Foreign tourists interested in Russia

 Foreign tourists interested in Russia

The executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, Maya Lomidze, said today that there is an unprecedented growth in the dynamics of the tourism sector in Russia in 2015.

"We are seeing unprecedented dynamics in the tourism sector. According to the market participants, the number of tourists has increased by 10-15%. According to the Russian Federal State Statistic Service – by 13%. We have received a tremendous competitive advantage – due to the weakening of the ruble our prices are cheap," Interfax cited her as saying.

According to Lomidze, interest in Russia from Asian countries has increased. "One of the trends is the demand for combined tours to Russia and the CIS countries," she added.

According to the Russian Federal State Statistical Service, 20.7 million foreign citizens entered Russia during the first 9 months of 2015, and 2.53 million of them visited for the purpose of tourism. 

"For example, Iran is very interested in Russia. Iranians want to visit Sochi, watch the Olympic venues, but it is very difficult to get a visa. The same applies to India. We hope that next year it will not be a problem. Now Russian visas are the main obstacle in the development of tourism," Lomidze added.

"The emergence of the marketing strategy is to increase the flow of tourists from the major countries: China, Germany, Italy, South-East Asia. We are insufficiently prepared at the moment. In addition to material in their native languages, Chinese and Indian tourists need appropriate cuisine, you will not believe how important it is," Lomidze stressed.

The vice president of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, Ilya Umansky, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the reason for the increase in demand was the depreciation of the national currency and, consequently, cheaper prices of traveling in Russia.

"Moreover, this option is stronger than negative factors, such as the difficulty of obtaining a Russian visa. So the decline is a key factor in any business, which affects supplies and sales. So of course the depreciation of the ruble against the dollar and the euro has formed a growing interest among foreign tourists. In first place these are Europe and China – the two main markets which should be taken into account," the vice president of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia said.

"Prices are a key factor. There are still some things related to the growing interest in the country: we are active on the world stage, it is an interesting country for the foreigners. In the first place, this parameter influences tourists from China, and some similarity of our positions on the world scene is forming a heightened interest among Chinese tourists," the vice president of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia stressed.

"If the exchange rate of the ruble doesn't grow, we will be in high demand for tourists from abroad," he said.

The press secretary of the Russian Union of the Travel Industry, Irina Turina, told Vestnik Kavkaza that such a success of the Russian tourism industry was due to the collapse of the ruble.

"According to our data, the flow of foreigners visiting the country as tourists rose by 13%, and operators consider this season to be very successful. The main stream of tourists is from Asian countries: China, Iran, Korea and so on," the press secretary of the Russian Union of the Travel Industry said.

"There was a slowdown of entry into Russia in 2014 because of the political tensions, but we overcame them economically. Tourists who previously could only afford low-level hotels can now afford to stay in better places for the same money or even cheaper," Irina Turina explained.

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