HOW TO ATTRACT TOURISTS FROM ARAB COUNTRIES TO RUSSIA
This issue was discussed by the participants of the round table that took place as part of the IV International Exhibition "Arabia-EXPO 2019" in the Moscow Central Exhibition Hall "Manege", organized by the Russian-Arab Business Council. The discussion was addressed by the Vice President of the managing hotel company Cosmos Group, a member of AFK Sistema Group.
Yana Ukhanova, Vice President for Business Development of Cosmos Group, a managing hotel company, spoke at the roundtable "Tourism. Business Tourism ", which took place this week as part of the Arabia-EXPO 2019 Exhibition.
Participants in the discussion were Khaled Hanafi, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers, Natalya Yesayan, Director General and Owner of the Travel Company Travel Group, Alexander Porodnov, Director General of the Investment Promotion Agency of the Sverdlovsk Region ANO. The meeting was moderated by Tatyana Weller, head of the hotel business department at JLL in Russia and the CIS.
The roundtable participants discussed how to ensure comfortable living conditions for visitors from Arab countries, which is not enough to increase the flow of tourists to Russia from the Middle East and North Africa and whether there is interest from guests from Arab countries to Russian cities other than Moscow.
"If we take statistics on the Cosmos Group hotel portfolio, which includes more than 3,700 rooms managed by Russia, then in general the number of tourists from the Arab world is still very small. More than 60% in the structure of guests of the entire hotel portfolio are residents of Russia, followed by China, the CIS countries (Kazakhstan and Belarus are leading), Germany, Italy, India, "commented Yana Ukhanova.
The participants in the round table agreed that in order to increase the entry flow from the Arab countries, it is necessary to develop air connections, improve the quality of the tourist infrastructure, promote the Russian tourist brand at the world level, which was largely contributed by the World Cup last year.
"To increase the flow of Arab tourists," local "measures will not be enough. Of course, you can improve the quality of the hotel infrastructure (as you know, guests from the Arab world are very demanding on the level and quality of service), as well as adapt services taking into account the specifics of this region: halal dishes on the menu, the presence of prayer rooms, a wide range of soft drinks, etc. P. However, the priority is the development of air travel and tourism infrastructure in general, "said Cosmos Group, vice president of business development.
According to official statistics, in 2018, about 170,000 Arab citizens entered the country, which is a record high. However, this is largely due to the increase in the number of Arab fans who came to the games of the football teams of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.