Outbound tourist flow in the I quarter of 2019: where did the Russians rest in winter
According to the Border Service of Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, in the first quarter of 2019 the Russians made 8,388,716 visits to 175 countries and territories of the world, which is 4.08% more than in the same period of 2018. A number of popular winter destinations showed a fall.
Outbound flow from the Russian Federation grew by 4.08% compared with January-March 2018, but its growth rates slowed down as expected (in the I quarter of 2018 outbound flow from Russia increased by 11,5% in comparison with the same period of the previous year).
Of the 8 million 389 thousand trips of Russians in January-March 2019, 56.6% were made to the post-Soviet and bordering countries (China, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Mongolia, Poland). A year earlier, this share was 58.5%. The increase in outbound flow to the bordering countries and the CIS countries amounted to only 1.16% in annual terms.
The main contribution to this increase was made by China, Abkhazia and Georgia, where a significant proportion of Russian travels are not related to tourism (in relation to Abkhazia in the winter season almost all trips are cross-border movements of Abkhaz citizens with Russian passports).
From this block of countries, the largest decrease in the number of Russian visits was demonstrated by Ukraine (-8.3%, 391 thousand visits by Russian citizens in January-March against 426 thousand a year earlier over the same period).
Based on the data of the Border Guard Service of FSB of Russia, the outbound tourist flow in the first quarter of 2019 grew by 8.2% in annual terms and a significant part of the trips were with tourists purpose. The leader of outbound tourist traffic is expectedly Thailand (515,120 trips in January-March).
On the second position in winter, thanks to the increase in the volume of charter programs of tour operators, is Turkey with 360,779 trips over the first three months of 2019. Germany is on the third line with 340,092 trips from Russia. The TOP-10 also includes the UAE (325,549 visits), Italy (282,105), Vietnam (197,034), Spain (156,375), Czech Republic (121,159), France (113,837) and India (97,887 trips from the Russian Federation).