Russia: a country with a vast population – over 140 million – and close proximity to Asia, Europe, and Central Asia

Not only is this already a huge source market for travel and tourism, but demand for foreign travel is on the up. In 2017, outbound trips rose 25% compared to 2016.

The possibilities are huge for destinations and travel service companies looking to take advantage of Russian tourists’ desire to see new places.

Knowing your audience is key to success in attracting and retaining more Russian tourists. We delve into the world of the Russian outbound travel market to find out how they differ from other nationalities in their travel habits and what they expect from overseas holidays.

Here’s five reasons why the Russian market differs from others and why it should be your next target source market.

Russian tourists spend more abroad

Russian tourists spend on average $1,676 per person per foreign holiday, more than their European counterparts who spend $1,174, according to the recent Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2018. The Russian tourist spend is expected to rise further by 5% over the next two years.

Once abroad, Visa reports that only 7% of Russian tourists – compared to 17% of European tourists – use ATMs on holiday, but when they do withdrawals are far larger - $547 on average by Russian tourists and $346 by Europeans.

In total, Russian tourists spent $31 billion abroad last year according to the World Tourism Organization UNWTO, meaning the country climbed three places to re-enter the top 10 at number eight.

High expectations for customer service

Russian tourists have high expectations when it comes to service. They expect punctuality and extensive knowledge from instructors and tour guides.

“[Russian tourists] expect good service and management, and are very punctual and expect that of you,” Nettravel, Azerbaijan.

“The type of Russian tourist that comes to Norway is very intelligent and requires extremely knowledgeable guides, facts on Norway’s history, culture, and society and generally a huge amount of information. That’s why it’s not enough for tour guides to speak Russian; they must be very knowledgeable.” Uniktur, Norway

Russian language services

Unlike tourists from many European countries, a sizeable percentage of Russian tourists don’t speak fluent English. This means they require Russian-speaking services such as audio guides, signs, menus, wait staff, instructors, guides, etc. to make them feel at ease.

Key times for winter holidays

Not only do Russian winter holidays occur at different times to European holidays, Russian tourists are taking more ski holidays outside traditional holiday times, making them key to keeping hotel occupancy rates high throughout the season.

Longer length of stay

Russian tourists are in it for the long-haul. Their average length of stay for a foreign holiday is 10 nights – 2 nights longer than the global average, according to the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2018.

“Russian tourists stay for a longer period than our customers from the Balkan countries. They don’t just come for a few days, they stay for a period of around 10 days.” – Bansko, Bulgaria

Want to ensure these Russian tourists come to you?

The Moscow International Travel and Tourism exhibition, Russia’s leading international travel trade exhibition, is the best place to gain access to the Russian travel industry.

The show attracts over 22,200 travel industry professionals – top tour operators, travel agents and other

Increase your brand awareness on the Russian market and find new partners and clients at MITT 2020 to help grow your business.

Register your interest in exhibiting today to learn more about your participation options.