Russian tour operators see growth in demand for Spain
The number of Russians planning to go on holiday this summer in Spain, is up by 30% more than last year. The most popular destinations are: Costa Dorada, Costa Brava and Mallorca. Spain is the third most popular destination for Russians after Turkey and Greece. There was also a substantial increase in Early bookings this year with 4 times more bookings in February, than this time next year and are being made until the end of September or even Mid- October according to some tour operators selling Spain.
Russian tourists stay for 1 -2 weeks on average. Although Tenerife is an important winter destination for Russians, there is also an increase in interest in lesser known destinations such as Gran Canarias and Fuerteventura. Barcelona and Madrid are also popular destinations.
Part of the reason for the popularity of Spain is due to the competitively priced accommodation compared to Italy and France, as well as the all-inclusive option which is popular with some Russian tourists.
Cold summer in Russia has increased the number of Russian beach tourists by 30%
The cold weather at the beginning of summer 2017 has also contributed to the increase in foreign resort destinations According to ATOR, there is a 30% sales growth compared to last year. Of course, the stabilization of the exchange rate and more optimistic economic outlook are more important contributors.
“The challenging climatic conditions and the weather factor affect tourism. People want to see the sun and sea so beach resorts are a priority" - the Vice-President of ATOR and President of VIP Service, Dmitry Gorin said. According to him, the leading destinations will be: Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Spain and Turkey.
Sweden and Mexico close their tourism offices in Russia
Sweden announced the closure of its tourist office in Russia. Visit Sweden explained that this is due to the change in the way international tourism market has evolved and they prefer to strengthen the competitiveness of Sweden by focusing on digital technology.
The tourist office of Mexico in Moscow, which was only opened in November 2014, decided to close due to the notable decline in Russian tourist arrivals in Latin America.
Greece is expected to be an important destination for Russians, despite the return of Turkey
Despite an increase in competition in the Russian market due to the return of Turkey, tour operators believe that Greece is now the preferred destination for many Russians. Major market players forecast a growth of 20-30%, linking the popularity of the country with the more stable rate between the Rouble and the Euro, straight forward visa policy and the attractive offers provided by Greek hoteliers.
This positive trend has resulted in a number of tour operators to increase their sales to Greece. For example, Natalie Tours has expanded its range of offers, adding Halkidiki, Corfu and the Peloponnese, as well as the creation of a "tour plus beach holiday" format which includes visits to Greek cities such as Athens or Thessaloniki. ANEX Tour has strengthened its position in Crete and Rhodes, which, expected to be particularly popular with Russian tourists this year.
Rostourism statistics showed a healthy 23% increase in Russia visitors already in 2016, when they estimated that 782 500 Russian tourists visited Greece.
A new, large visa centre for Greece opened in Moscow, which will allow both tour operators and independent travelers to lodge visa applications. The new visa center aims to provide tourists with higher quality services and to provide Greek visas within 48 hours.
Two Russian bloggers are in the Forbes list of 10 most influencial bloggers all over the world
You can't check #travel on Instagram without spotting photos of a woman leading a man through a stunning setting. This trend started back in 2011 with Russian couple Murad and Nataly Osmann: Murad posted a photo of Nataly leading him through the streets of Barcelona and the image went viral. The couple produced a gorgeous photo series of their #FollowMeTo images, which was exhibited in Times Square and now document their travels on their website.
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