Long-haul tours from Russia are being sold in accordance with the market situation: following a significant price rise amidst the currency exchange rate growth, the demand has gone at least 50% down. And the more affordable a destination the better it performs.
Middle-class hotels of Mauritius and the Seychelles have literally gone out of sight as tourists now go for either high-end hotels or to very cheap ones.
The Maldiviana Company's Head of Sales comments that Mauritius is now back to its boutique status. While sales of the Maldives and the Seychelles go slightly better. "In anticipation of a downturn on the Russian market, the hoteliers are offering various bonuses to their clients e.g. free nights, spa treatments, meals etc. Early booking discounts sometimes reach 40%."
The demand for exotic destinations among FITs remains on a rather decent. The Director General of the Art-Tour Company revealed that his company has bookings of Indian Ocean islands for up to June. However, he adds, peaks of sales have leveled-off; and the sales' dependence on long bank holiday periods has gone, too. The Maldives are in the lead followed by the Seychelles and Mauritius with the latter two on the same level.
Caribbean countries have also lost some of the tourist flow from Russia. In order to cut holiday expenses one can move from a 5-star hotel to a 3-star one. But the Russians are not ready lower their level of comfort and are more likely to go to a better hotel in the more affordable Egypt or even stay at home. The sales of packages to Dominican Republic and Cuba have gone 50% down when compared to the previous year.
This season Aeroflot's direct services to the Maldives have become less frequent: two weekly flights instead of four. Transaero continues its operation on the destination without changes - twice weekly. Allegedly the latter intends to launch a flight program from Moscow to Mauritius, similar to the one it had last year.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.