Europeans avoid Russia because of low awareness of the country as a tourist destination and high costs of travel, according to a survey by the Moscow-based NAFI research center.
Two-thirds of those polled told NAFI they had not encountered media information about tourist attractions in Russia.
“The lack of information contributes to the spread of negative opinions among European tourists about Russia as an unsafe country for travelers,” the research center said.
“Low awareness leads to a drop in interest in our country. Nearly every European talks about lack of interest in Russia as a travel destination,” it added.
One-fifth of the European respondents who had plans to visit Russia said they were turned off by high travel expenses. Another 17% said they were attracted by “more interesting destinations,” while 15% said Russia was too far away.
Among those who had already visited Russia, most respondents (37%) said they were turned off by underdeveloped infrastructure and the service sector. Another 15% criticized the local population’s “unfriendliness” and 14% “danger in traveling,” NAFI said.
NAFI said the survey was designed to analyze the experiences of foreign travelers in order to “develop an effective strategy for attracting European travelers” when coronavirus restrictions are eventually lifted.
NAFI carried out the survey among 2,106 nationals of 27 European countries in late 2019.
The Boston Consulting Group’s 2019 survey obtained similarly negative responses, with international tourists saying they avoid visiting Moscow because they think it’s too expensive and unsafe.
Trump boasts about ‘very high marks’ on coronavirus as US death toll nears 190,0000
President Donald Trump began the Labor Day holiday with a tweet claiming that the US is “starting to get VERY high marks” in its handling of the coronavirus.
He boasted that the US response was especially good when compared to other countries and areas of the world, then adding: “Now the Vaccines (Plus) are coming, and fast!”
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the US now has 6.28 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, and 189,000 officially recorded deaths.
Globally the US has the most cases and the most deaths.
India moved ahead of Brazil behind the US with 4.2 million cases to the Latin American country’s 4.1 million. Russia and Peru round out the top five.
In terms of deaths, Brazil remains in second place with 127,000 fatalities. India is third with 72,000. Mexico and the UK place fourth and fifth.
At the Republican National Convention speakers referred to the virus as if it had been vanquished by the administration’s actions.
In reality, the country went into the Labor Day holiday weekend with more new cases per day than at the beginning of the summer when the Memorial Day holiday weekend led to a further surge in cases.
In late May the US was averaging approximately 20,000 new cases per day. In early September that number is in excess of 40,000.
With no national mask mandate and lax commitment to social distancing by many people, health officials worry that a new surge of infections will hit by mid-September.
The onset of flu season is also in the near future further adding to concerns that medical services may be overwhelmed.
Globally there have now been almost 27 million cases of Covid-19 since the beginning of the year, and 881,000 deaths.