INBOUND TOURISM IN RUSSIA – 30 TIMES LOWER THAN IN 2019

Laura Maudlin - Sep 13, 2021
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The situation in the tourism industry in Russia continues to be worrying. The most recent data on inbound tourism in Russia show that the number of foreign visitors has decreased by 30 times. The main tourist flow is coming from the Persian Gulf, Germany and France.

As indicated by local experts, inbound tourism in Russia generated an income of about $12 billion per year before the pandemic. The hope is to recover by 2023 and even achieve greater income.

However, for this, it is necessary to advertise the country at international exhibitions and forums and improve the PR campaign of Russia as a destination abroad.

Competitive Advantage

Nevertheless, the Russian Union of Travel Industry is optimistic with regards to the future, as evidenced by the words of the President of the organization Andrei Ignatiev.

“Today tourists from 55 countries can come to us. We must open the borders, learn how to correctly offer a product and, of course, develop the infrastructure,” he said.

“Moreover, we have a competitive advantage, because we were one of the first countries to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 and we are using it successfully. On this basis, even vaccine tourism occurred,” Ignatiev added.

Moscow Attracts Young and Active Travelers

It is no surprise that Moscow remains the most popular destination in the country and is the main stimulator of inbound tourism in Russia. Many people have the capital on their bucket list, but what exactly is the “prototype” of a Moscow visitor from abroad?

Experts note that the typical visitor is a young and active traveler between 25 and 45 years old, with about 70 % foreign tourists matching this identikit.

Moreover, foreign guests usually prepare well in advance for their trip to Moscow, about 2-3 months. They stay in the capital for seven to eight days.

In particular, residents of Germany come to Moscow for new experiences and knowledge, Italians and Spanish mainly for entertainment, and the French just want to change their surroundings and relax.

Plan for Further Tourism Development

In the meantime, Russian authorities have prepared a plan to stimulate tourism in the country during the upcoming years. This plan includes measures to support businesses and stimulate demand as well as activities to advertise the tourism potential of individual regions.

For example, the construction and reconstruction of tourism infrastructure are planned and will be co-financed from regional and federal budgets. The selection of investment projects will be held at the end of next year.

Moreover, tourism businesses will receive preferential loans for the construction of hotels, with applications currently being collected. Loans will be issued at 3-5% per annum for up to 15 years.

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