Moscow City Travel Briefing

Moscow City Travel Briefing



Key Findings

Arrivals Up

Arrivals to Moscow are showing good growth with over five million visitors in 2012, illustrating the complete recovery from the recession in 2009.

Government proactive

A new national inbound and domestic tourism plan was launched in 2011, with funding by government and private investors to improve tourism infrastructure.

Looking to Chinese visitors

Chinese visitors are now the second largest source market for Moscow outside former Soviet countries who still dominate.

Luxury hotels

Luxury hotels dominate the hotels industry, led by corporate travellers, with a lack of budget options for those seeking cheaper accommodation.

Low cost may finally take off

The economic growth is encouraging investment in travel accommodation, and international hotel chains such as Marriott and Rezidor are opening their first properties in the region in 2013.

Cultural attractions shine

Moscow has a broad array of cultural attractions, ranging from world-famous museums and galleries, to a growing number of arts and music festivals.

Looking to sport

The city was host to a growing number of sporting events in 2013, including the World Championships in Athletics and will benefit as one of the host cities for the FIFA World Cup in 2018.


SWOT: Moscow


[row][double_paragraph]Iconic destination:

Moscow is one of the world’s largest cities, offering a strong leisure and business tourism product.[/double_paragraph]

[double_paragraph]Business dominant:

Moscow is a thriving business tourism destination. It has newly built conference and exhibition centres, with the majority of business tourists coming from Russia and CIS countries.[/double_paragraph] [/row]


[row][double_paragraph]Lack of mid-tier hotels:

The combination of high land costs and complicated government regulations has led to a deficit in the mid-range and budget hotel supply.[/double_paragraph]


Moscow has a lingering reputation as an unsafe destination. High-profile security incidents in recent past may cause some visitors concern.[/double_paragraph] [/row]


[row][double_paragraph]Growing flight options:

There are increasing numbers of flights to the Russian capital, with European low cost leaders easyJet and Ryanair establishing connections in 2013.[/double_paragraph]

[double_paragraph]Sporting future:

Moscow will form the centrepiece of the FIFA World Cup in 2018. The city will benefit from improvements to infrastructure and increases to room supply.[/double_paragraph] [/row]



Moscow is a notoriously expensive city, with high prices for food and accommodation. Tourists still occasionally have to pay more than locals for some museum entrance fees.[/double_paragraph]

[double_paragraph]Visa process remains burdensome:

While Russia has recently removed visa requirements for Brazilians, the vast majority of other visitors require a visa, which is often a difficult and time- consuming process.[/double_paragraph] [/row]


Inbound Arrivals

Moscow arrivals by Country 2011 – 2012

‘000 trips 2011 2012 % growth 2011-2012
Ukraine 2,103.0 2,276.5 8


535.0 577.0 8
Uzbekistan 411.0 441.5 7
Germany 306.0 330.0 8
China 182.0 260.0 43
US 132.0 149.0 13
France 135.0 150.0 11
Armenia 124.0 140.0 13
Others 505.0 711.6 13
Total 4,433.0 5,035.6 14

Source: Euromonitor International data and estimates, Moscow Tourism Committee

  • Arrivals to Moscow grew to reach over five million trips in 2012, illustrating recovery from the recession in 2009 where arrivals had dropped to 3.7 million.
  • The majority of visitors to Moscow come from the former Soviet states, with Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan making up the largest groups.
  • Germany remains the most popular source country outside the CIS, with 330,000 arrivals in 2012. There are numerous direct flight links between Moscow and a number of German cities.
  • Now recognised as one of the most important source markets for Russia, 2013 was declared the Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia, with over 200 special events taking place in Moscow and across the country. Additionally, Moscow’s City Tourism and Hotels Committee has created a tourism portal in Chinese ( and a tourism call centre with Chinese-speaking service.
  • Moscow Tourism Committee estimates that for 2013 Chinese visitors will make up the top source country, and that non-CIS visitors will finally outnumber visitors from the CIS.

Domestic Tourism

Moscow Leading Domestic Tourism Trips 2012 – 2017

‘000 trips 2011 2012 % growth 2011-2012
Krasnodar 5,205.2 8,138.7 9.4


4,907.8 7,852.2 9.9
Stavropol 3,541.1 5,276.9 6.1
St. Petersburg 3,268.6 4,392.1 6.1
Nizhni Novgorod 1,103.8 2,938.3 21.6
Perm 1,081.3 1,298.7 3.7
Ryazan 996.7 1,901.3 13.8
Primorye 875.4 1,153.6 5.7
Kaliningrad 5825.7 986.2 3.6
Kostromo 807.6 2,305.2 23.3
Total 98,972.1 122,957.9 4.4
  • Domestic trips to Moscow grew by 10% in 2012, with domestic tourism as a whole in Russia also growing by 2.8%.
  • This growth in domestic trips is largely a result of the Domestic and Inbound Tourism Development plan 2011-2018, which was launched by the Russian president in August 2011. An ambitious 150% rise in domestic trips is targeted by 2018, with investments by regional and municipal governments, alongside private investors. The majority of these funds will be spent improving and developing travel and tourism infrastructure across Russia.
  • During 2012, some RUB10 billion was spent on domestic tourism development and promotion, RUB1.6 billion more than the previous year.
  • The most popular domestic tourism destination is the Krasnodar region, home to a number of resorts on the Black Sea coast. Moscow is the second most popular domestic location. Visits from St. Petersburg residents are popular due to the fast Sapsan train service between the two cities, as well as higher incomes encouraging travel.

Tourist Visitor Attractions

  • The most popular tourist attraction in Moscow is the Kremlin with almost 1.7 million visits in 2012. Cultural attractions in the city are top among domestic and international visitors with museums, galleries and theatres all benefiting from this ongoing trend.
  • The Moscow City Card was launched at the end of December 2012. It combines admission to Moscow museums, city tours, a sightseeing bus tour and a river cruise, as well as discounts provided by partners of the programme. Although only seven museums were included until the end of 2012, the programme is scheduled to expand significantly.
  • Tourists are increasingly using the internet to buy tickets for activities such as theatres and concerts. However, for most other places of interest such as museums, historic buildings/sites, theme/ amusement parks and national parks/areas of natural beauty, tickets are not available online and have to be bought on entry.


Click here to “view full report”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *