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Foreign Tourists Face Hotel Price Hike In Moscow, St. Petersburg

Tourists wait in line in front of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin's mausoleum on Red Square in Moscow. (file photo)

Hotels in Moscow and Russia's second-largest city, St. Petersburg, will increase prices for foreigners in the next tourist season, according to a Russian tourism official.

Intourist General Director Leonid Marmer said on October 20 that the price hike will vary between 15 and 40 percent.

The measure will help to regulate an increasing flow of foreign tourists, especially from China and Iran, Marmer also said.

He added that hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg had to cancel many reservations last summer as the number of tourists exceeded expectations.

Chinese tourists travelling with a group accompanied by a guide from a tour operator do not need a visa to visit Russia for a maximum stay of 15 days.

Russia's tourism ties with China and Iran have been tightened after Western countries imposed sanctions against the country following Moscow's military seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and an ensuing war between Kyiv's forces and Russia-backed separatists.

With reporting by Interfax