The border service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation has published data on the departure of Russian citizens abroad in 2018. According to the data, in 2018 Russian citizens made 44 551 092 trips outside the Russian Federation. This is 6,1% more than in 2017 (41 987 245 trips). The structure of the overall exit flow is generally similar to last year’s ones. In 2018, 10 332 137 visits of Russian citizens were made in the countries, bordering with Russia - China, Mongolia, Poland, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which is 0.9% more than the last year.
Mostly, as before, the Russians traveled to these countries for non-tourist purposes. Finland is the leader - 3,671 million trips (only 271 thousand of them indicated “tourism”), then - China 2.251 million trips (739 thousand of trips for the purpose of “tourism”), the third is Estonia - 1.8 million trips (of which 29 thousand are for the purpose of “tourism”).
Compared with 2017, the number of trips of Russian citizens to Poland decreased by 11%, outbound flow to Mongolia increased by 22%. China showed an overall increase of 2.03%, but at the same time, in 2018, the number of Russians who traveled to China and indicated their “tourism” as a goal, decreased by 14.6%, which is probably due to the well-known difficulties of Hainan direction. At the same time, the number of Russians in such outbound destinations as Latvia and Estonia grew by 11 and 16%, respectively.
As for the outbound flow to far abroad countries, in 2018 its share in the total number of trips amounted almost a half (45.7%) of the total number of trips. In total, the Russians made 20,353,710 trips to these countries last year, which is 10.8% more than in 2017. Mostly the Russians traveled to these countries for tourism purposes, including business tourism.
In 2018 the TOP-10 of far abroad countries, with the exception of the border states, included:
Turkey (5, 901 million trips, + 26.64% against 2017)
Germany (1, 408 million, + 5.9%)
Thailand (1, 224 million, + 7.4%)
Italy (1.167 million, + 22%)
Spain (1, 015 million, + 3.70%)
UAE (966 thousand + 23.25%)
Cyprus (867 thousand - 4.70%)
Greece (839 thousand, -5.45%)
Tunisia (632 thousand, + 17.60%
Vietnam (556 thousand, + 3.80%).
These TOP 10 countries accounts 71.62% of the total outbound Russian tourist flow to far-abroad countries (with the exception of border countries) or 47.5% of the total outbound flow to foreign countries (with the exception of post-Soviet countries).
In the second ten countries are the Czech Republic (523 thousand trips, - 0.1% against 2017), France (516 thousand, + 1.70%), Bulgaria (457 thousand, - 9.3%), Israel ( 387 thousand, + 0.2%), Montenegro (297 thousand - 6.5%), South Korea (292 thousand, + 4.7%), Great Britain (277.6 thousand, + 0.05% ), Austria (267.2 thousand + 1.2%), the Netherlands (247.6 thousand + 1.4%), USA (245.5 thousand, - 8.8%).
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.