After a successful recovery in 2017, the Russian market is showing more positive growth rates in 2018 and we can firmly say that the Russian Market is back! However new destinations are gaining in popularity compared to 2013, which was the last year Russia had positive growth rates until 2017. According to Forwardkeys the following destinations had exceptional growth in 2017: Azerbaijan, Georgia, UAE, Maldives, Portugal, Indonesia, the Netherlands, France and Thailand. All of these destinations had growth rates of 60% and above but of course the biggest winner was Turkey, as the destination became open once more for travel from Russia.
However tax free shopping statistics show that Russians are not as flush as they used to be and most of the key destinations where Russians have visited noted a decrease in the tax free sales turn-over. Nevertheless, the actual total spend during a trip increased in 2017 to 830 Euro per trip compared with 730 euro in 2016. However, the growth rate concerning the total spend per trip can partly be accounted for by the reduction in the number of poorer Russian travellers being removed from the outbound travel market altogether due to the devaluation of the Rouble.
In addition to the growth and substantial recovery of the Russian market, we also see that the oil rich CIS markets such as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are also recovering, while some of the non-oil reliant markets such as Georgia, never went into recession at all, but they are growing fast and provide good potential as secondary markets after Russia. B2B Luxury & MICE which takes place every year in Mid – Feb in Almaty, Baku and Tbilisi, provide destinations, hoteliers, DMC’s and wellness products with a great opportunity to promote themselves efficiently and effectively in those markets. For more information see the website