Tour operators record a significant decrease of the demand for tours to Europe
Tour operators record a significant decrease of the demand for tours to Europe for the New Year holidays and in general for the winter season 2022-2023. There are three main reasons: difficulties to obtain visas, blocking of Russian bank cards abroad, as well as the lack of direct flights.
The difficult logistics of existing flights with connections in third countries and the high prices for air tickets, which are often 2-3 times higher than the cost of the vacation itself, have become a barrier for most tourists who previously traveled to Europe for the winter holidays.
According to ticket aggregators, tickets from Moscow to Paris for the New Year holidays with one convenient change (departure on December 30, return on January 8) start from $ 2 565 RT per passenger, to Rome - from $ 1 490, to Barcelona - from $ 3 350.
Now, the share of Europe in total sales for the New Year does not exceed 10%, the demand for trips to Europe has fallen by 2-3 times, and in comparison with the pre-pandemic year of 2019, by dozens of times.
“If in 2019, a month before the New Year, we received from 50 to 100 applications per day for Europe, now this volume seems fantastic with the current 10-15 requests per week,” the tour operators said.
Nevertheless, despite all the inconveniences with flights and difficulties in obtaining a Schengen visa, Russian tourists are going to Europe this winter, mostly - for ski resorts.
As per the estimates of the tour operator companies Bsi Group, Vedi Group, Pac Group, Kmp Group and Russian Express, France, Italy and Switzerland are in the top demand. Russians book mainly ski tours on these resorts.
Russian tourists are also interested in tours to Austria (skiing and sightseeing programs), Hungary (city tours, excursions and holidays at health resorts) and Spain (city tours and sightseeing tours).