The prime minister of Tatarstan said Tuesday that more than 150,000 tourists flocked to Kazan for the recently ended World University Games, roughly half the predicted number from two weeks ago.
On July 10, four days after the Universiade opened, the regional Ministry for Youth Affairs, Sport and Tourism said it expected Tatarstan's tourism numbers to grow by 300,000 to 340,000 as a direct result of the student games.
But Prime Minister Ildar Khalikov struck a positive tone Tuesday, using the tourism data to call out critics who have argued that the $4.5 billion Universiade was not as well-attended as government officials have claimed.
"Even critics must admit that the Universiade was held successfully," Khalikov said. "It's been noted by representatives of the International University Sports Federation."