15 Mar 2018 18:11

Anti-Russian propaganda attracts U.S. tourists to Russia - Rosturizm head

MOSCOW. March 15 (Interfax) - There has been a surge in tourist arrivals in Russia from the United States amid Western media's anti-Russian propaganda campaign, Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturizm) head Oleg Safonov told the newspaper Izvestia in an interview published on Thursday.

"The anti-Russian propaganda generates keen interest in our country among U.S. citizens. Such things happen often. People are told fairy tales about Russia, so they want to come here and see everything with their own eyes. Surprisingly, the Western propaganda campaign aimed at discrediting Russia is causing an increase in inbound tourism," Safonov said.

The number of U.S. tourist arrivals has grown, although there are no national Russian tourist offices in the United States, he said.

"In the first nine months of 2017, the Federal Security Service's Border Service observed a 25% rise in U.S. tourist arrivals in Russia, as compared with the corresponding period of 2016," Safonov said.

U.S. tourists are not disappointed with what they see in Russia, he said.

"They have low expectations because of the false stereotypes and the blocking of positive information about our country in the Western media, so, there's a wow effect. Our U.S. guests are surprised that Russia has friendly people, tasty food, beautiful, well-laid streets, interesting tourist attractions, a wide choice of recreational options, and affordable prices. They see a modern, peaceful, and developed country," Safonov said.