Dear Partners,

As more and more destinations open up to Russia, and with a high probability of the Sputnik vaccine being recognized by the European Medical Agency by the end of June, the Russian outbound market potential is starting to look much more attractive than in 2020.

However, it is not only infection rates that need to be taken into account, Russia has elections in September, 2021 and the government is focused on pleasing the majority of people to avoid descent. For this reason, domestic tourism is being encouraged, as this will help the regions of Russia to recover. It is therefore difficult to predict which international destinations will be open for Russians this summer, beyond those that already have a bilateral agreement with Russia like Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, and Greece. Those destinations that do open can expect a high volume of visitors due to the temporary closure of Turkey (no. 1 destinations for Russians). It should be noted that a number of long-haul destinations such as the Maldives, the Seychelles and the UAE have already been open , but the majority would prefer nearby destinations for their summer holidays.

Destinations such as Austria, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Spain have resumed flight connectivity but there are still no clear signals that travel will be allowed for tourism purposes. The ever-changing political situation between Russia and the USA is also impacting the possibility of traditional travel summer patterns for Russians which is usually a trip to Southern Europe. However, the possibility that the closure of Turkey may be prolonged, means the market is highly attractive for Turkey’s competitors.

Helene Lloyd

13 May 2021, Moscow

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