Russian travel companies are estimating that foreign tourism to Russia grew 50-70% this summer, Vedomosti daily reported. “What is happening now is even beyond our expectations,” said Tatyana Chuvilkina, executive director of the information service BANKO. “The main reason is a more or less stable political situation.” General director of VIT-Inform, Alexei Zhegalov, said his company has observed an increase in tourism to Golden Ring cities of “more than 50%,” with Suzdal being the most popular destination. Meanwhile, tour operators complained of a catastrophic shortage of hotel rooms in Suzdal to keep up with demand. The local State Tourist Complex (GTC) has only 500 beds. Lest they lose clients, local travel agencies will often lodge travelers in nearby Vladimir.
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