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Travel in Russia: interesting and affordable

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The summer tourist season ends in 2022. According to experts, its indicators are approaching the data of the pre-2019 year. Dmitry Gorin, Vice–President of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, told the editorial board of "Made in Russia" about the preferences of the Russian tourist and the difficulties faced by the tourism industry.

13 subspecies of tourism are developing in Russia- Dmitry Lvovich, a Russian tourist – what is he like?

- This is a person who is looking for new and interesting routes, who analyzes the situation, this is a very attentive tourist.

He knows the news, he knows how to plan the travel budget correctly. The tourist turns to his experts, agents. A tourist, despite the age of the Internet and digital technologies, booking through websites and online resources, is still looking for qualified help when planning a trip.

- Is a tourist and a traveler the same thing?- A tourist and a traveler have different travel plans.

Even in the legislation it is spelled out. There are programs about "tourist activities". But I would speak more broadly. There is a travel industry where the needs of both are taken into account. It combines different types of travel: with various transport, types of accommodation, excursions. Tourism is individual, VIP, medical, educational. We now clearly see that at least 13 subspecies of tourism are developing. There are travelers who rely only on hotel comfort, and there are those who rely on comfort in nature.

- What are the most popular destinations in Russia right now?- If we talk about the preferences of tourists, then sea holidays are out of competition, it takes the first place.

But, I note that this is not only a vacation on the Black Sea coast. The seas in Russia are different, for example, the Azov, Baltic, Caspian, Barents, there are a lot of lakes. Of course, in summer, recreation by the water, in nature is a priority. Sightseeing tourism is also being revived. Travelers try to get into the history of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod. The number of river cruises has increased. This summer, 700 thousand people will go on trips along the rivers. They travel not only through the traditional cities of the Golden Ring. Travelers also travel on weekend routes. This year, Uglich, Myshkin, routes to St. Petersburg, along the Don, Yenisei, Volga region are popular. Routes to Tatarstan are in great demand. Now the load of river tourism is 90%.

Transport logistics makes adjustments- Do tourists go to Kaliningrad?

Has demand dropped?- Yes, the demand has dropped.

There was a slight reduction in trips by 10-15%. This happened because of the closure of air traffic over Europe. Now the routes to Kaliningrad are carried out on an elongated trajectory, we fly around. But, in addition to air service, there are rail and road. Transport logistics, of course, makes its own changes in demand. But the trip to Kaliningrad is worth it. This city has a big plus, since it is now a year–round destination - there is a lot to see, relax in nature.

- There are many places in Russia that you can't take your eyes off, but the question often arises: how to get there? - Yes, the issue of transport accessibility is very important.

In general, by 2022, demand for resort destinations in Russia is decreasing by an average of 30% due to closed airports. In other areas, such as river cruises, demand has increased. There are objective reasons for the drop in demand in tourism: last year it was coronavirus restrictions, in 2022 we faced difficult transport logistics.

- Do travelers go to the Far North, because there is also a lot of interesting things there?- There are a lot of routes.

We call them the "Russian North", where tourists can see Murmansk, the beauty of the northern lights. In the northern regions, both federal and local tour operators offer unique routes to previously inaccessible places. A travel agent or tour operator is important here, as it is all related to the logistics of travel.

- Is there a demand among Russians in the Asian direction?- Of course, if we are talking about the CIS countries, there is an increase from 30 to 100%.

Travelers choose Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia. In Southeast Asia, the Maldives are in demand, they showed a twofold increase compared to last year. There is a demand for Thailand, but the lack of a large number of direct traffic limits the flow in this direction. Russian tourists have an interest in Vietnam, Indonesia, but there are not enough carriers.

- Are travelers interested in the Asian regions of Russia?- Yes, now the demand of tourists for holidays in the Far East, Baikal, the North Caucasus has increased, where special charter flights have flown.

- What is the availability of these flights for an ordinary Russian traveler? After all, for sure, a trip to Baikal or the Far East will cost a pretty penny.- No, it's inexpensive.

A tour package to Sakhalin now, including flights, costs from 48 thousand rubles, to Baikal from 38 thousand rubles for charter flights. Such an air service reduces the cost of a tour package by half.

- So the future belongs to charter flights?- They have been flying since 2020.

They will develop if there is infrastructure. The main problem now is not in flights, but in the shortage of high-quality infrastructure. According to Rosstat estimates, only 10% of hotels meet international standards.

- Has the flow of travelers from abroad to Russia changed?- There are always both international and domestic travelers.

Now we have objective problems. And although tourism is out of politics in general, if there are no direct flights and there is no electronic visa, tourists face certain difficulties when traveling in Russia.

Entry to Russia for the purpose of tourism has now fallen by 97%. That is, it practically does not exist. Even last year there was a tendency to recover. This is primarily due to the inability to make a flight. Those flights that are available are many times more expensive. If earlier a European traveler could come to Russia for a ticket worth 350 euros / dollars, now it is at least 1000 dollars / euro. Prices have tripled.

The second thing that hinders the development of inbound tourism is the lack of electronic visas, the issuance of which could be resumed, but due to the fact that not all countries have opened borders, for example, China, this is not being done.

The interlocutor of the editorial office added that we must not forget: the velvet season and winter are ahead. And at this time of year in Russia there is something to see and where to go – traveling in Russia can be year-round.

Read more interesting news in our Telegram channelAuthor: Olga Paramonova

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