The Covid-19 is likely to impact the Russian market in the long term, one of the most important impacts is the increase in flexibility and a reduction in seasonality mainly brought about due to home-based working. At least 30% of the workforce of all Moscow companies are required to work from home, many Russians have decided to leave for Christmas and New Year holidays earlier than usual and take advantage of cheaper flights.
As online offices become more sophisticated, we are likely to see this trend continue long after 2021 and this may help to resolve 2 major challenges with outbound travel from Russia. Firstly, it will greatly reduce the seasonality of the summer holiday travel period, allowing it to extend until early November for some destinations. But it will also allow young professionals and Empty Nester segments (those whose children have grown up) to travel and work from abroad for longer periods such as a month or more. They will combine their travel with distance working, based at their foreign residence, hotel or villa for periods of up to one month during the low season. In many cases, Russians wish to spend part of the winter season in a warmer climate and this is now possible with the emergence of distance working.
Another trend is the fast emergence of new destinations, due to the limited number of destinations available to Russians. Even during the peak of the winter travel season, destinations such as the Maldives never had such a high frequency of travel which will now increase to 8 flights per week, over-taking more established destinations like Dubai that have a long-term popularity in the market. However, some things never change. Turkey remains the supreme leader when it comes to summer holiday destinations and this is unlikely to change whilst most of the EU remains closed to Russian travel.
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19 November 2020, Moscow