South of France is preparing for the explosive growth of tourist traffic from Russia
Several airlines immediately announced new routes to France this year. In the summer season they will perform 15 additional flights to the south of the country a week. In this case the destination can count on the explosive growth of the tourist traffic.
A workshop of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region was held in Moscow with the participation of representatives of hotels, airlines, tourist offices of cities and resorts. The main theme of the working meeting was the previously unseen amount of air transportation to France, scheduled for the summer 2019.
For the first time, Aeroflot launches five direct flights a week from Moscow to Marseille-Provence Airport. On the same rout, starting from March 27, the French airline Aigle Azur began to operate flights twice a week.
The new flights of Ural Airlines from Zhukovsky Airport have been planned to Nice - two per week. And S7 enters on this rout with flights from Moscow (six a week) and St. Petersburg (two a week).
Ural Airlines also planned flights from Moscow to the cities of Montpellier (the capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region) and Bordeaux. Since June, the airline will have three flights a week in each point. At the same time, Aeroflot, as usual, will carry out 23 year-round flights a week to Nice from Moscow and six from St. Petersburg.
Marseille is now a rapidly growing tourist destination, the city hosts 5 million tourists a year, who spend at least one night there, and 2 million cruise ship passengers.
Managing Director of the Tourism Committee of the Cote d'Azur, Claire Bear, said that the region is visited annually by 11 million tourists, of which 56% are foreigners. In 2018, 230 thousand tourists from Russia visited here, 130 thousand of them stayed in hotels and apartments. On average, the Russians spend € 129 a day at the Cote d'Azur, and the average travel budget is € 1,150. The Russian market now is on the tenth position in the number of tourists, and until 2014 was on the sixth. At the same time, the tourist flow from Russia is gradually becoming less and less “from tour operators”.
Only about 15% of Russians come to us through tour operators, the rest - independently. Most recently, this ratio was opposite. 85% of the Russian flow arrives for the purpose of rest. First of all, they visit Nice, Cannes and Monaco. 21% of tourists from Russia choose the region’s ski resorts for recreation, primarily Isola 2000 and Oron.
Many cities on the Cote d'Azur are still undervalued by the Russians and could attract more tourists. These are, for example, Saint-Tropez or Antibes-Juan-les-Pins with an authentic atmosphere and architecture, where in addition to the famous five-star hotels there are affordable hotels and residences.
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.