Tourist arrivals in Russia fell by 31 times in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, according to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR), citing statistics from the Russian Federation’s Federal Security Service, Vedomosti reports.
“In all, 64,400 foreigners visited Russia for tourist purposes in the first half of 2021. The tourist flow in the same period in 2020 was 322,800, while in 2019 it was over 2 million.
“When compared to the pre-pandemic period, inbound tourist flow fell 31 times,” noted ATOR Bulletin in a statement.
Tourists from Cuba visited Russia the most frequently in the first half of the year – 20,500 residents. In the first six months of 2019, 10,600 Cubans visited the Russian Federation for tourism purposes, with a further 4,200 expected to come in 2020. At the same time, tour companies failed to recognize Cuban residents’ need for trips in Russia. Market players believe that this movement is in transit. The second possibility is a statistical or technological mistake (for example, students were counted as tourists),” according to the group.
Tourists from the UAE, Turkey, Germany, Serbia, India, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Qatar, and South Korea were also among the most frequent visitors to Russia. In six months, 25 Chinese tourists came in Russia, while 592,000 arriving in the first half of 2019. According to ATOR, from January to June 2021, over 5 million foreign visitors visited Russia for various purposes, compared to around 6 million in the same time in 2020 and 15 million in the first half of 2019.