The total flow of foreign citizens into Russia in the first half of 2019 practically did not increase - the annual growth amounted to 0,78%. But, the tourist flow of classical tourists from Europe and Asia is growing rapidly.
The border service of the FSB (the Russian Federal Security Service) has published data on arrivals of foreign citizens into Russia. In total, in the first half of 2019, 15 073 826 foreign citizens entered the Russian Federation, which is only 0,78% (11 781 people) more than in the first half of 2018. The five leaders in absolute figures of arrivals included such countries (in descending order) as Ukraine (3 896 310 people, a decrease of -9,1%), Kazakhstan (1 930 964, + 2,03%), Uzbekistan (1 436 585, + 16,51%), China (959 817 people, + 15,88%) and Tajikistan (836 953, + 26,68%). In the TOP-10 they are followed by Azerbaijan, Finland, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Poland.
It should be noted that, with the exception of China, almost the entire incoming flow from these countries is non-tourist (personal visits, labor migration, visits for shopping and commerce). At the same time a decrease in the volume of incoming flow (compared to the first half of last year) was demonstrated by such post-Soviet and border countries as Ukraine (-9,1%), Finland (-6,8%), Armenia (-2,5%), Poland ( -7,3%), Moldova (-13,85%) and Lithuania (-6,73%). In total, 515 800 people less arrived from these countries than in the same period of 2018.
The statistics of the FSB Border Service clearly distinguishes those who entered the territory of the country with the purpose of tourism. In the first half of 2019, there were 1 967 221 of such foreigners. This is 24,97% more than in the first half of 2018 (1 574 113).
Besides of dozens of leaders, the growth in tourist flow was also shown by such markets as Thailand (30,7 thousand tourists, + 28,46%), Japan (29,5 thousand, + 54,96%), Turkey (23,4 thousand, + 8,83%), Australia (23,3 thousand, + 10,64%), Canada (18 thousand, + 3,44%), the Netherlands (16,7 thousand, +12,06%), Switzerland (13,9 thousand, + 16,8%), Austria (13,7 thousand, + 32%), Belgium (10,6 thousand, + 19,14%), Cuba ( 10,5 thousand, + 2,9%) and Hong Kong (10,2 thousand, +11,05).