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MOSCOW, June 22, /ITAR-TASS/. Russians made fewer trips abroad in the first quarter of the current year, marking a four-percent drop on the same period in 2013, the Russian Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturism) said citing the preliminary data of the Russian Statistics Service (Rosstat).
A total of 3.2 million Russian travelers went abroad from January through to March.
The Rosturism spokeswoman told Itar-Tass that the drop could stem from Russians’ preference to domestic travelling in these months, in particular, the Olympic Games in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi.
“A small decrease in the first three months of 2014 is not so indicative since the holiday-making months are still lying ahead,” Irina Shchegolkova said.
Egypt and Thailand took the top two positions respectively in a rating of the most popular destinations for Russians, similar to last year. Egypt evidenced a six percent reduction, or a drop to 542,000 tourists, while Thailand played host to more Russians, marking an eight percent increase to 409,400 people.
The United Arab Emirates jumped to the third position from the fifth, with 215,600 visitors from Russia despite the tourist flow going down by 1.1%
Germany surprisingly ranks fourth though it was sixth in the first quarter of 2013 as 202,200 Russians entered the country this year, down 0.4% versus the same period a year ago.
China ranks fifth facing a 27-percent decrease of tourists from Russia, or 165,100 holiday-makers.
Finland drastically lost popularity with the Russian travellers falling to the 13th position from the top five countries as only 81,800 Russians went there against 259,100 holiday-makers a year ago.
The top ten countries included Italy (down 1.6%), Spain (up 14%), Turkey (up 14%), the Czech Republic (up seven percent) and India (up 11%).