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MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Istanbul is no longer one of the top ten vacation spots for Russians for the upcoming November holidays, Skyscanner, an online ticket reservation service reported on October 18.
In fact, the previous favorite has been ousted by Russia’s westernmost city of Kaliningrad, demand for which has gone up by 86% year-on-year, ranking it as number six on the list.
Last year, the top three cities for fall vacation were Prague, Moscow and Istanbul, while this year it is Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi.
"Internal Tourism is becoming more and more popular; the number of reservations for trips within Russia has gone up 50% compared to last year," Skyscanner PR manager Dmitry Khavanskiy told TASS.
According to him, the reason why Kaliningrad is becoming so popular is that many Russian tourists have already been to Sochi and Simferopol (Crimea’s capital) and are now searching for new, interesting locations. Additionally, the Russian government is currently subsidizing tourism to the Kaliningrad region, so the airfare is cheaper and there are more flights available.
"The Kaliningrad Region is our very own exotic Russian spot. Old German towns with a thousand-year history have retained the charm of old Europe. And if we add to that, the proximity of the Baltic Sea and the amazing natural reserve of the Curonian Spit, then Kaliningrad becomes one of the most promising domestic directions," Khanavskiy noted.
Other cities making it into the top ten this fall are Prague, Simferopol, Tel Aviv, Munich and Paris.