Creating connections in Russia: World Cup offers big boost to travel industry

Leonid Marmer

General Director, Russia, Amadeus

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Save for the Summer Olympics – the FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. It’s not surprising that the travel industry experiences a big boost during this worldwide event. The connections that travel creates make it all possible. With the travel industry working together, millions of people can follow their national teams to another continent, almost as easy as taking a suburban bus.


It’s a great honor and privilege to be the host nation. Amadeus has been in the Russian market since 1994. Our agency network covers the entire territory of Russia, from Kaliningrad to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. We have four offices (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk) with 60 employees in total.

We are warmly welcoming football fans from all over the world to cheer on the 32 teams from five continents. It’s the first global football event to come to Russia and the games will range over 11 cities. In fact, as a courtesy, VISA free entry has been granted for all foreign visitors holding a valid passport, match ticket and fan ID.

For the Russian travel industry, the World Cup is a big opportunity to boost travel infrastructure development across the country. Massive work has been done to receive over a million guests. Several stadiums and many new hotels have been built and a huge share of the existing hotel room supply has been renovated. The transportation infrastructure also underwent refinement with train lines connected directly, or via Moscow rail hub, between all 11 host cities. Russian railway operator RZD is planning to run extra trains between the cities. And for the first time ever RZD is offering a free ride on their trains for football fans with match tickets and a fan ID card.

Russia’s air hubs are also meeting travelers with the highest possible standards of service. Gateway hubs include 14 international airports, with Moscow as a main entry point. Some of these airports were renovated during the last few years and others like Rostov Plakhov Airport were built from scratch. Taking into consideration the logistics of 64 games, the structure of tournaments, playoffs and final games, we believe that Russian domestic airlines will increase the number of scheduled flights dramatically. There’s no doubt flights will be in high demand.

Being a part of the Amadeus team, I am proud to help connect travelers to the World Cup as a travel technology provider. We are an essential link in the modern travel chain, helping millions of people follow their World Cup dreams while enjoying the travel experience.


Europe, Events