Russia expects a million visitors during World Cup

Moscow: Russia will receive a million visitors during the 2018 World Cup, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

"We expect one million guests. This is unprecedented. This cannot be compared to the Olympics. Popularity of the World Cup is much higher," Medvedev said on Friday in Yaroslavl.

Medvedev urged the local party activists to utilise the opportunities the World Cup offers to boost attractiveness of Russia as a popular tourist destination.

"In any city where the tournament will be held, there will be four or five games, let alone Moscow and St. Petersburg. There are rather good chances some people will visit them between the matches," Medvedev added.

He said this would be a chance to show the foreign visitors "the real Russia" i.e. the country`s small towns, even though no events related to the World Cup have been planned there.

Yaroslavl, 250 kms north-east to Moscow, was among the cities which submitted a bid to host the World Cup but FIFA cast the city out in September 2012. The cities to host the 64 games in 2018 are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don and Sochi.