MOSCOW, April 9 (Itar-Tass) —— About 30 percent Russians prefer domestic tourism, and five percent choose travelling abroad, Press Secretary of Russia’s Union of Tourism Industry Irina Tyurina told a news conference on Monday.
“According to our data, at least 30 percent Russians prefer domestic tourism nowadays,” she said.
“The popular information that most Russians spend holidays abroad is a myth. Only five percent spend holidays abroad,” she said. Tyurina also said that only 17 percent Russians had foreign passports, and about 70 percent had never been abroad.
“The tourism market is facing complicated period now: there is a crisis, first of all tourists lack trust for tourism operators, and tourism operators – for tourism agents.” But, she continued, “this is true only about travelling abroad.”
“Most problematic situations, which Russians have been facing lately, referred to travelling abroad, while inside the country similar cases are minimal.”
Tourism operators speak about growing demand for spending holidays in the Krasnodar Territory, which accommodated eleven million Russian tourists in 2011.
“The most stable holidays are at the Black Sea now,” Tyurina said.
She also said tourism companies reported during the first quarter growing sales of domestic routes’ holidays against a similar period of 2011. The growth of trips to the Krasnodar Territory is 15 percent, to the Caucasus Mineral Waters – 51 percent, to Moscow – 20 percent.
Besides, “very popular are the Crimea, Abkhazia and Belarus, which the tourism operators consider domestic market,” she said.
Tourism operators focused on domestic market say that one of major problems inside the country is high air fare. Abolished VAT for domestic routes may lower the fare by 18 percent immediately, they say. Besides, Russia lacks low-budget aviation carriers. As the last low-cost carriers – Sky Express and Avianova – left the market, prices for the routes they had been servicing grew.
However, tourism operators stressed positive tendencies in development of domestic tourism in Russia: they are construction of new hotels, better hotel services and growth of tourists who travel by their own vehicles.