Home Journey in Russia Rises Considerably
The Covid-19 pandemic has led the tourism industry into an unprecedented crisis. In addition to all of the obvious negative effects, the crisis has also created some new opportunities and trends in the industry that are being watched around the world. One of these new trends is the rise of domestic tourism.
One of the countries that have noticed this trend and are working on it is also Russia. While the most popular destinations abroad are just opening up, tourists craving to travel are discovering their huge land and domestic tours in Russia.
Spending is increasing
Evidence of the growth in domestic tourism is the increase in spending within the country’s borders. Russian spending on domestic travel from May 1 to May 15 amounted to around 20 billion rubles (around 220 million euros). This is 80% more than in the first half of January this year, when there were also long vacations.
Interestingly, Russian spending on domestic tourism rose 13% more in the first half of May than in the year before the 2019 pandemic.
In addition, spending on airline tickets, tours, cruises (up to 3.8 billion rubles) and long-distance trains and buses (up to 11 billion rubles) more than doubled compared to January.
In turn, Russian hotel spending in May increased by one and a half times compared to the January vacation, which broke all records and reached 780 million rubles (about 10.6 million euros) in two weeks. Thus, the demand for hotels was 70% higher in terms of volume than in May 2019 and one and a half times higher in terms of the number of transactions.
After all, in early May the Russians spent 4.8 billion rubles in cafes and restaurants. This is 74% more than in the New Year weeks and 42% more than in May 2019.
Spending in bars increased by 29% compared to the January holidays and May before the pandemic, exceeding 100 million rubles. However, entertainment spending fell short of 2019 levels (-20%) and was roughly in line with the January numbers.
Charter subsidies for domestic travel in Russia
However, this is not the only positive news for Russian domestic tourism. The government has decided to allocate 1.2 billion rubles (about 16 million euros) to support charter trips in Russia.
The money will allow tour operators to reimburse half the cost of non-scheduled flights, but on condition that the company operates at least six such flights in one direction.
The savings on tour packages due to subsidized charter can be between 10 and 30% depending on the flight distance.
The government expects subsidies for charter to support further growth in domestic travel in Russia. However, it is still too early to see the real impact of the initiative as it is not yet clear what percentage of the operators will benefit from the subsidies.
What is certain, however, is that Russia, perhaps with a slight delay, will recognize the potential of domestic tourism in the country.