Outbound tourist flow from Russia increased by 6.67% in the first half of the year
These are the latest data from the Border Service of FSB (the Russian Federal Security Service). In total, in January-June 2019, citizens of the Russian Federation made 21 212 095 trips abroad. This is 6.67% more than in the same period last year. Turkey became the leader of outbound tourism, Italy is growing rapidly and tourist flow to Thailand has slightly decreased.
In the first half of 2019, TOP-5 leaders of departure (in the “overall number”) includes such countries as Turkey (2 741 934 trips, an increase of + 16.13% in annual terms), Abkhazia (1 857 602 trips, + 5.8%), Finland (1 797 407 trips, + 5.17%), Kazakhstan (1 490 519 trips, + 7.34%) and China (1 208 335 trips, + 15.8%). In the TOP-10 are also Ukraine, Estonia, Germany, Thailand, and Georgia.
According to FSB Border Service, 36.56% out of 21 212 095 abroad trips (made by the Russians in the first half of 2019) were made to the countries of the former Soviet Union, including the Baltic states. Of these, the most significant growth in annual terms in January-June was demonstrated by such countries as Georgia (+ 29.15%) and Uzbekistan (+ 39.4%). It should be noted that in these destinations a significant part of the flow is made by tourists, while for most post-Soviet countries, including the Baltic States, the basis of the outgoing flow includes private visits and visits for personal shopping. The Russian outgoing flow in such countries as Moldova, Estonia, Ukraine, Turkmenistan decreased and in Lithuania remained at the same level.
In the first half of the year, another 16.75% of the exit flow is for such border countries as China, Poland and Finland. The share of tourists in these areas, with the exception of China, is not very significant. In Poland, Finland and China, multiple border crossings predominate in the exit stream with the purpose of personal shopping and commerce.
The remaining 46.69% of the outbound tourist flow are for non-CIS countries. In these areas, the share of tourists is the highest and almost everywhere forms the basis of the flow. In annual terms, the tourist flow to the TOP-25 exit destinations of the “far abroad” grew by 6.78% —that is, the growth rate is not much higher than the general one.
ATOR experts note that the full picture of the dynamics of outbound tourist flow to the mass beach destinations will become clear following the results of three quarters of 2019, when July, August and September will be included in the statistics.
In total, in the TOP-10 tourist destinations of non-CIS countries, the Russians made 7 million trips (or a third of their total volume in the first half of the year).
In TOP-20, 15 countries showed an increase. Montenegro showed the best growth indicators in the first half of the year (+ 50%). Italy and Turkey are also the most dynamically growing countries. From European beach destinations, growth is noted in Spain and Cyprus, in Asia - beach Vietnam and China (Hainan) are growing. Israel and Tunisia are almost at the level of the last year, according to the results of the first half of the year.
From non-beach countries, statistics from FSB border service record a significant increase of interest to the Netherlands and Great Britain as well as to France.
The fall in the first two quarters of the year can be seen in Thailand, the UAE (including transit), Bulgaria and Greece. Obviously, there is the influence of growing Turkey, as well as Montenegro, Spain and Cyprus.
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.