2016 Statistics from the Russian Market
The outbound travel figures for 2016 show a positive increase for many destinations, especially Southern European destinations including: Cyprus with 48%, Bulgaria by 30%, Greece by 20%, Spain by 14%, Montenegro by 12 and Italy by 5%. Other winners were Tunisia with more than 1000% increase, the Dominican Republic with 265%, followed by China with a 31%, Thailand with 28% and Israel with 1%.
Demand for South Africa increases
In March, the information about the simplification of visa regime between Russia and South Africa was been announced. Shortly, Russians will be able to visit South Africa without a visa, if the duration of the stay doesn’t exceed 90 days.
This simplification has led to the increased interest to the country among Russian tourists and due to an increase in the number of requests for holiday packages to South Africa. Experts believe that, in the first place, visa-free trip to South Africa will be interesting to luxury travellers, as the cost of airline tickets and the general standard of living means the country is not yet affordable to the Middle Class.
Turkey will beat pre-crisis records this summer
Turkey continues to be the leader country in terms of the purchase of bookings for this summer, will most agents reaching their targets well in advance of the summer period. Up to 2.5 million Russian tourists are expected to visit Turkey this Summer. Hakan Duran, the Head of Professional Association of Hoteliers, expects that this year Antalya will host about 8 million tourists of which 20 % will be from Russia.
“Pobeda” launches new flights to Antalya this summer, this will also impact up the number of independent travelers going to Turkey. This is a new trend, especially amongst Millennials to book their flights and hotels by themselves, without the services of a travel agency.
The most popular destinations in 16/17 winter season for Russian tourists are Asian destinations
For the second year, it is impossible to buy packages to Egypt, which was formerly the top ranked winter destination for Russian tourists, making Thailand the new top winter destination in Russia, followed by other, less well known Asian destinations such as Vietnam. Experts believe that Asian destinations are the main alternative to Egypt, during the winter period.
The Dominican Republic also had a large increase in traffic during the 16/17 winter season. Due to the strong competition between tour-operators, there was substantial price damping in the market. As a result, some of the more better known winter destinations such as Mexico and the Maldives were not the Top 10 Winter destinations list this year; neither was Israel.
Ukrainian no longer need Visas to visit Europe
On May 11th, the European Council approved visa-free travel for Ukrainians to the Schengen zone of European, fulfilling a key promise to cement ties with Kyiv, as the country remains embroiled in a deadly conflict with Russian-backed rebels. The EU and Ukraine sealed a so-called Association Agreement, with Brussels aiming to bring the Soviet-era satellite into the European fold. The agreement included the offer of no more visa requirements, a potent symbol of the bloc’s commitment to Kyiv.
Under the new rules, Ukrainians with biometric passports can travel in the EU without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period, for tourism, business or family visits, but not for work. The deal does not apply to Ireland or Britain, as they are not part of the Schengen area.
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