The Russian tourism industry has reported the first signs of recovery after the Covid crisis. According to experts, despite a clearly negative year in 2020, the tourism sector is currently seeing a certain effect of deferred demand. Generally, about 7-8 million Russians are estimated to relax abroad this year. This is four times more than in 2020.
Approximately 70 % of the expected income of companies in the tourism sector were lost. However, thanks to cost cuts, the overall financial picture on an annualized basis does not seem so dire. Moreover, experts agree that a certain proportion of travel agencies have been forced to shut down, but those market players who “survived” were able to sell even more than before.
7-8 Million Russians to Travel Abroad
Countries that have opened up to tourists are trying to take advantage of the travel desire of Russian citizens. The most attractive destinations for Russians are the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives. These destinations have successfully been capable of luring Russian tourists with reasonable prices and a high-quality product.
Despite this positive trend, Turkey will still likely remain the most popular country for Russian tourists in 2021. The outflow is also likely to be relatively high to classic destinations such as Greece, Tunisia and Cyprus, but only if the respective countries open their borders.
For now, however, domestic tourism will remain the preferred solution in Russia, as 75-80 % of people are keen on this type of travel this year. In this context, it is reported that domestic tourism could grow by 10-15 % this year.
Cashback Program Continues
To try and further enhance this growth further, the Russian government has launched the third stage of its cashback program.
The conditions of the program remain the same as in the first two stages. Tourists will receive 20 % of the cost of the tour or accommodation within the country. The maximum returned amount is 20 thousand rubles, and it is possible to travel to any region of the Russian Federation.
According to the authorities of the Russian tourism industry, 40 % more partners are participating in the third stage of the program. This amounts to about 3.5 thousand hotels, tour operators and service aggregators.