(Yicai Global) June 21 -- Some 100,000 Chinese tourists are expected to travel to Russia to watch the ongoing FIFA World Cup, which is expected to bring Russia revenue equivalent to 26 percent of all its Chinese inbound tourism last year.
Chinese tourists will spend more than CNY3 billion (USD462 million) during their stay in Russia during one month of soccer matches, said China's biggest travel platform Ctrip, adding that more than 5,000 people are expected to sign up for group tours or customized ones.
Despite the Chinese team not making it through the FIFA qualifiers this time, Chinese soccer fans have already purchased more than 40,250 tickets to the tournament, ranking as the ninth-biggest source country for FIFA tourism, the China Youth Daily reported today.
The preferential conditions of visa-free travel during the games, favorable exchange rates, and cheap flights are some of the reasons why Chinese tourists are particularly hyped about FIFA tourism, Ctrip suggested. China is already Russia's largest source country and last year, the number of Chinese visitors reached 1.47 million, with revenue of USD1.8 billion.
This year, some airlines from Chinese second-tier and third-tier cities including northwestern Xi’an, southeastern Nanchang, and southwestern Guiyang have started operating flights to Russian large cities such as St. Petersburg and Moscow.
The exchange rate of Chinese yuan against the Russian ruble has appreciated by about 15 percent this year compared with the same period last year, which makes traveling to Russia more economical. One Chinese yuan compared to 9.81 Russian rubles on Thursday.
Editor: Emmi Laine