There is an increase in demand for package tours to Serbia in Russia
Last year was marked by the fall of the Russian tourist flow to Serbia. The beginning of 2019 is marked by a growing interest to this country from the part of customers of tour operators.
According to official Serbian statistics, in 2018 the number of tourist arrivals in the country increased by 14.2% in annual terms - up to 1.710 million. The key foreign markets for Serbia are Bosnia and Herzegovina (121 thousand arrivals), China (102 thousand) and Bulgaria (99.5 thousand). Turkey, Germany, Croatia and Romania follow behind.
The Russian tourist flow to Serbia in 2018 experienced a decline: according to the Border Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, the number of Russians who went to Serbia was 74,449 people last year, which is 8.2% less than in 2017. Traditionally, independent tourists dominate on the destination: experts believe that due to this segment the observed decline occurred. On the contrary, among tour operators engaged in Serbia, the demand for tours to Serbia has significantly increased over the past year.
The beginning of 2019 was no exception - market players note an increase in interest toward Serbia among Russian organized tourists. “Serbia is a country where it is possible and necessary to go, tourists began to be much more interested in the country – it is a fact,” says Irina Denisova, the head of Service Voyage tour operator.
The interest of tourists quite converts into sales of large market players. “From year to year the Serbian destination shows steady growth. This year the increase was about 20%,” says Anna Filatovskaya, the PR director of ICS Travel Group tour operator.
The obvious deterrent that brakes the growth of organized demand for Serbia in Russia is the high cost of airline tickets, tour operators believe. For example, the minimum cost of Aeroflot flight Moscow-Belgrade-Moscow is about 20 thousand Rubles (275 Euros) per person.
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.