Leading Destination from Russia in 2019: Turkey is unbeatable, Italy is the second
Turkey has become an almost year-round holiday destination for Russians. The introduction of a hotel tax in the country is unlikely to affect demand, as the executive director of the Association of Russian Tour Operators (ATOR) Maya Lomidze told, summing up the results of 2019. “In outbound tourism, we see an increase from 5 to 20% on different destinations. The leading countries have not changed. Turkey is the leader and by the end of the year will host about 6 million Russians. The vast majority of the destination is clients of travel agencies. Turkey has become a year-round resort: beach tours are sold until November and sightseeing trips - in the off-season and New Year's dates. The charters to Istanbul from seven Russian cities are loaded very well,” said M. Lomidze.
She emphasized that none of the foreign countries has a comparable flow, the gap with the closest competitors is enormous. “On the second line after Turkey is Italy, which will host just over a million tourists. Spain and Thailand will have about the same number, Greece will not reach a million. Italy is the leader in terms of growth dynamics, and the breakthrough came both from organized and independent tourists,” the expert added.
Lomidze stated that the introduction of a hotel tax of 2% for the room in Turkey from April 1, 2020 is unlikely to affect the demand. According to her, the ATOR does not expect a decrease of the interest of Russian tourists for Turkey, since there are no prerequisites for this trend.