For a country as large and diverse as Russia, the number of tourists who actually pop in to visit is alarmingly anemic. While this dearth of tourists (and tourist traps) is certainly part of what I find appealing about the country, it still shocks me that a destination so incredibly rich in tourist sites is so utterly lacking in tourists.
Journalists Kevin O’Flynn and Anna Nemtsova address this very issue and come to some obvious conclusions-well, obvious at least to anyone who has ever visited Russia: For the most part, they blame a tourist bureau that has little money to promote tourism, expensive hotels in Moscow, and a pricey and burdensome visa process (e.g. the visa process hasn’t changed since Soviet times).
Simply put, Russia is not an easy place to visit.
But don’t be put off by all this. That which is most rewarding in life, is often that which requires the most challenges to overcome. Go to Russia now and enjoy its empty ski slopes, majestic nature, top-notch museums, and fine architecture before the busloads of camera-toting Kiwanis descend like ravenous locusts.