The Chinese president's special envoy and vice premier Sun Chunlan will travel to Russia from June 12 to 15 to attend the opening ceremony of the 21st FIFA World Cup, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Tuesday.
About 100,000 Chinese will travel to Russia, Wang Ying, public relations manager of Ctrip, China's leading online travel agency, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
It's unexpected to see so many Chinese fans, Yuri Tsurkan, chairman of the Russian-Chinese Tourism Promotion Association's council told the Russian news agency Tass.
After all, China had not qualified for the tournament, Tsurkan said.
According to Ctrip, a fan from South China's Fujian Province, paid 850,000 yuan ($132,700) to go watch one game. Some fans chose to live in neighboring countries like Poland and Latvia and take planes back and forth from Russia.
"Unlike previous World Cup tournaments held in southern hemisphere countries, Russia is close to China and so the price is relatively cheap," Xiao Ba, a Chinese soccer fan, told the Global Times.
Chinese companies Vivo, Hisense Yadea and Dalian Wanda have been buying up and offering ticket packages, news site thepaper.cn reported.
Even Wolf Zabivaka, the official mascot of the World Cup, was made in China.
This article was originally published in Global Times.