MOSCOW, Russia – Russians now prefer to holiday in Thailand, Vietnam and India, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) has announced, referring to search requests entered on the Russian tourism travel portal – sletat.ru.
After air services were suspended with Egypt, and the recent cooling of Russian-Turkish relations, “resort” priorities of the few Russians who can afford trips abroad, have abruptly changed. Now the majority of search requests entered by Russian travelers no longer include the words Turkey and Egypt, as was the case just a few months ago, but Thailand, India and Vietnam.
In November 2015, only 13 countries of the Top-30, in terms of requests for tours, showed positive trends in demand, compared to October. Thailand is now the first choice, followed by India in second, and Vietnam in third place. The United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Israel, Mexico, Bulgaria, Andorra, Abkhazia, Austria, China, and Jordan follow as choices.
In November, the overall number of searches conducted by tourists and travel agencies however, declined almost 40 percent from October (last year, this seasonal decrease was only 15 percent).
Meanwhile, barely two percent of Russians are planning to celebrate the New Year abroad, while the rest will stay home. Of those staying in Russia, 70 percent plan to listen to the midnight chiming of the clock at home, while 24 percent will be visiting friends and relatives. These figures were unveiled in a new poll conducted by the Levada Center. There are even “hermits”, those who intend to meet the New Year all alone, but these account for only 2% of the population.