The FSB Border Service of Russia published statistics for the period January-March 2020. The largest drop in tourist flow was expectedly shown by China and European countries, but a number of exotic destinations even grew in volume despite the pandemic.
According to the Border Service, for the first quarter of 2020, Russian citizens made 7 577 708 trips to foreign countries, which is 9,7% less than in the same period in 2019.
In terms of the absolute number of trips, the TOP-10 of leaders included Abkhazia (814 925 trips), Finland (813 711), Ukraine (568 682), Kazakhstan (532 002), Thailand (505 737), Estonia (394 912), Turkey (333 671), United Arab Emirates (323 940) and Germany (263 201).
In the first quarter of 2020, 42,8% of the total abroad trips from the Russian Federation (3 244 388 trips, which is 10,8% less than a year earlier) were made to foreign countries not bordering the Russian Federation. The bulk of the trips of Russians to this group of countries is connected with tourism purpose, including business tourism.
About a quarter (1 862 767 or 24,6%) of all abroad trips of Russians in the first quarter were made to several countries bordering Russia by land (in descending order, Finland, Estonia, Poland, China, Lithuania, Latvia and Mongolia). The vast majority of trips had the purpose of personal shopping, small business and private visits.
For this group of countries, the cumulative drop in the outbound flow from the Russian Federation in annual terms amounted to -18,4%. The flow to Finland turned out to be stable (+ 0,75% compared to the same period in 2019), Latvia showed an unexpected increase (+ 12.1%).
The largest decrease in Russian outbound flow compared to the first quarter of 2019 was demonstrated by China (-65,5%) and Mongolia (-31,1%). Departure of citizens of the Russian Federation to neighboring Poland, Lithuania, Estonia fell by 15%, 12% and 3,1% respectively.