25% rise in Russian outbound trips in 2017

“A ground-breaking year for outbound tourism,” was how Maya Lomidze, Director of the Russian Tour Operators Association (ATOR) described 2017.

40 million foreign tourist trips were made by Russian citizens throughout the year, according to Rosstat’s final statistics for the outbound Russian market in 2017. This is an impressive 25% more than in 2016, proving that the market is certainly bouncing back.

The stabilisation of the rouble, deferred demand, extended flight programmes, and an increasing number of countries available visa-free to Russian citizens have all led to more Russians spending their holidays abroad.

So, where did Russian tourists go?

Turkey’s return to the market after the charter flight ban in 2016 made serious waves on the outbound Russian market. It returned as the most popular country for Russian tourists, who made 4.5 million trips to the country, matching 2014 levels.

The most popular countries for Russian tourists in 2017 were:

Turkey (4.52 million trips)
Finland (3.33 million)
Kazakhstan (2.98 million)
Ukraine (2.28 million)
China (2 million)
Estonia (1.73 million)
Poland (1.23 million)
Belarus (1.23 million)
Germany (1.23 million)
These were followed by Thailand, 1,094,000 (+26%), Georgia, 1,003,000 (+35%), Spain, 929,000 (+18%), Italy, 893,000 (+26%), Cyprus, 869,000 (+7%), Greece, 856,000 (+10%), UAE, 766,000 (+54%), and Azerbaijan, 736,000 (+18%).

Other destinations showing significant growth include Portugal (+88%), Dominican Republic (+74%), Cuba (+67%), Jordan (+53%), Japan (+38%), Sweden (+37%), Austria (+36%), Czech Republic (+36%), Vietnam (+31%), Qatar (+32%), India (+30%), and the Maldives (+30%).

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