The most significant news in the Russian market this summer is the very recent reopening of Turkey, after the Turkish President sent a letter of apology to President Putin, for downing a Russian plane. As a result, the Russian government has lifted the ban on the sale of package tours to Turkey. The ban on the sale of package tours to Turkey created huge opportunities for other Southern European countries, such as Spain, Greece and Cyprus due to the temporary closure of Turkey. However, the unstable security situation in Turkey, will mean that some travelers will avoid travelling there anyway. Egypt, which is also on a black list due to security concerns, is likely to open up again this Autumn, in time for the Winter season.
Another positive trend is the opening of new flights to Russia, such as the newly launched flights by Russia’s S7 airlines, now the 2nd largest after Aeroflot. S7 recently launched flights to Barcelona, after opening direct flights to Malaga, earlier in the year. Also, Aeroflot’s budget airline ‘Pobeda’ has opened flight to Montenegro. Another a key announcement is the return of Thai Airways which signals the end of the contraction period of international flights to Russian, which is contributing to the overall more optimistic feeling in the travel market, particularly for 2017.
Closer to home, the most exciting news for TMI this summer is the further development of our signature workshop B2B Luxury & MICE that will be launched in Georgia in February 2017. The B2B event has been successful running for 6 years in Almaty and Baku and Georgia will be the 3rd destination. More importantly the Workshop will move from April to February in 2017, so that participants can more easily promote their product prior to the Novruz holidays, in the 2nd half of March, which is a major travel period. Finally there is a great Early Bird offer for those wishing to attend 2 or more of the workshops, valid until the end of August, 2016, see the website for more information
Turkey opened for Russian travellers; Greece offers Russians long-term Schengen visas; Tenerife receives 40% more Russian tourists in April 2016; Hungary received over 20,000 Russian tourists in Q1 2016; Russia in top 5 for household spend on travel; Russian Outbound Tourism Statistics Declined by 10% in Q1 of 2016