2020 will be a year to remember in Russia, particularly in the travel sector. No one could believe that domestic travel would develop so quickly. Digital technology is rapidly changing the Russian travel market in terms of B2B communication. TMI will organise its 2nd virtual event for Italy early in 2021, after completing an event for Arctic Lapland in November. On the other hand, consumers are more dependent on travel agents than previously due to the ever changing situation in the countries they plan to visit and the increased complexities of travel driving people away from online booking.
The emergence of ‘sustainability’ has not impacted the Russian market as much as other European markets but Russian consumer trends indicate that the vast majority are still ready to travel, especially the high-spenders and frequent travellers. No doubt whenever international travel is open, the Russian market will contribute to the recovery of tourism sector, but the date for opening up Europe for Russian travellers is still illusive.
Other trends that are likely to stay in 2021 is the consumer focus on deals and incentives, personalisation, flexibility and affordable luxury, but with all of those new trends, we still expect the Russian market to have less worries about health and safety, especially if this increases the cost. Instead we see a market which has pent up demand for international travel and assuming the vaccination programme has made an impact by May 2021, the May holidays (May 1-10) will be the next major holiday period when Russians will be able to travel internationally again.
16 December 2020, Moscow