Rosstat: the number of foreign trips of Russians decreased by 8% in 2016
“The number of abroad trips of Russian citizens in 2016 was 31.7 million, which is 7.9% lower than in the previous year, but the rate of decline of the tourist flow is slowing down”, - according to Rosstat data published on the agency's website.
The list of the most popular countries among Russian tourist includes Abkhazia (4.3 million trips), Finland (2.9 million), Kazakhstan (2.8 million), Ukraine (1.8 million), China (1.6 million). Additionally Estonia (1.5 million), Germany (1.1 million), Poland (1.1 million), Thailand (867,000) and Cyprus (813,000) are also in demand.
The second Top Ten list includes Turkey (797,000), Spain (790,000), Greece (782,000), Georgia (742,000), Italy (710,000), Lithuania (693,000), Azerbaijan (627,000), Tunisia (624,000), Bulgaria (535 thousand) and United Arab Emirates (499 thousand).
Turkey and Egypt lost the most Russian tourists in 2016. In 2015 Turkey was on the second place, hosted 3.46 million Russians. In 2016, it was on the 11-th place, the number of arrived Russians decreased by almost 77%. But it should be noted that in the first half of the year the country was only on the 22-nd place with a result of 168 thousand tourists (the decrease was 88%), but in the second half of the year - when the direction was opened for the charter flights at the end of August – Turkey hosted almost 630 thousand Russians.
According to Egypt, which in 2015 hosted 2.2 million Russian tourists, Rosstat does not even give figures. Also, decreased the tourists flow to Poland, Germany, Finland, Lithuania.
The most impressive increase of tourist flow was shown by Cyprus (plus 47.8%), China (plus 30.5%), Bulgaria (plus 29.5%), Thailand (plus 28.4%), Greece (plus 23.3%). Spain and Georgia had an increase of almost 14%, Abkhazia 11%, Italy 7%. Some of these directions have clearly benefited from the closure of Turkey and Egypt.
As noted in the Russian Union of Travel Industry, 2015 was the most difficult for the entire history of the private tourist business in Russia. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the segment of foreign tourism has only grown in Russia, but in 2015 it declined by all indicators.
Strengthening of the Ruble in early 2017 and the opening of Turkey, apparently, can further develop a trend of increasing of out coming tourist flow and lead to its stabilization and even growth. At least, the tour operators are noting a significant increase of the volume of foreign tours bookings for holidays and for the summer dates.