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Moscow trails Harare in world city rating


MOSCOW, July 8. (RIA Novosti) - The Russian capital has not come out well of a rating of cities across the world, today's Vedomosti, a respected business daily, reported. In terms of the quality of life in a table published by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Moscow was in 170th place after Zimbabwe and El Salvador. Its former rivals in the race to host the Olympics were among the 50 best cities in the world (Paris was in 31st place, London and New York in 39th and Madrid in 42nd place).

Moscow was the fourth most expensive city in the world, but at least came after London.

Moscow went out of the race to host the Olympics in the first round of the voting at the decisive session of the International Olympics Committee. The members of the Russian delegation and experts admit that the rivals were strong and it was no shame to lose to them. But it is hardly worth relying on the weak rivals - experts believe that there comes an epoch of rivalry among cities, particularly given that Moscow wants to be in the club of world cities, which is just taking shape.

A city needs to be convenient if it wants to sell well. The two main complaints by foreign tourists about Moscow is that it is difficult to find your bearings because of a lack of street names and other signs in Latin letters, especially in the Metro, and a shortage of public toilets. One of the main problems, in the opinion of travel agents, is that Moscow and Russia are not advertised overseas, whereas Russians can see all sorts of adverts for foreign reports on the streets and the television. Besides, the traffic in the city is poorly organized, and there is a shortage of parking spaces in the city center, especially near the Kremlin. And, of course, there are too few hotels.

According to the Moscow Tourism Committee, between 1999 and 2003 the total number of foreigners visiting the Russian capital increased from 1.52 mln to 2.48 mln a year, or by 68%. In fact, 5 million tourists are expected in Moscow in 2010.

But an increase in the number of hotels is not included in these plans. No new hotels for foreign tourists with an average daily charge of $50-60 for a room have been built in Moscow since the Soviet years.

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