Moscow tweaks its safety ranking

SINGAPORE, 30 October 2017: Moscow took part in ITB Asia for the first time, promoting the city as the host of the up-coming 2018 FIFA World Cup.

At the ITB Asia press conference,  Ekaterina Borisova, head of the city’s tourism management of the department of sport and tourism, outlined details of the World Cup hosting and how it would impact on the city’s tourism.

Moscow has taken significant steps to improve infrastructure and introduced a “Safe city” project to build awareness that city has heightened security for the global event.

The up upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup will be hosted in the Luzhniki Grand Sport Arena and Spartak Stadium.

Officials said the city is ready to accommodate a massive influx of tourists and fans.

In 2016, about 19 million tourists visited Moscow. Around 650,000 people visited Moscow from Southeast Asia last including 10,000 from Singapore, 57,000 from Japan, over 71,000 guests from South Korea and about 512,000 from China.

Of the Chinese arrivals about 79,000 were business travellers.

The capital city is known for its 8,000 heritage sites, many of them protected by UNESCO.

It is expected, that Moscow will host more than 1 million football fans.

The city has 1,183  registered hotels and hostels with a star rating. Most of them are hotels and hostels in the budget market.

The safety of tourists and fans is key issue for the 2018 World Cup, hence the project “Safe City” that focuses on presenting the city’s efforts to promote safety.

More than 142,000 cameras have been installed ahead of the World Cup  and a recent Frost & Sullivan ranking suggests Moscow is among the top-10 cities with highest level of urban safety and advanced information and communication technology.

However, the city has an up hill battle to convince travellers that problems linked to its poor petty crime record and a lack of foreign language skills have been addressed by authorities.

Officials at ITB Asia said a network of tourist information centres and tourist police with officers fluent in foreign languages had been established under the preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Tourist police officers with “Tourist Police” armbands will help tourists with directions if needed.