According to Rostourism, Russians made 56 million domestic tourist trips in 2021. This means that the domestic tourist flow has recovered by 90% compared to the period before the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the same time, there are regions where the 2021 data even surpassed the pre-pandemic ones. These are Crimea, the Krasnodar region, as well as Altai, Kamchatka, Kaliningrad, Karelia, Sakhalin, Murmansk, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria and some others.
In this context, experts have compiled a ranking of Russian regions based on their tourist attractiveness. Among the evaluation criteria are the number of accommodation facilities, the number of tourists accommodated in them, as well as the contribution of tourism to GDP.
Krasnodar on Top, Samara Closes Top 10
The top 10 regions are the Krasnodar region, the Moscow region, Moscow, Crimea, St. Petersburg, Primorsky Krai, the Altai region, the Republic of Tatarstan, the Nizhny Novgorod region and the Samara region.
The compilers of the rating evaluated the regions’ tourist appeal according to nine criteria. These are the level of development of the tourism industry and hotel infrastructure, including the number of accommodation facilities, catering establishments and travel agencies.
Other factors included the profitability of tourism and hospitality, including the income of collective accommodation facilities and the volume of paid tourist services to the population, overnight stays of Russians and foreigners as well as the number of cultural heritage sites and the level of crime.
Russians Not Afraid to Travel
The above-mentioned data clearly show that Russians are not afraid to travel, despite the rapid spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Further information confirms this trend: in 2021 more than a third of Russians began to travel more often than in 2020.
And the regional popularity pretty much replicates the tourist attractiveness ranking shown above, with Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Krasnodar region and Crimea being on top of the popularity list.
The latter two especially attracted many visitors during the summer season due to the vast popularity of the Black Sea coast, but also during the winter due to the winter sports cluster created in the region during the 2014 Olympic games. The Krasnodar region, for example, welcomed about 16.5 million tourists.
Krasnodar Expects 17 Million Tourists in 2022
And the most attractive region in Russia seems to be ready to welcome many tourists even this year. According to initial estimates, at least 17 million visitors are expected in the region in 2022.
As noted above, a significant amount of the tourist flow amounted to the off-season – approximately 40 %, with many tourists arriving during the New Year holidays. And the task of the local government is to increase this share up to 50 %.
It remains to be seen if the Krasnodar region is able to reach this objective, but at this point, it seems quite safe to say that the enthusiasm of holidaymakers is clear and evident and will likely persist throughout 2022.
Top 10 Tourist Regions in Russia by Tourist Attractiveness
1. Krasnodar Territory
2. Moscow region
5. St. Petersburg
6. Primorsky Krai
7. Altai Territory
8. Republic of Tatarstan
9. Nizhny Novgorod region
10. Samara region