Tourism sector contributed about 500 bln rubles ($8.32 bln) to the Moscow city budget in 2016, mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Tuesday.

“In general, travel business gave Moscow nearly half a trillion rubles of revenues. This is an important sector, which needs attention and development,” Sobyanin said at a meeting of the presidium of the city government.

According to him, the city is changing its infrastructure dramatically, building new hotels, improving transport network.

“We are developing a variety of tourism aspects, from business, to culture and sports. Moscow hosts world’s largest festivals, cultural mass events, which attract millions of tourists,” Sobyanin said.