MOSCOW, July 18 (Sputnik) - Hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup turned Russia into a "tourist mecca" for the first time in many years, Executive Director of the Association of Russian Tour Operators Maya Lomidze said on Wednesday.
"For the first time in many years, Russia has become a tourist mecca. All the football fans, who came to our country for the World Cup, visited not only the host cities but also took guided tours, visited the neighboring cities, went shopping," Lomidze said at a press conference.
She added that more tourists would come to Russia next year as many of those who attended the World Cup said they would like to revisit the country in the future.
"After a poll was conducted, it turned out that 87 percent of the guests of the World Cup would like to return to Russia again," Lomidze said.
Russia hosted its first World Cup from June 14 to July 15 with the games played in 11 cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, and Sochi.