Russian Travel Market

17 June 2020












Foreign countries are not ready to welcome Russian tourists before July

Foreign countries have not yet confirmed their willingness to open borders to Russia yes said the Head of the Federal Tourism Agency Zarina Doguzova. “As for now, the foreign countries are not ready to receive Russian travellers in June. Some countries will open in mid-July, the others in August” she said. But no concrete dates have yet been confirmed at an official level. The most popular outbound tourist destination in Russia, which is Turkey, announced its plan to open the borders to Russians on July 15.

Russia plans to resume international flights in July

Russia plans to resume international air travel on July 15 as it eyes a gradual return to life after the coronavirus pandemic. Rosaviation, the Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency has sent a request to resume international flights to the consumer protection watchdog. It includes flights to 15 countries, including China, South Korea, Turkey, some  EU countries, as well as former Soviet republics as soon  as the coronavirus infection rate is under control.

The Russian aviation authority has noted a tripling of the airline passenger traffic in the first week of June compared to May. At the same time, the industry’s operational performance is still down significantly, from between five to seven-fold compared to last year. In June 2019 Russian airlines carried 24.4 million passengers, including 16 million on domestic flights.

Domestic tourism to resume on July 1

In the next two weeks, hotels in the majority of the Russian regions will be ready to receive tourists from other regions. The resumption of inter-regional domestic tourism is planned from July 1. The government has already given relevant instructions to the heads of the regional authorities, and by June 15 they will prepare plans for opening the tourism industry in their regions.

“Hotels in 25 regions are already ready to receive domestic tourists. We expect that in the upcoming weeks hotels will open in at least 50% of the Russian regions. Today, more than 40 regions meet the criteria for opening. We also see enormous potential for the development of travel to neighboring regions, including the cities on the Golden Ring, the Volga region and  the North-West of the country,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Head of the Republic of Crimea announced on June 9 that the self-isolation regime and mandatory observation for visitors to the peninsula would be lifted on June 15, but hotels could only receive guests from outside of Crimea from July 1.

16% of Russians plan trips abroad this year

Raiffeisenbank conducted a survey to find out the plans of their clients regarding the holidays. 45% of respondents expect to spend no more than 640 Euros per person on their foreign vacation this year and 38% plan to save more money than usual. This is in comparison with the results of the survey conducted by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center in 2019 when Russians estimated that their average spend for a summer vacation would be 705 Euros per person. However, the holiday plans for Raiffeisen bank client are still  optimistic , with  57% saying that  they plan to travel within Russia and another 16% still plan to travel abroad this year, despite the continuing uncertainty about the timing of the start of international flights.

Tourists are searching for tours in Russia and Turkey in August

Even though now there is still not a concrete date for the reopening of the border, Russian travellers are already starting to plan their holidays and have even started to making bookings. According to Travelata, an online booking platform, Turkey remains the most popular destination in terms of the number of requests this year, followed by inside Russia.

It is worth noting that even now, some tourists are considering spending their abroad.  Thailand accounted for 8% of search queries in May, Tunisia - 5%, Greece and Cyprus - 4%. Russians also considered trips to Spain, Montenegro and Bulgaria.

The most significant changes can be seen in the lead time. August seems to be the most likely vacation period for Russians (25% search queries). July is the second most popular month, followed by September. 3% searched for packages for 2021, compared to only 0.5% in 2019.

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