Online search shows Russians are switching from traditional travel agencies to online bookings.

Russia is rapidly catching up with the global growth of independent travellers. In the past year, queries for travel agencies have dropped by 12% according to Yandex. There has also been a  drop in searches for vouchers and last minute trips, indicating a shift from the traditional use of travel agencies.  Instead, users have been searching for their own airline & train tickets and hotel bookings, which have risen by 18% and 20% respectively. The biggest increase in travel queries was the 38% jump in queries for private sector, indicating a rise in home sharing searches.

The other major change in Russian travel searches reflects the economic situation in Russia. With searches for more affordable accommodations became popular, while searches for more expensive accommodation have declined. Many well off Russians still traveling abroad frequently, so travel hasn’t ceased, it’s just become less luxurious.

Online travel market growing despite decrease in the international travel

Data Insight noted that the Russian online travel market is estimated to be worth $8.6 billion in 2015, with around 10 million users. The market continues to grow by 20%-30% per year, despite the economic recession. Airline tickets account 54% of all purchases (see chart below).  But during the 1st quarter of 2016, the international passenger numbers decreased by 20%, while domestic numbers increased by 13%.

In 2015, the number of active internet users travelling abroad decreased by 16%., but this is much smaller than the overall decrease in international travel by urban young travellers (with a household income from $781 – $2,343), which decreased by 25%.

Mobile is becoming increasingly important for the travel market with 44% of payment made via a mobile device, according to Data Insight research.

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