Turkish Resorts Still Popular among Russian Tourists

Turkey remains the most popular destination for Russian tourists, and this year up to 5 million Russians are expected to visit the country, compared to 4.7 million people a year earlier, industry actors have said, noting a slower growth to packages sold to domestic resorts.

Experts told Vedomosti that by the end of 2018, sales of package tours to domestic resorts will remain at last year’s level and might even decline.

In 2015 and 2016, sales of Russian resorts grew by 30-35%, Executive Director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) Maya Lomidze told the newspaper.

This was a great time for the domestic market, because of the ruble’s devaluation, foreign resorts doubled in price, and along with the closure of key tourist destinations – Egypt and Turkey – the Russian market received an additional 5 million travellers. Now the market is evening out, the newspaper says. All key Russian destinations saw a decline in visitors, except for Sochi, which saw a 5% increase in sales as a travel destination.

By contrast, the number of people travelling abroad will likely grow by 10-15%, co-founder of Onlinetours.ru service Konstantin Pobedkin told Vedomosti. According to him, people finally feel financial stability.

Greece and Cyprus are also among the top destinations for Russian tourists.

According to Ilya Umansky, General Director of the Alean tour company, a price hike on tours to Turkey might be the sole reason for an increase of domestic tours sales in 2018.

However, according to experts, from the “price-quality” perspective, tourist services in Russia are inferior to Turkey’s and Russia lacks quality infrastructure. Russians might be willing to explore Russia, but they want to good service, the report says.