourism official said.

Speaking to Xinhua ahead of the closing ceremony of the Year of Chinese Tourism due on Friday, Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm) head Alexander Radkov noted that Russia "highly estimates" the results of the reciprocal events -- referring to 2012's Year of Russian Tourism in China as a complete success.

"They have created new opportunities for growth of mutual tourism flows," he said, praising the Tourism Years for spurring the development of future Russia-China cooperation in the tourism industry.

Over 200 events have been held in Russia during the Chinese Tourism year. Among the popular events were "Hello Russia" and "Hello China," during which more than 100 videos on tourism attractions of the two neighboring countries were shot and broadcasted on Russia's leading TV channels, Radkov said.

In the first nine months of 2013, the number of trips by Chinese people to Russia grew by 13.4 percent year-on-year to 872,000, with 326,500 trips for the purpose of tourism -- 18 percent up from a year earlier, according to Russian official statistics.

Since 2008, the number of Chinese tourists to Russia has grown 2.7 times, from 127,000 to 343,000 in 2012.

Radkov said tourism agencies in both Russia and China have been committed to increasing efficiency of the tourism cooperation, an important part of humanitarian cooperation.

"Pursuant to demands of various ages and social groups, the two sides will facilitate to create and promote respective tourism products," he said.

Further cooperation in such spheres as modernizing tourism infrastructure, ensuring security via insurance tools and developing trans-border and interregional tourism will also boost the two-way tourism flow, said the official.

As China has become the second largest country by number of travelers to Russia, Chinese tourists will enjoy more convenient trips, Radkov told Xinhua.

"In particular, Moscow's City Tourism and Hotels Committee has drafted a tourism portal in Chinese ( where all information about various tourism points of interest are presented," he said.

Also, a tourism call-center with a Chinese-speaking service has been set up, offering information including historical and memorable sites, addresses, contact numbers, hours of service, city transit and tickets.

"Similar work has been in progress in St Petersburg, Irkutsk, Vladivostok, Blagoveshchensk and others," he added.