Large losses of tourists can be felt in Russia itself. According to ATOR, the number of foreign travelers in Russia in 2022 decreased by 96,1% compared to pre-Covid figures. The start of the special operation and Western sanctions have made it difficult for both EU and US tourists to travel to Russia due to the flight restrictions and the inability to use Visa and Mastercard cards issued by foreign banks.
The Russian government is actively supporting the development of incoming tourism and is making efforts to attract foreign tourists. Currently, negotiations are underway on the cooperation of the Russian payment system Mir with the Indian analogue of RuPay, as well as on the abolition of visa requirements for visitors from some Arab and Latin American countries.
But Chinese tourists perceive Russia as a flourishing tourist destination. In February 2023, when anti-COVID restrictions were lifted, tourist groups from China began to visit Russia again. The return is being touted as a clear sign that Russia remains a thriving tourist destination.
According to the forecast of experts, the number of Chinese travelers in Russia may recover to pre-pandemic levels within three years. This inspires hope for the recovery and further growth of the tourism sector in the country.