Unchanging, despite all the sanctions and price rises, Turkey remained in first place among foreign destinations, while “newcomers” in the top of Russian preferences tourists were the CIS countries. Tour operators spoke about these cardinal changes, describing trends in demand for holidays during the May holidays. From the inaccessible “far” abroad, tourists turned to the “near” ie. countries of the post-Soviet space, and in domestic tourism, excursion destinations are crowding out “beach” destinations, which were significantly hampered by the closure of airports.
Turkey and Russia go almost side by side, experts noted in an interview with Izvestia. For example, domestic tourism in Russia was chosen by 34% of all Intourist clients, and tours to Turkey were purchased by 31%. Turkey took 40% of all sales from FUN & SUN, and Anex Tour, which recently presented new Turkish programs, “gave” 90% of all sales to Turkey. The popular resort country actually receives revenue from the operational expansion of flight programs, experts also add. Only four airlines fly to Antalya from Moscow, there are also flights from eight regions.
At the same time, the average check for Turkey for May is not cheap – from 130 to 180 thousand rubles, and prices have relatively decreased. In addition, due to “air sanctions”, the cost of a flight to Turkey has increased by about four times – up to 40 thousand rubles.
But if Turkey's leadership is a common thing for Russian foreign trips, then the second trend is radically new – the CIS countries – Belarus, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – burst into the Top 10, this is stated by all employees of the Turkish company – both travel agents and tour operators . “Tourists from far abroad turn to the CIS. This is easy to explain: there are many flights to Belarus and Armenia from different cities of Russia, a train goes to Minsk. Most CIS countries do not even need a passport, which only 15% of Russians have. Mir bank cards are working,” Alexan Mkrtchyan, general director of the Pink Elephant travel agency network, explained the reasons for this turn.
Some countries act as a kind of “substitutes” – this is how Belarus in its western part reminds tourists of Poland and the Czech Republic in terms of architecture, and such a non-trivial country as Kazakhstan, through the “works” of Anex Tour, offered tourists the usual “luxury” Rixos hotel – though in the Caspian Sea. Rest will cost 140 thousand rubles.
On average, the CIS countries are cheaper – and much more accessible than non-CIS countries. “Most of the tour to the CIS countries now falls on the flight – 50 thousand for a round-trip flight for two. Together with the hotel, about 78,000 rubles a week comes out. But, firstly, you can get to these countries by land much cheaper, and secondly, the cost of food in the same Minsk and Yerevan is half that in Sochi or Moscow, ” – added Alexan Mkrtchyan.
Travel to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the Maldives, Sri Lanka were also in demand from the “distant”, tour operators reported. The average check for all destinations in May increased by 10-16% compared to last year, while in general the tourist flow decreased due to multiple flight restrictions.
There is one “atypical” trend in domestic tourism – sightseeing tours slightly crowded “beach”. The reason for this is the weather – swimming in May at Russian resorts on average for an amateur – and the closure of airports. On average, a holiday in Russia in May costs from 38 to 53 thousand rubles for two people, including the flight. In the first place, however, remains Sochi, where air travel is open. But Crimea, due to the closed airport, lost about 40% of the “average May” volume.
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