Association of Tour Operators of Russia has announced the preliminary results of the summer season
Russian tourists prefer maximum economic trips this season, with minimum costs and guided tours. “It is now a mere fact – according to sociologic surveys, the Russians say they are not ready to spend anything for vacation and want to go to their country houses, but in reality they buy tours at the price no more than $600—700 per person”, said the executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) Maya Lomidze at the press conference “Tourist Season 2016: the Choice Made by Russians”. According to her, it is the most appropriate price for successful sales in the outbound tourism segment. At that, the Russians tend to reduce costs not only for the tour itself, but also for entertainment. ”In the past we used to speak about stable costs of about €500—700 per person a week in this or that country visited (all inclusive), but now the top limit is €500 — in other words, the less the better”, stated Lomidze. The executive director of ATOR also added that instead of one-week tours the Russians now choose maximum economical 5-day trips, with the least possible number of excursions. According to her, tourists from Russia are now interested in discounts for services provided locally.
ATOR highlighted the fact that the Russians now travel less with children. “Demand for such tours dropped down by 20 %, and they now account for 25 % of the total number of search requests. In June Russian travelers with children were more interested in spending their vacation in the home country. For instance, 31 % of users searching for tours to Russian resorts planned to go on holiday with children. When searching for tours abroad, only 24 % of users were accompanied by children”, mentioned ATOR experts. Based on the information provided by ATOR, the Russians now tend to give preference to 3-star hotels. Their share increased in June by 94 % as compared with the same period of 2015.
Due to impossibility to visit Turkish and Egyptian resorts, Mediterranean destinations – Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Italy – were in high demand this season. Insignificant increase was registered at Croatia and Montenegro resorts. Southeast Asia experienced the revival; it wasn’t popular for the last two years due to the crisis. The negative dynamics stopped this summer and these destinations were among the top ten. The highest demand growth (200 %) fell upon Tunisia. As it was mentioned early in August at ATOR’s website, the Russian tourist flow to Bulgaria increased by 63.7 % during five months of 2016. Cyprus (52,6 %) is on the second place. The third place belongs to Indonesia with 24.6 % increase of tourist flow. “Foreign tours to mass destinations were selling less. Potential tourists didn’t book trips in advance due to uncertain economic environment in the country. Early booking was done for domestic tours only”, states ATOR.
Egypt and Turkey lost about 90 % of Russian tourists this season. Following the results of five month, Israel was also on the negative side: the number of Russian tourists who visited it reduced by 24.5 %. The same trend was seen in Finland (23,8 %), Mauritius (23,4 %), Austria (21,3 %), Jamaican (20,4 %). Russian tourist flow to Sri Lanka reduced by approximately 14,6 %, to Switzerland and Hong Kong – by 13.4 %. Negative dynamics affected also Island (7,15 %), Seychelles (7 %) and Maldives (1 %).
At the same time, the number of Russian citizens spending vacation in the home country grew by 10 % as compared with the same period of the previous year. Ms. Lomidze emphasized that the domestic market has for the first time seen such trend as “migration of independent tourists to the organized segment”. “This means that tourists were gaining more from buying a tour from an operator than organizing it on their own”, she explained.