Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup attracts record 5 million tourists
The ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup has recorded a massive 5 million tourists, including 2.9 million foreigners that have visited the cities for the matches, according to a statement by head of the Russian Federal Tourism Agency, Oleg Safonov.
“According to preliminary information, the World Cup host cities have received more than 5 million tourists. Moscow saw the heaviest tourist flow of more than 2.7 million, while St. Petersburg received more than 600,000, and Sochi, more than 500,000. The growth of tourists visiting the World Cup host cities was from 19% in Moscow to 1,678% in Saransk, with the average growth of 74%,” the agency head said.
There are currently 2.9 million foreign tourists in 11 cities hosting the World Cup matches. This indicator grew by 20% in St. Petersburg and 235 times in Saransk when compared to the same period for June, Safonov noted. The foreign tourist flow grew 10 times in Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg and 15 times in Volgograd, whereas in the other World Cup host cities it increased 1.5-2 times.
Numerous football fans, foreign state officials and politicians, as well as experts have already praised Russia’s organization of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, noting the warm-hearted hospitality in all of 11 hosting cities, but branded the outcomes of this world championship as utterly unpredictable.
The eight remaining teams left to fight it out for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Trophy, are hosts Russia, France, Uruguay, Sweden, Brazil, England, Belgium and Croatia.
The matches to battle for the semifinals begins today Friday June 6th as France do battle against Uruguay in Nizhny Novgorod stadium for a place in the semis, the city of Kazan will host the Brazil vs Belgium encounter.
On Saturday, June 7th, England take on the Sweden in Samara while hosts Russia are set to face off against Croatia at the legendary Fisht Olympic Stadium in Russia’s southern resort city of Sochi.
According to FIFA’s official statistics, the number of fans at all stadiums during 56 out 64 total matches played at the 2018 World Cup (48 matches in the group stage and eight matches in Last 16) came to 2,576,584 people, which carries an average of 46,010 at each match.
The World Cup in Russia has already chalked up 146 goals scored in all of the previous 56 matches (2.61 per match on the average), with the Belgian team scoring the most so far – 12 goals in four games.
A total of 32 national football teams entered the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but narrowed down to 16 as they proceeded to the knockout phase after the group stage, held between June 14 and 28.
Anthony Nlebem, reporting from Moscow/Russia