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Before privatisation in 1992, Intourist was the official state travel agency of the Soviet Union. It was founded in 1929 by Joseph Stalin and was staffed by NKVD and later KGB officials. Intourist was responsible for managing the great majority of foreigners' access to, and travel within, the Soviet Union. One witticism of the Cold War period characterized Intourist by stating that "Intourist is to tourism what indigestion is to digestion." It grew into one of the largest tourism organizations in the world—including a location in Canada—with a network embracing banks, hotels, and bureaux de change.
Sistema had planned to float shares in Intourist on the London Stock Exchange in 2007.
- Visit Crimea Moscow : Intourist, 1930
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