VisitBritain is aiming to build on the enthusiasm Russians showed for the UK during the Olympic Games by achieving a 75% increase in the number of travellers from the former Soviet republic over the next eight years.
A recent National Brand Index (NBI) survey of the top 50 nations of the world revealed that two-thirds of Russians who saw the Olympic Games on television now want to visit the UK for their next holiday.
More than 210,000 Russians visited Britain in 2011, spending an average £1,450 per visit - nearly triple the average global spend.
Patricia Yates, director at strategy and communications at VisitBritain said: "In 2011 we saw a promising 24% increase in the number of Russian visitors. That growth has continued into 2012, with provisional data showing a 3% rise in arrivals up to September.
"It's our ambition to welcome 370,000 Russian visitors a year by 2020. This mission will help foster relations with key trade who can help us to achieve that goal, putting British businesses in front of decision makers and generating growth from what is a traditionally high spending market.
"The massive exposure Britain has enjoyed in 2012 has helped put us front of mind as a destination, and we are encouraged by the recent NBI survey which has seen us improve our standing among Russians."
By Janet Harmer
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