Chinese tourists took a fancy to shopping in Russia, spending over 2 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, recent figures from a report of the Russian federal tourism agency Rostourism showed.
"The Chinese are responsible for 5 to 20 percent of revenues of major malls of Moscow and St. Petersburg," the agency said.
Rostourism said Chinese tourists prefer buying luxury goods, watches, cosmetics and Russian jewelry. There has also been an increase in demand for luxury rooms in hotels.
Last year, Russia received more than 1.2 million Chinese tourists, which is 87 percent more than in 2014, the agency said.
The number of tourists arriving in Russia from China on a visa-free exchange basis in the first quarter of this year exceeded 35,000, or 47 percent more than a year ago.
"We are seeing a growing interest in our country and for our part, make every effort to make guests from China feel comfortable in Russia," Rostourism's head Oleg Safonov said.