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HOTEL, TOURISM & LEISURE

Russian Tourism: Increase in Demand for Holidays in Cyprus and Greece

Russian Tourism: Increase in Demand for Holidays in Cyprus and Greece

Russian tour operators report an increase in demand for holidays in May compared with last year, 10-15% for foreign destinations and up to 20% on tours in Russia, according to Tornos News. Top choices are resorts in Krasnodar region, the Crimea, Moscow, and St. Petersburg, the Golden Ring routes and river cruises. Top outbound destinations include Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Italy and France.

Despite the small volume of sales, market players expect that demand will eventually increase, due to a larger number of bookings of tours in Russia, travel to visa-free countries, such as Serbia and Montenegro, to destinations with facilitated visa procedures such as Cyprus and countries in Southeast Asia. "The direction of the Southeast Asian demand clearly shifted: now tours are bought even at the last moment, since the majority of countries in the region virtually visa-free," KMP Group notes.

Natalia Litvinenko, Deputy Director of Sales for "Russian Express" explains, "Many tourists are not yet sure of their plans. There is a category of tourists, who are waiting for "last minute prices" for tours. So, we expect that demand will peak after April 15 and the active sales period will continue through to the end of April. "

The same point of view is held by representatives of the national operator ALEANA: "In the next ten days, we expect the next surge in bookings".

The duration of vacations varies with different destinations. For tours in Europe, Russians prefer 3-7 days, for European seaside resorts 5-7 days, for tours in Southeast Asia countries 9-10 days. Cost naturally depends on choice of destination and duration of vacation. On average, it ranges from €600 to €1,500 per person, including airfare. The most popular departure dates both abroad and in Russia are 29 and 30 April.

In Russia, tours typically last from 3-4 days to a maximum of 7-10 days. "The most popular tour duration is 4 days. There is great demand for arrivals from 30 April to 3 May. Nevertheless, a lot of travellers are choosing seven-day duration, " ALEANA staff report.

According to the German tour operator, the market is mainly affected by the absence of the two destinations that have been leaders in the past year, Turkey and Egypt. "For May holidays in 2015, these areas were the leaders in demand, followed by Italy, Cyprus, Greece. This year, these three destinations, Cyprus, Italy and Greece have taken the lead. Cyprus has become more popular as an alternative to other warm countries, and excursions to Italy during this period remains always in demand," TUI Russia says. Finally, this year most tourists travelling to foreign destinations, select budget accommodations and reduce duration of travel.

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