Chinese Tourists to Spend $1.1bn in Russia this year: Industry Group

A Russian travel association uniting some 200 companies working with the Chinese tourism market said on Sunday it expects Chinese tourists to spend more than 72 billion rubles ($1.1 billion) in Russia in 2019, Regnum reports.

World Without Borders based its forecast on the Bank of Russia’s official statistics for the first quarter of 2019. According to the central bank, Chinese citizens spent $264 million in Russia in January-March 2019 to outstrip visitors from other nations in terms of spending in the country.

According to the Russian border service, Chinese nationals made 342,000 trips to Russia in the first quarter of 2019.

“Preliminary estimates of the World Without Borders’ experts indicate that the number of tourism trips from China to Russia may reach 1.4-1.5 million. So, the overall volume of spending will be at least 1.1 billion US dollars or even more as tourists typically spend more money in high season,” the association said.

The tourist flow from China to Russia went up by 24.5% in the first six months of 2019 on the same period last year, the association said earlier.

Most popular cities are Moscow and St. Petersburg, where aggregate growth was 43%.

According to World Without Borders, last year Chinese citizens made more than 600,000 trips to Moscow and St. Petersburg in organized tourism groups. This figure shows an increase in flow of 19% compared with 2017 year.

The majority of Chinese tourists in 2018 entered the European part of our country through Moscow – about 400 thousand visits (+14.5%). More than 200,000 Chinese tourists (+29%) began to travel across Russia from the northern capital.