Over the next decade Russia will play host to two of the biggest sporting events on the international calendar, with Sochi welcoming the Winter Olympics 2014 and the FIFA World Cup arriving in 2018. Tremendous challenges must be overcome if the country is to be ready in time for its turn in the global spotlight. Here Breaking Travel News assesses the progress so far.
The city of St. Petersburg, Russia is set to launch a tourism program the “St. Petersburg Guest Card.” It is a single electronic card for tourists whereby its price includes tours of the historic city center, entry into 17 state museums and a discount program of 10% to 50% when staying at hotels, traveling by taxi, visiting cultural or entertainment centers, cafes and restaurants.
Russia is spending billions in the build up to the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 World Cup to bring its infrastructure up to FIFA and ICO standards. However the legacy and possible gains are unlimited, as BTN finds out.
RUSSIA: ‘This is not just a train and these are not just carriages, this is a different life, different technology, a different means of transport’, said Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin before joining passengers on the first Sapsan high speed train service from Moscow to St Petersburg at 19.00 on December 17.
American billionaire Ronald Lauder of the Estée Lauder cosmetics empire is to embark on a $2bn venture with the Moscow city government to manage and upgrade dozens of the capital’s hotels in time for Russia hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The Russia aviation industry is in dire straits and a number of airlines face bankruptcy due to jet fuel prices, the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reports.