Tourism news: Russian tourism budget gets huge boost

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MOSCOW – Russia has set its sights on increasing the number of foreign tourists from about 2 million a year to 15 million with a budget allocation of $10.1 billion.

The government approved the spending on improvements to its image and its disjointed tourism network, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

Behind the new budget for tourism is the expectation that the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games will attract a large influx of tourists.

Andrei Ignatyev, president of the Professional Tourist League said the tourism budget had nowhere to go but up.

“The success of inbound tourism strongly depends on advertising. The budget stipulated for these aims is absurd — just $3 million per year,” Ignatyev said.