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Tour bookings for Russia’s May holidays increase by 30-40%

"About 3 mln of Russians will travel around the country, of which somewhere between 800-900,000 will travel with the help of tour operators," the Vice President of the Russian Union of Travel Industry said

MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. Russians are actively booking tours for May holidays, choosing both domestic destinations and foreign vacations, tourism industry representatives said at a press conference at TASS.

In terms of vacations in other countries, tourist traffic from Russia this year may increase compared to last year.

"This year May [holidays] will be very successful for us. Russians started making reservations with our tour operators earlier, the growth is up to 30% for the May holidays, even 40% somewhere. About 3 mln of Russians will travel around the country, of which somewhere between 800-900,000 will travel with the help of tour operators," said Dmitry Gorin, Vice President of the Russian Union of Travel Industry.

According to him, international travel is also anticipated to be intensive. The Union estimates that at least 600,000 travelers will go abroad for the holidays. Gorin pointed out that currently the share of international travel is 25% (20% a year earlier), 75% is domestic travel. Currently, 38 countries are open for direct flights from Russia.

"Organized travel is very important, as well as the fact that we can travel to open countries. The figures of 8 mln [trips] from a year earlier will certainly be bigger this year. We will probably be able to achieve at least 10 mln trips by the end of the year," the vice president added.

Popular tourist destinations

Oksana Bulakh, Commercial Director of the Alean tour operator, said that the rating of the most popular domestic travel destinations for May holidays remains unchanged. The destinations include Moscow, the Krasnodar Region, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, the Moscow Region, the Caucasian Mineralnye Vody region and the Tatarstan republic.

"The only thing we see is that this year the Kaliningrad Region has grabbed a top spot in the preference list. The choice of destination is determined by the infrastructure and bed capacity in the region," she added. Crimea, Adygea, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnodar, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don and Ingushetia demonstrated a maximum increase in demand.

Abkhazia, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan remain the leaders in terms of travel for May holidays among Russia's neighboring countries. However, Georgia, which replaced Armenia, took the fifth place in this year's rating.

According to Alexander Sirchenko, deputy director general for government relations and communications of Fun&Sun, the dynamics of early booking shows that the demand for May holidays will increase by about 25% compared to May holidays in 2023. The Krasnodar Region, Crimea, the Caucasian Mineral Waters region, the Kaliningrad Region, and Dagestan are among the most popular destinations.

Sirchenko added that Turkey is currently in demand among tourists, which is facilitated by the "fairly balanced" pricing policy of Russian tour operators' partners. "According to our data, the demand for Turkey is about 45% of the total foreign flow. I emphasize that it is demand; whether it will be fully satisfied depends on many factors. Egypt is around 25%, the UAE is around 15%," he added.

In turn, Anex Deputy Director General Yana Muromova noted that in terms of travel for May holidays and other vacation seasons, short trips across Russia and neighboring countries are becoming especially popular among tourists. "These are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan," she listed.