Russia hopes to build relations and break stereotypes with new BRICS Tourism Cities Club

Evgeny Kozlov, First Deputy Head of the Moscow Government Office, Chairman of the Moscow City Tourism Committee. Picture: Supplied

Evgeny Kozlov, First Deputy Head of the Moscow Government Office, Chairman of the Moscow City Tourism Committee. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 25, 2024


The first BRICS Tourism Forum, held in Moscow brought together over 600 leading experts and business and government representatives from the BRICS countries.

A major part of the forum was the signing of 12 commercial agreements by representatives of the tourism business sector and the proposal to create the BRICS Tourism Cities Club.

The meeting was also created to help develop practical actions, with participation from all 9 member countries.

Tourism experts from specialized tourism agencies held the first meeting of the BRICS Working Group. The initiative to create this platform was first put forward by South Africa in 2018 and finally created under the Russian presidency in BRICS this year.

IOL Business was invited to the forum where the main priority or strategy of the event was to attract tourism to Moscow.

The government hopes to establish long-lasting ties with South Africa and hopes to make it easier for South Africans to visit Russia and in particular Moscow.

Over 24 million people visited Moscow in 2023 according to Evgeny Kozlov, First Deputy Head of the Moscow Government Office and Chairman of the Moscow City Tourism Committee.

But this is not enough and he told IOL that the Russian government want to double this by 2030 with the help of South Africa and other BRICS nations.

“We need to establish a new or deeper connection with local business and federal government to promote tourism in Moscow. There is a huge drive to bring in BRICS nations to Moscow and intra-BRICS cooperation with these nations is vital,” Kozlov said.

“In the first quarter of 2024, our capital has already been visited by 129,000 guests from BRICS countries and, by the end of the year, we expect more than 600,000 tourists from these countries,“ Kozlov noted

“We are focusing on the development of multilateral co-operation with the BRICS countries and expanding the formats of partnership.”

BRICS Tourism Cities Club

Kozlov said that the Tourism Cities Club is a planned association that will serve as a driver for the development of inter-regional tourism and become a convenient platform for direct dialogue between BRICS representatives.

“We hope that this initiative will be approved by our partners and will become an effective tool and a base for increasing mutual tourist flow.”

"As the global survey conducted last year showed, city breaks account for one-third of al international tourism. The UN statistics suggest that a majority of the population already live in cities and the urbanization will continue further. The BRICS countries are home to 45% of the global population. These figures suggest that interaction between cities, city tourism really are an accomplished fact and the future," Kozlov explained.

He said that BRICS nations have the ability to create a platform that will foster inter-city interaction and take it to the next level.

"This is why we are putting forward the initiative to create a tourist club of BRICS cities and we invite every city and every tourist destination to cooperate. And we assumed that such a platform could become both the basis for sharing practices and an analytical data hub, and in fact, could start a tradition for creating a new type of tourism product," Kozlov added.

The main aim of the club is to share information amongst Brics nations and to reduce stereotypes.

"The more platforms there are for communication on the inter-city level, the fewer stereotypes, on the one hand, and the more economic opportunities for interaction, on the other. And so the platform of BRICS touristic cities potentially can become precisely what breaks stereotypes," he explained.

The club is also looking to organise the first BRICS tourism award in 2025, Kozlov said.