“Year of Russian Tourism” ends in China

Two artists from Russia dance on ice during the closing ceremony of the “Year of Russian Tourism” at Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in east China’s Shanghai Municipality, Nov. 16, 2012. Under the Year of Russian Tourism program, China and Russia held over 100 activities covering the sectors of tourism, culture, sports and education. The two nations are expected to witness another tourist rush from each other’s side in 2013’s forthcoming “Year of Chinese Tourism.” (Xinhua/Pei Xin)

The “Year of Russian Tourism”, a Sino-Russian event to boost mutual tourism, ended on Friday, with the two parts agreeing on further investment cooperation.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and his Russian counterpart Olga Golodets sent congratulatory messages to the concluding ceremony held in Shanghai.

The National Tourism Administration (NTA) of China and the Russia Federal Tourism Agency, or Rosturizm, signed a memorandum of understanding on investment and cooperation in tourism fields along with five investment agreements.

The “Year of Russian Tourism” began on March 23, 2012 in China while the “Year of Chinese Tourism” will be launched in Russia next year. Both sides hope the number of citizens paying mutual visits can reach 5 million as soon as possible.

Moreover, the two countries are making efforts to boost capital, technology and human resources cooperation, said NTA chief Shao Qiwei.

In October 2011, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin agreed in Beijing that the two countries would hold the “Year of Russian Tourism” in China in 2012 and the the “Year of Chinese Tourism” in Russia in 2013.

Besides the two activities, past reciprocal events included the “National Years” in 2006 and 2007, and the “Years of Language” in 2009 and 2010.

Xinhua