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Tourism in Russia: Opportunities and Challenges of the 2018 FIFA World Cup

According to Rosturizm (the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation), the inflow of international tourists will grow up to 10–15% annually after hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The world's most popular sports event will be hosted in 11 major cities of European Russia, presenting an excellent opportunity for the country to put its best side forward to the crowds of Russian and international football fans.

However, as the experience of previous World Cup hosts shows, on its own the event can't guarantee an increase in tourism. The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup proves this fact, as it failed to satisfy the expectations of the tourism industry: the number of guests was significantly lower than expected by the organizers. Moreover, the guests preferred to find lodging in the private housing and book through online services instead of contacting tour operators, which were ready and prepared to provide guided tours and convenient logistics.

What should we take away from this experience? What should we do to support the expected inflow of 1 mln international tourists in June – July 2018? How can we involve football fans in tourism and get them to bring their families, without limiting their interests to just visiting games? How can we anticipate their expectations and ensure positive feelings and a desire to continue exploring Russia in the future? These and many other topics will be covered during the 2nd Annual Tourism in Russia: Opportunities and Challenges of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Conference


09:00–10:00. Registration, morning coffee

10:00–12:00. Session 1. The 2018 FIFA World Cup: team sports and their effect on Russian tourism

  • What should the Russian government, the 2018 World Cup organizers and the tourism industry do in order to ensure the expected tourist inflow? The benefits of joint efforts: how to organize coordinated collaborative work?
  • Visa barriers, the country's public image and outdated tourism offerings are all factors preventing the development of incoming tourism. How to resolve problem issues by June 2018?
  • The tourism experience of previous FIFA World Cup hosts: what can be applied in the Russian context? What can help support the involvement of football fans in tourism and their interest in the country?
  • How can we position Russia on the global tourism map as an attractive, safe and comfortable destination through the World Cup?

12:00–12:30. Coffee break

12:30–14:00. Session 2. Hotel industry during the World Cup: revenue with a key to the future

  • The 2018 FIFA World Cup: an opportunity or challenge for the hospitality industry?
  • Hotels and tourism company synergy. Special programs during the World Cup as an opportunity for additional earnings.
  • What should hotel owners prepare themselves for before and after the 2018 FIFA World Cup? What should businesses expect?
  • Experience of hotels that hosted the football World Cup in other countries. Sports fan profile. What did we learn from the 2017 Confederations Cup?

14:00–15:00. Lunch break

15:00–16:30. Session 3. Russian chain and non-chain hotels: how to find your niche and win competition for guests

  • Current challenges in the Russian hotel sector under the conditions of a strengthened network approach in hotel management.
  • Unique niche: local identity with personalized service vs standardized service.
  • Innovation technologies in the hotel industry. How to remain relevant in the innovation age.
  • Modern tourism offerings: how hotel restaurants facilitate the development of gastronomy tourism and impact the flow of tourists.
16:30–18:00. Cocktail reception