Help for tourists

Moscow to post 100 road and in­for­ma­tional signs in Chi­nese

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By REN QI renqi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

ALEXAN­DER ZEMLIANICHENKO / AP

Chi­nese tourists take pho­to­graphs in Red Square, Moscow, on April 3, 2015.

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