With 2017 coming to an end, TMI has been analyzing the current state and trends of the Russian market. We are glad to say that the recession is officially over and according to Rosstats, the Russian outbound travel market grew by 30%, from January to June, 2017, an increase to 17.1 million visits abroad, compared with from 13.3 million in 2016. Much of this growth, however is just recovery of the loses since 2014, when the market first went into decline. The biggest winner was Turkey which increase numbers by 870% fold compared to last year and has returned Turkey to Russia’s top leisure destination. Other destinations with impressive growth rates were:the Dominican Republic grew by 223% to 113,000 visitors, Cuba grew by 117% to 39,000 and traffic to the UAE increased by 49% to 358,000. The key winners in South- East Asia were: Thailand with 31% growth (576,000,) and Vietnam with 50% growth with 265,000 visits.
The majority of the growth is to main tourism segments, the luxury segment has some positive growth rates. According to a survey by Amadeus Travel Intelligence, luxury travel in Russia grows on average by 5-8% annually and will continue growing by 9% a year until at least 2025, which is higher than the average growth rate for luxury travel of 6% a year. In addition, Russians are ready to pay more for off the beaten track itineraries, exclusive services and most of all exceptional experiences. Thus an experience rather than just seaside holiday or a traditional sightseeing is the key lever to attract the top end of the Russian market.