Visitors to Russia spent billions during the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Foreign visitors to Russia have reportedly spent more than $1.5 billion over the entire football World Cup period, which took place from mid-June to mid-July.

An estimated three million foreigners visited the 11 host cities of the tournament this summer, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was quoted by the state-run TASS news agency as saying.

The amount spent by the nationals of 194 countries doubled from the same period in 2017, when Russia hosted the FIFA Confederations Cup, according to the state-owned Russian banking and financial services company, Sberbank.

According to the bank’s data, Nikolskaya Ulitsa, a pedestrian street which became a de facto epicentre of World Cup festivities in central Moscow, turned a profit of 220 million rubles (R46 million), spent mostly by Chinese, Mexican and US tourists during the tournament.

The 18-fold spending increase in the smallest World Cup host city of Saransk outpaced the combined growth seen in Sochi, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow and St. Petersburg.

According to Russian media group RBC, foreign visitors spent the most on accommodation, dining out and flights.

Full Article in BRICS Journal Issue 6 (print edition)

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