Russia’s chief tourist agency seeks to lure Muslim tourists

Russia’s chief tourist agency seeks to lure Muslim tourists

Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism) has been working on a program to attract tourists from Muslim countries, which particularly highlights visits to numerous Islamic heritage sites across the country, the agency’s chief Oleg Safonov.

"We are currently putting together a special program to attract tourists from Muslim countries to Russia, and we invite all interested parties to join the effort. As for luring foreign tourists, we see a significant potential. Apart from visiting Islamic heritage sites located all across Russia, they could also attend large-scale international events," TASS cited him as saying.

In this connection, the Rostourism chief mentioned the Nineteenth World Festival of Youth and Students, scheduled to be held in Russia in October. "Next year, we will host the FIFA World Cup and we would surely like to see more football fans coming from Muslim countries," he said.

According to Safonov, in many Russian regions with a high percentage of the population that professes the Islamic faith, conditions have already been created for Muslim tourists.

"Rostourism has been cooperating with market participants to carry out a federal project dubbed Halal Friendly, which is part of the Russian Hospitality comprehensive program," he stressed.

"This project is aimed to make travelling around Russia comfortable for Muslim people. The task is planned to be achieved by taking into account their demands concerning accommodation and food, as well as by providing them with all the necessary information," Safonov added.