Turkey Remains the Most Popular Destination For 13 Years in a Row
According to Russian State Statistical Service (Rosstat), the Russians made 45 million 889 thousand trips abroad in 2014, which is 15% less than in 2013. 17 million 611.6 thousand of those trips were made with tourism purposes. Despite the very depressing situation in the Russian travel sector, the drop in the outbound tourist flow amounted to just 4% - the statistics shows. During the previous crisis year of 2009 the drop was significantly higher - 15.5%, while the tour operators reported a 20-30% decrease in sales; in 2014 it was sometimes reaching 50-80% depending on the destination.
One may suggest that independent online bookings, which were not that popular back in 2009, helped to keep the tourist flow afloat last year. But the severe drop in the demand for air travel does not support this suggestion. After all there is a good reason for some foreign airlines, namely Air Berlin, Czech Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Finnair, FlyDubai, Niki, Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Uzbekistan Airways to name a few, to cancel their services, decrease flight frequency or use smaller aircraft on their flights to Russia.
We would also like to note that downturns in the outbound tourist flow were recorded only twice: in 2009 and 2014. The average growth of international tourist departures from Russia over the past 10 years amounts to 11%, and to 14% - over the past 5 years.
Out 50 countries mentioned in the Rosstat's statistical breakdown, only 19 showed positive growth dynamics; two destinations remained at last year's level; and all the rest went down.