Latest statistics on Russian outbound travel for the first 9 months of the year 2012 were published by the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation. According to officials, 37,299,930 Russians traveled abroad in the first 9 months of the year 2012, which is 10% more compared to the same period of 2011.
Apart from traditional summer destinations such as Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Spain, popular by Russians within the three summer months, increased numbers in Russian arrivals were recorded by long-haul, exotic, winter sun destinations which are preferred by Russians in autumn, winter, and spring.
According to the Central Bank of Dominican Republic, 69,537 Russian tourists visited the country in the first months of 2012, which is 53% more than in 2011. Also, 339,436 tourists from Russia came to UAE from January to September, which is 39% more than in 2011. A record increase of 41% was reported by the Philippines, and 21% by Cuba, etc.
The World Travel Organization reported that Russians spent 15% more on holidays in the first half of 2012. According to the Global Blue Refund, Russians are the second biggest spenders while traveling abroad, after Chinese. In Austria, for example, they spent 52.4 million euros in the first half of the year for shopping.
According to Euroexpo, the organizer of Russia’s most important autumn travel exhibition, Otdykh LEISURE (part of MATIW), the number of Russian travelers published for the first 9 months of the year 2012 just confirms the trends of the market. “We notice the trend and the increasing number of companies coming to explore the Russian market every year in September at our exhibitions, and the numbers we see are just the result of some great efforts of many national tourism boards in promoting their destination in Russia,” commented Ms. Ekaterina Kohlhauser, Director of Otdykh LEISURE Exhibition from the international office of Euroexpo in Vienna.
“National tourism boards and authorities create massive campaigns to attract Russian tourists. They consider a specialized travel exhibition as an integral part of their promotion and use it as a platform for negotiation, official meetings with the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation, for press conferences, etc. As the organizer of a leading industry event in Russia, we notice a growth in size of stands booked by the countries and a standing growth in number of co-exhibiting companies,” she said, “[The] Russian market has become a priority market for many tourism destinations. It is not always the number of tourists which is significant for defining this market as a priority one. For many exotic and long-haul destinations, it is first of all the quality and the spending power of visitors from Russia which is important,” explained Ms. Kohlhauser.