The number of international trips by Russian tourists in the first half of 2016 amounted to 13.2 million, which represents a decrease of 13.1% compared to the same period in 2015, according to data from Rosstat.
The top 10 most popular countries among Russians are: Abkhazia (1.5 million trips), Finland (1.26 million), Kazakhstan (1.25 million), Ukraine (816 thousand), China (712 thousand), Estonia (698 thousand), Poland (581 thousand), Germany (468 thousand), Thailand (441 thousand), and Spain (321 thousand).
Then follows Cyprus (314 thousand), Italy (313 thousand), Lithuania (303 thousand), Georgia (298 thousand), Azerbaijan (267 thousand), Greece (260 thousand), UAE (240 thousand), Tunisia (186 thousand), Bulgaria (182 thousand) and France (180 thousand).
Turkey and Egypt are the countries that have lost the Russian tourists the most. In 2015, Turkey was the second most popular destination for Russians with 1.36 million visits. This year the country has fallen to 22nd position with 168 thousand tourists (87.7% decrease). Egypt’s data haven’t been published by Rosstat, despite the fact that the country welcomed 1.26 million Russians in 2015. Other countries that have experienced a decrease in Russian tourists inflow are Finland (17%), Kazakhstan (11.5%), Poland (10.6%), Germany (10.5%) and Israel (10.2%).
On the other hand, some countries have experienced a significant increase. Countries such as Cyprus (almost 50%), China (+45%), Thailand (+24.2%), Bulgaria (+23.8%), Greece (+22.1%) and Abkhazia and Georgia (both 21.2%). Spain registered an increase of 14.6%; part of this increase is a result of the stagnation of outflow to Egypt and Turkey.
The main beneficiary of the situation in Egypt and Turkey is Tunisia. In the first half of 2015, 27.8 thousand Russian tourists visited the small African country. This year Tunisia registered 186 thousand Russian visits, which makes it an increase of almost 700%. All of this despite the fact that in 2015 the outflow to Tunisia decreased by 72% due to terrorist attacks.
For comparison it is necessary to add that in the first half of 2014 20.1 million Russians traveled abroad. In the same period last year, the outflow decreased by 24.4%.