Conflict in Yugoslavia has some effect on travel to Moscow

PARSIPPANY, N.J. -- Moscow may be a long way from Kosovo, but officials say the impact of the Yugoslavia conflict is being felt in Russia's capital city nonetheless.

"There is a certain effect you can feel," said Olga Egoshina, director of the Moscow City Tourist Office here. "Overall, people are more careful about going into central and eastern Europe, but interest is still high. I'm getting a lot of calls, but this season is not as good as it could be."

The tourist office's main goal is to work with travel agents and consumers and promote Moscow as one of the cultural and tourist centers of Europe. "When we handle inquiries, we try to put an accent on the safety and say there is nothing dangerous or threatening about travel to Moscow," Egoshina said.

She noted that the recent bombing incident at Moscow's Intourist Hotel, which incurred no casualties, was determined to have had nothing to do with Kosovo. Egoshina also claimed that despite recent protests against the NATO bombings of Kosovo outside the American Embassy in Moscow, the average Russian citizen harbors no hard feelings about U.S. visitors. Moscow City Tourist Office, Phone: (973) 428-4709, Fax: (973) 884-1711

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