Most Popular Destinations of Russian Travelers

Gary Diskin - Mar 9, 2009

Many countries, not only in Europe, have already noticed the growing numbers of Russian tourists keen on seeing new places and visiting the must-see destinations portrayed in their travel guide. Last year the Russian outgoing tourism increased by 20.8 per cent. Besides sightseeing many Russians just love to spend their holidays by the sea enjoying the white sand beaches. No wonder that the most popular destinations during the Soviet era were Crimea and Sochi – today it is Turkey and Egypt. What other parts of the world enjoy the presence of the spendthrift Russian tourists? Check out this list by

1/ Turkey

1.983.400 Russian tourists

Turkey is a little bit ahead of Egypt due to its reputation of the country with “more European” lifestyle. It also lures Russians with its wider offer of luxury hotels and services. According to the Russian travelers their main reason to visit Turkey are quality services, sunny weather, family-friendly facilities, and no visa problems.

2/ China

1.530.300 Russian tourists

The Russian tour operators state that there has been 20-30 per cent annual growth of tourist’s stream to China since 2000. In 2008 the main aim to visit China was undoubtedly the Olympic Games in Beijing (Russia will host the Olympics in Sochi in 2014). The interest of Russians in China increased reputedly thanks to the marketing activities of the Tourism Administration of China in Moscow. The new direct flights to the beautiful Chinese island Hainan with its tropical beaches and lush forests however influenced the tourist numbers as well.

3/ Egypt

956.700 Russian tourists

With respect to Egypt Russians praise the country for its low prices, good climate and no problems with visa. As in Turkey the tourists buy visa directly at the airport. Egypt has become all-the-year-round destination for Russian tourists – in the summer there were only 7 per cent less tour packages sold compared to the winter season.

4/ Finland

530.400 Russian tourists

Last year, Finland was visited by about 20 per cent more Russian visitors than in 2007. The tour operators compliment the Finnish Center for Tourism Development for the growing popularity. Finland as a destination is also popular in both summer and winter.

5/ Italy

325.800 Russian tourists

This destination is becoming the most popular among countries where it is necessary to obtain visa. Last year the stream of Russian tourists increased by more that 35 per cent. Italy is popular especially for its beautiful beaches and a lot of tourists visit it more than twice. It is expected that the number of visitors will further grow due to new charter flights.

The numbers of outbound tourists cover the first 9 months of 2008 (source: Russian Union of Travel Industry)

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