Tourism industry got out of crisis
Summing up the results of 2017, Andrey Kruglov, head of the Transportation Regulation Department of the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya), said that last year became a record year for Russian civil aviation. For the first time in modern history, Russian airlines have transported over 100 million passengers. In total, according to preliminary estimates, more than 105 million passengers were transported.
Russian airlines statistics
"In 2017 Russian airports received more than 170 million passengers, who used both Russian and foreign airlines. From December 26 to January 8, Russian airlines carried out over 700 charter flights, over 400 of which were carried out from the airports of Moscow aviation hub. During this period, Moscow airports received more than 3 million passengers. This figure is 9% higher compared to the same period of last year. In total, compared to last year 30% more passengers used charter flights. Main destinations were Thailand, Vietnam, China, India, Europe, Italy, France, Spain and Cyprus. Unfortunately, there were delays. In total, during this period there were slightly more than 40 delays in charter flights. Almost all of them were caused by weather conditions both in the Russian Federation and in foreign countries," Andrey Kruglov said.
What tourists complained about?
Chairman of the Civic Chamber's Commission for the Development of Public Diplomacy and Support for Compatriots Abroad, Elena Sutormina, said that since December 27 of 2017, the Public Chamber establised a hotline for protection of the rights of tourists: "We have received calls not only from Russian regions, from Russia, but also from foreign resorts. There were complaints about operators who didn't fulfill their obligations. There were cases when they didn't warn citizens about cancellation of tours in advance, or prepared collected incomplete package of documents, due to which tourists couldn't go on vacation. People complained about poor quality of accommodation services, there were cases when people weren't accommodated in hotel they booked. There were cases when flights were canceled due to poor weather conditions. Such situations happened in New York, but overall, tourists were pretty calm. There were also requests for consultations on how to get compensation."
During New Year holidays, most Russians spent vacations inside the country. Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi were the most popular destination. Kaliningrad region showed significant growth. "From December 30 to January 8, about 10.5 million residents of Moscow and guests of the capital visited various festive events in Moscow... Russia is among top 10 most visited countries in the world. Russia's Ministry of Culture holds the 'New Year's Capital' event since 2012. Last year it was Khanty-Mansiysk. In 2018, Tula will become the 'New Year's Capital'," Elena Sutormina said.
Popular destinations abroad
Thailand, Cyprus, Italy, France, Turkey, as well as Georgia and Vietnam were the most popular foreign destinations. "We will monitor situation in the future. Flights to Cairo will be resumed by spring. There are no charter flights to Egypt, but maybe they will resume by summer," Sutormina hopes.