It seems that Russian vacationers have a soft spot for Greece and the numbers are growing according to a recent online study by PayPal and Data Insight which bears this out with the number of Russian tourists visiting this summer expected to rise by up to 70 percent.
According to the Russian Tour Operators Association (ATOR), 10,000 Russians traveled to Greece in March, up by more than 523 percent y/y.
The online poll of 4,100 users aged 18-64 was carried out in February and asked respondents about online purchases, payments and usage of financial services, person-to-person transfers, charity, use of digital content and travel. Findings reveal that Russians are relying all the more on online services for their travel needs.
“We believe that the shift to online shopping in travel industry will continue to grow in the coming years – with people looking for better prices, as long as they can trust the service,” says Vladimir Malugin, Head of PayPal Russia.
“The good news is that currently PayPal is present on sites and apps of major travel industry players – starting with world known airlines, and finishing with small businesses of villa rentals on Greek islands.”
Online segment of Russian travel market continues to grow
The PayPal and Data Insight recent research shows that Russians start to perceive e-travel as a normal part of their lives in all three categories, with a large part of the latest booking and payment made online (46% for plane tickets, 49% for trains and 31% for hotel bookings). The only travel-related category where offline still dominates is tours — the study shows that the most common way the last purchase online was made was selecting a tour online and ordering it offline (39%).
According to the research, while an overall number of travellers is slightly lower than in 2015 (for instance, only 26% of respondents have travelled abroad in 2016 – compared with 30% in 2015), there is a steady growth of the online segment of the Russian travel market.
69% of active online users say that the Internet helps them get the best prices when travelling and 57% say that the internet makes booking and paying for travel services much easier.
Of those who travelled in the past 12 months, 20% claim to have shopped for train tickets online, and 18% – for airline tickets. Hotel booking takes the third place with 17% of respondents booking and/or paying online.
Growth, compared with 2015, is seen also in “booked online and paid online” segment. It grew higher with plane tickets, as this category is slowly becoming online-exclusive for Russians (from 80% to 92% this year).
Meanwhile, the most popular online services for travel are the Russian Railroad website (43 percent), airline websites (30 percent), booking services (29 percent), airline ticket services (22 percent) and hotel websites (21 percent).