The World Cup 2018 will boost Russia’s foreign tourism by 15 percent as fans head home and spread the word that they had a great time, said Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets.
This month-long football tournament, which ended with the final between France and Croatia on Sunday, has so far been without major security incidents. The concerns about racism and hooligan violence that were raised in the run-up have not been borne out.
Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said that the country expected a serious increase in the influx of international tourists.
Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets who was appointed to oversee sport and culture in May, told that they hoped that this influx will increase next year by no less than 15 percent, thanks to the policy of openness and the recognition of Russia that occurred during the World Cup.
Russia has hosted more than 700,000 foreign soccer fans during the tournament, spread over 11 cities including Moscow, St Petersburg and Sochi.
Russia also hoped for the increase to develop the regions that have hosted matches, she said. The government will soon announce a legacy plan to ensure newly-built stadiums do not fall into disuse, Golodets said, although she declined to give details or a price tag for further investment.
Saransk, the smallest World Cup city, has a stadium of some 45,000 seats and a population of just 300,000. The city, located 650 kilometers (400 miles) southeast of Moscow, does not have a Russian Premier League team.
World Cup stadiums will host major cultural events, including music festivals, and their operations should be fully stable in the next two to three years.
By Latifa Zenaina