Tourists from China, Germany and the USA are in the lead in the number of trips to Russia in 2015
Inbound tourist flow to Russia grew by 13.7% in 2015 to 2.93 million visits, the leaders in the number of tourists were China, Germany and the United States, the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry Irina Turina reported, with reference to the data of Russian Statistics Service.
«In 2015, Russia was visited by 2.93 million foreign tourists. This is 13.7% more than the year before. The main reason was the weak ruble, because of reducin rate of the ruble against foreign currencies trips to Russia for the international tourists were very cheap. Accordingly, the pent-up demand was realized, since many had a long-standing interest in Russia. Moreover, people were able to afford better accommodation in Moscow and in St. Petersburg," she said.
China tops the list of destinations from where most tourists come to Russia. Their number amounted to 677.6 thousand. (+ 65.3%). Germany (358.1 thousand trips, + 2.5%.) is on the second place, US (165.1 thousand, + 2%.) is on the third place. Turkey, despite a decline in performance at the end of the year, rose to the fourth place (139.3 thousand. + 3.4%). Israel (127 thous., + 17.7%) is on the fifth place.
According to Irina Tyurina, the number of tourists from Turkey increased in the last 3-4 years, and grew by 15.6% over the first 9 months of 2015. But as a result of the sanctions imposed against Turkey in November and December at the end of the year, this growth fell to 3.4%.
Among the countries showing the largest increase in tourism in Russia, Iran took the first place (35.4 thousand trips, + 106%). Tourists from this country went to Moscow and St. Petersburg in large groups, bought a lot of excursions. Thailand (21.5 thousand visits, + 57%.) is on the second place, and India (27.8 thousand, + 70%.) is on the third place. The number of tourists from South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, Spain and Hong Kong also grew rather significantly.
"Spain is the only country in Europe, from which the flow of tourists to Russia has grown significantly, by 31%. Tour operators explain this not only favorable euro exchange rate, but also good political background, the absence of hostility to Russia at the state level. This allowed the Spanish tourist flow not only to recover from a serious fall (-15%) in 2014, but added seriously, « Tyurina said.
From other European countries the situation is worse. The flow of tourists from Poland, the Netherlands, UK, France, Finland, Austria and Denmark have decreased. But according to Irina Tyurina, in the second half of the year, the decline in tourist traffic for some countries was less than in the first.