Help for tourists
Moscow to post 100 road and informational signs in Chinese
Around 100 Chinese-language road signs and tourist information boards will soon be seen along the streets of Moscow to meet the needs of growing numbers of Chinese tourists to the Russian capital.
“The new road signs and tourist information boards will be in Russian, English and Chinese,” said Oxana Kosareva, minister of culture of the Moscow state government.
Kosareva said the project aimed at welcoming more Chinese tourists, especially during next year’s soccer World Cup.
The Moscow state government plans to have the new trilingual road signs and tourist information panels installed before the start of the World Cup next summer.
More than 1.5 million Chinese tourists visited Russia last year, each spending an average of $4,000, according to the Russian tourism authorities.
And the number is expected to increase in the next few years, especially during the World Cup.
Kosareva said besides Moscow, another five neighboring cities will also have Chinese road signs.
This is not the first time that the Russian government has introduced new policies to attract Chinese tourists this year.
According to Russian newspaper Vedomosti, the Central Universal Department Store TsUM, and St. Petersburg Leningrad Shopping Mall DLT, have already provided QR codes at cashier desks, and consumers are able to pay using the Alipay smartphone app.
Alipay Director in Russia Bogdan Zadorozhny said the payment service in the malls is available for Chinese citizens in Russia.
“In the future, we will apply for formal registration to the Russian financial authority so that the payment option will be available to Russian citizens,” Zadorozhny says.
Igor Temelkin, a partner at Deloitte Consulting, says Russian businesses are increasingly catering to the interests of the growing number of Chinese visitors to Russia.
He noted it is becoming more common to see Chinese advertisements in Moscow and more Chinese-speaking Russians working as guides in Russia.
“Chinese are the most active luxury consumers in the world, and the devaluation of the Russian rouble seemed like good news for them. There has been a 50 percent devaluation of the rouble against the renminbi since 2014, so luxury goods are much cheaper here for Chinese tourists than in other European countries,” he said.
Chinese tourists take photographs in Red Square, Moscow, on April 3, 2015.