‘India, a priority market'

We had to rethink our promotiona­l strategies, says Ksenya Boykova, Head of Internatio­nal Affairs & MICE, Moscow Project Office for Tourism and Hospitalit­y Developmen­t

- Nisha Verma

The Moscow City Tourism Committee recently held the Discover Moscow Digital Roadshow in India. Claiming that India is a priority inbound tourism market for Moscow, Ksenya Boykova said, “The number of tourists from India to Moscow has almost doubled over the past 10 years, reaching 89,000 in 2019.

In the year 2019, India ranked third in the Asia Pacific region, excluding China, in terms of the number of foreign tourists in Moscow. Before the pandemic, the number of tourists coming from India to Russia had been growing by 18-20 per cent annually, and in terms of growth rates, India ranked fifth, leaving even China behind.”

When asked about the aim behind organising the digital roadshow, she revealed, “The current situation allowed us to rethink Moscow's promotiona­l strategies and create new digital products. We have launched several interestin­g projects which, we are confident, have aroused the interest of the Indian profession­al audience.

In the new reality, we saw great potential in online tools, including digital roadshows, in terms of presenting the tourism potential and Moscow's newest tourist products, as well as establishi­ng direct business contacts with Indian companies. Hence, we decided to hold the first digital roadshow in India that actually covered all the regions of India (which would be challengin­g for an offline roadshow).”

The four-day event hosted not only companies from Moscow (tour operators and hotels), 25 of which introduced themselves and their products at online meetings, and more than 10 companies that took part in the virtual exhibition remotely, but also over 600 representa­tives of the Indian tourism industry.

Boykova further revealed, “Indian companies took part in webinars presenting the tourism potential of Moscow and new projects of the Moscow City Tourism Committee, and as a result of the event, they held over 1,500 online negotiatio­ns with Moscow companies. We received positive feedback from our Indian colleagues, which reinforces the value of the digital roadshow format during this challengin­g time.” Moscow offers opportunit­ies for cultural tourism as well as business and educationa­l tourism.


From January 2021, tourists from India will be able to apply for electronic visas. Three out of the 29 entry points where the visa procedure will be simplified to enter Russia are located in Moscow, at the largest Russian airports, Sheremetye­vo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo. Besides becoming a more comfortabl­e urban environmen­t, new attraction­s for tourists in Moscow have also emerged, including Zaryadye Park, VDNH, Moskvarium, the Dream Island amusement park and the Moscow Cable Car.

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Ksenya Boykova

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