The expenses of Russian tourists on holidays abroad this year amounted to 31 billion rubles (about 345 mln. EUR). Russian outbound tourism thus decreased by 61% compared to last year.
These data come from VTB Bank, one of the leading universal banks in Russia, which analyzed the statistics of card transactions of their clients during their trips abroad in 2020.
Data by Countries
The smallest decline was recorded in countries that opened for Russian tourists in the summer and autumn and do not require mandatory quarantine after arrival. This is the case of Turkey, Belarus and the Maldives.
Expenses of the bank’s clients in the Maldives decreased by 20%, in Belarus by 29% and in Turkey and Egypt by 40%.
At the same time, however, Turkey rose to second place among the countries with the highest expenditure among clients, ahead of Spain, France and Germany. Italy remained the country with the highest expenditure, although it decreased by 73% year-on-year to 3.1 billion rubles.
The most significant decrease in expenditure (78%) was registered in Japan, which allowed entry from November 1 only to citizens and residents.
Data by Area of Expenditure
Most of all, VTB’s clients reduced spending on domestic flights and rail travel (a decrease of about 70% in most open countries), preferring to travel by car.
Least of all, Russians saved on hotels and restaurants. For example, in Turkey, the decrease compared to last year in these categories was 17% and 11%, respectively.
The report also came with an interesting specificity in Russian outbound tourism. VTB noted that Muscovites (residents of Moscow) have reduced their expenditure abroad to a lesser extent compared to other residents of the country.
In the 11 months of this year, the spending by Muscovite clients of the bank decreased by 43% (to 4.4 billion rubles) year-on-year.
The expenditure fell most significantly in the entertainment segment (cinema, theatres and concerts) and on rail and air tickets. Least of all there decreased the expenses in foreign supermarkets and gas stations.
Closed Borders but Also Social Distancing
“The pandemic this year has become the main factor affecting the tourist sentiment of Russians. They are stopped not only by the closed borders of most countries but also by the desire to protect themselves from unnecessary countries,” said Ksenia Andreeva, Head of Debit Cards and Accounts at VTB.
“Although in autumn Russia continued to resume flights with certain countries, the traditionally high pre-New Year season will not change the negative dynamics at the end of the year,” she added.