Russian tourists spend billions of dollars abroad

In 2010, Russian tourists have taken abroad $26.5 billion, Yuri Barzykin, the Vice President of the Russian Union of the Tourist Industry said with reference to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. However, the percentage of those traveling abroad is very small in the country. The percentage of the people coming to visit Russia from foreign countries is even smaller.

As many as 12 million Russian citizens visited foreign states in 2010, Interfax said. Each of those tourists spent the average of $2,200. Foreign tourists, when visiting Russia, spend more - $4,400 per person. However, the number of foreign tourists in Russia in 2010 was extremely low last year - only 2 million people. They spent in the country the total of $8.9 billion.

According to the World Tourism Organization, the incoming tourism has grown by seven percent in the world, but only by two percent in Russia. The number of tourists from China has been growing very fast, although the majority of Chinese tourists do not come to Russia for tourist attractions or shopping.

According to the Association of Travel Agencies of Russia, the number of foreign tourists visiting Russia in the first quarter of 2011 was the largest from the following countries: China (23,500 tourists), Germany (20,000), Turkey (14,000), Italy (11,500) and France (10,300). The number of Chinese tourists has increased by almost 50 percent.

The number of visitors from Israel has increased as well. In comparison with 2010, the tourist flow from this country has increased by almost one-third and made up 9,400 people.

This year, the dynamics of the outbound tourism will most likely be affected by the events in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. First and foremost, it goes about Egypt and Tusinia, where the situation was highly unstable during the peak tourist season.

As for the majority of Russians, they have to spend their holidays inside Russia. Many people will not even leave their home cities for holidays. The reason is very simple - finance. All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center has recently conducted a poll, the results of which showed that only two percent of Russian people would travel abroad this year.

"Fifty-six percent of the polled will spend their holidays at home. This index is lower in the capitals: 39 percent of Muscovites and 36 percent of St. Petersburg residents are not going anywhere for holidays. Nineteen percent will spend their holidays in their country houses.

Fifty-four percent of Russians will spend their holidays at home for the above-mentioned financial reason. Twelve more percent are not going anywhere for health reasons, whereas eleven percent are staying home because of work.

Nine percent of the polled will spend their holidays in other Russian cities. Eight percent of the polled will travel to Russia's south, to the Black Sea. Five percent are planning to visit the Baltic countries; two percent of Russians are going to Ukraine's Crimea.

As many as 16 percent of Muscovites and ten percent of St. Petersburg residents are going for holidays abroad. The Russians are ready to spend 17,000 rubles per person during their holidays ($600). The residents of the Russian capitals are planning to spend more - 25,000 rubles (a bit less than $900).

A third of the polled Russians said that they were dreaming of going abroad for holidays. A quarter of the polled said they were dreaming about going to Russia's Black Sea resorts. Every tenth respondent dreams of traveling to the Crimea. Seventeen percent said that they would spend their vacation at home even if they were not limited in financial means.

Anastasia Romasheva.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov