Russian trips abroad will increase next year by some four percent, according to the annual ITB World Travel Trends Report, conducted by IPK International and commissioned by travel trade show ITB Berlin.
The report revealed that in the first eight months of this year the number of foreign trips undertaken by Russians fell by one percent. This decline is due mainly to an estimated 50 percent decline in travel to Ukraine, the second most popular Russian destination in 2013. Without the Ukraine as a tourist destination the overall picture improves: at plus 10 percent, Russia’s foreign travel market reported stable growth during the first eight months of this year.
According to the World Travel Monitor published by IPK International, the number of trips to Turkey, which last year was the most popular Russian holiday destination, rose in the order of double digits. During the first eight months of 2014, Greece and the UK also welcomed more arrivals, as did Thailand and the USA, whereas visitors to Spain and Germany declined.
One reason for this trend is the devaluation of the rouble, which has led to foreign trips costing 20 percent more. Many Russians are also worried about negative attitudes towards them in Europe because of the crises in the Crimea and Ukraine. Rising inflation and bankruptcy among several travel operators has also had a negative effect on travel behavior.
Despite the difficult situation, the World Travel Monitor forecasts stable growth for 2015, albeit at a lower rate. Sixty-seven percent of those polled said they would take the same number of foreign trips, possibly more, while 23 percent intended to travel less and 10 percent had no plans for going abroad.
Based on these findings IPK International predicts that in 2015 Russian trips abroad will increase by around four percent, which would confirm that the country possesses a stable foreign travel market.
The Russian tourist
Between 2005 and 2013 the number of trips undertaken abroad doubled, reaching 31.5 million last year, equivalent to a growth rate of 118 percent.
In 2013 beach holidays in the sun were a clear favorite with Russian citizens. Fifty-five percent visited beach destinations, while 15 percent took city breaks and around 10 percent went on round trips.
Russian tourists spent more money and stayed longer at their destinations. Between 2007 and 2013 the average length of a holiday increased from 11 to 12 nights, while spending on overnights rose by 35 percent.
More and more Russians tend to book their holidays considerably in advance. The Internet has become an increasingly important booking tool and now accounts for about 50 percent of reservations being made. Nonetheless, at 40 percent, the percentage of trips booked through travel agencies has remained stable.