The recovery of the Russian demand for tourism, especially for traveling abroad, in 2017, indicates the revival of the economy, the experts observe in the new bulletin issue about the current trends in the Russian economy. Other important reasons are the renewal of charter air travel to Turkey and the development of Russian civil aviation.
"By the beginning of 2017, the volume of tourist services in Russia decreased by 30% as compared to the level of the beginning of 2014", the analysts write. "At the same time, in 1Q 2017, the volume of the tourist services in Russia reached its local minimum and returned to fast recovery growth. In September 2017, it got back to the level of September 2015.
According to specialists, during the economic downturn, the population saves on tour operator services, which includes independent travel planning and switch to internal tourism. Against the static total level of services during the entire recession period, the usage of hotel services increased significantly (+30% by mid-2017 to the level of 2013-2014). The volume of health resort services increased in 2015-2016, but in 2017, in connection with the renewal of charter flights to Turkey, it returned to the level of 2013, and only in the second half of 2017, it returned to growth.
In the first half-year 2017, according to Russian Federal Service for State Statistics, the total number of the Russians traveling abroad reached 17,1 million, having increased by 28.9% on a year-on-year basis because of a low base. The most popular destinations, which account for 47.1% of international trips, are Abkhazia (1.7 million trips), Turkey (1.6 million), Finland (1.5 million), Kazakhstan (1.3 million), Ukraine (1.0 million) and China (1.0 million). Tourist trips account for 36.3% of all trips, the experts note. According to the Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, the number of outgoing tourist trips increased by 56.5% on a year-on-year basis, up to 6.2 million trips. The main contribution to the trends was made by the increase of the tourist flow to Turkey up to 1.2 million.
As for the incoming flow of foreign citizens for tourism purposes, in the first half-year, it reached 1.4 million people. Chinese tourists became the leaders of entrance; their number increased up to 363.7 people (+32% on a year-on-year basis). They are followed by Germany — up to 156 thousand tourists (+10%) and the USA — up to 95.3 thousand people (+30%).
More details to be found in the bulletin "Recovery of Demand for Tourist Services in Russia."
For the other bulletins on the current trends in the Russian economy, please see Publications.