MOSCOW, March 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The number of Russian tourists travelling to Asia-Pacific countries will double by 2018, reaching about 15 million, Martin Craigs, the CEO of the Bangkok-based Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), told journalists on Tuesday.
Last year, more than six million Russians visited the region, most of them travelling to Thailand or China.
“We forecast that about 7.4 million Russian citizens will travel to Asia-Pacific countries for tourism purposes by the end of 2014,” Craigs said.
He noted that PATA expanded its activities in 2013, involving more and more Russian travel organisations.
“It is very important considering Russia’s strong influence on the world tourism,” he said. “And it is necessary for us now to establish active cooperation with the Russian market.”
“Russia should be promoted in Asia as a tourist destination full of culture and traditions,” Craigs said, adding that these were mainly tourists from China who visited Russia nowadays.
“This is not enough given that Russia may certainly be interesting for other Asian countries as well,” he said. “We are confident that many tourists in Asia today who have never been to Russia are willing to visit it. We, for our part, will be glad to help Russia promoting its cultural heritage in Asia.”
The Pacific Asia Travel Association is a membership organisation that works for the responsible development of the Asia Pacific travel and tourism industry. In partnership with private and public sector members, PATA promotes the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to, from and within, the region. PATA’s 41 chapters worldwide include thousands of travel professionals involved in promoting and selling travel to the region.
The association provides leadership and counsel on an individual and collective basis to over 80 government, state and city tourism bodies, nearly 50 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, and many hundreds of travel industry companies across the Asia Pacific region and beyond. The PATA Foundation contributes to the sustainable and responsible development of travel and tourism in Asia-Pacific through the protection of the environment, the conservation of heritage and support for education.