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The top ten of the most popular tourist’ destinations have changed dramatically for the first time in 14 years

The top ten of the most popular tourist’ destinations have changed dramatically for the first time in 14 years
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Statistics regarding the amount of Russian citizens travelled abroad in 2016 according to Border Guard Service are significantly different with touristic reports of the year according to Russian Federal State Statistics Service.

According to the Federal State Statistics Service, in 2016 the number of abroad tours of Russian citizens amounted to 31.7 millions. This is almost 8% less than in 2015. This link contains a comparative table for the number of abroad tourist’s trips in 2014-2016.

According to the Border Guard Service, in 2016 the number of trips from Russia with the purpose of tourism decreased significantly, more than shows data of Federal State Statistics Service: In comparison with 2015, the amount of trips fell by 15,5 % and amounted to 9 millions 873 thousands trips. This is 2 millions 234.1 thousands less than in 2015.

Recall that since 2014 the Federal State Statistics Service publishes statistics in accordance with the recommendations of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which counts as tourists not only those who declare tourism as the purpose of the trip, but also travelers who traveling by privet invitation, on business reasons, for health reasons, to a neighboring country for shopping.

And according to the Federal State Statistics Service the top ten of holiday destinations of Russian citizens are the following: Abkhazia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, China, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Thailand, and Cyprus. This information according to tourist industry is only partly truth.

A slightly different picture is shown by the data of the Border Guard Service, which divides travelers by the purposes of travel. In particular, there are trips for tourism and this is the indicator we have been analyzing for many years by comparing the dynamics with previous years.

The data that are obtained from the Border Guard Service of Russian Federation, helped to understand that in the notorious 31.7 millions of abroad tourist’s trips under the Federal State Statistics Service version, more than 21 million are so-called private trips. And if the trips with purpose of tourism decreased by 18.5%, then the trips with privet purpose decreased only by 2, 4%. Apparently, this is the reason for a relatively small decrease in the number of “tourist’ trips” according to the Federal State Statistics Service.

In general, private trips constitute the largest part in the general outflow from Russia – In 2016 – 38%. On the second place are the trips with the purpose of tourism – 29%. Next are the operating personnel and crews – 6%. Then – business, after servicemen and permanent residence.

Traveling from Russia has been declining since 2014. The most difficult was 2015, when the tourist’s flow fell by 31%, it was the biggest decrease since 1998. 2016 turned out to be better, though still was not easy.

Almost until the end of July, last year, Turkey was closed. From November 2015 until now, Egypt is closed. Other destinations took pieces of Turkish and Egyptian “pie”, and in this situation for the first time in many years, the first ten most popular trends among Russians have changed significantly. Now the top 10 destinations are follows: Thailand, China, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, and Turkey.

For the first time Thailand came out on the top 10 destinations.  In the top 10 chart, this destination has been included since 2007 and in recent years it held on the 5-6th place. In 2016 immediately Thailand jumped from the sixth to the first place.

Tunisia and Bulgaria in general, “for the first time in life”, were among the top ten destinations in the Russian market.

Turkey, which since 2002 has consistently occupied the first line of the rating, thanks to the return at the end of July, still managed to stay in the top ten chart, though felt to the tenth place.

The biggest growth in the top ten and in the entire list by the end of the year showed Tunisia, it grew by 1327%. This compared with 2015, when due to terrorist attacks the country practically lost the entry tourist flow; this country visited about 41 thousand tourists from Russia. But in comparison with the successful 2014 Tunisia added 140%.

In the second place in the top ten in terms of growth dynamics is China (60%), which has been steadily declining since 2011, and with closed Turkey, suddenly grew – most likely thanks to the charters from various Russian cities to the beach island of Hainan.

In third place is Cyprus (55.5%), which also was decreasing since 2014. Thailand and Bulgaria increased by 38% and 37% respectively. Greece grew by 23.5%.

And in general, according to the list, many European countries have lost part of the Russian tourist flow: Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Great Britain, and Belgium.

Mostly, the beach areas have grown: the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Montenegro, Israel, India, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Cuba, and Morocco.

It seems that the closure of Egypt and Turkey has become a kind of triumph of these destinations. Everything and everyone are compared to these 2 destinations and everyone understands that in a difficult economic situation, only in the absence of these two countries, other beach destinations were able to grow. This also applies to domestic tourism. The total travel abroad of Russian citizens in 2016 was 33.8 million trips – on 8% less than in 2015.

Irina Tyurina, RATA-news

Travel abroad for tourism purposes in 2016 according to the Border Guard Service (Thousand trips)

N9 Country % to 2015 2016 2015 2014 2013
1 Thailand 38 701,0 506,4 933,8 1035,0
2 China 60 668,9 417,2 766,3 1067,5
3 Spain 14 662,6 580,8 982,3 1012,8
4 Greece 23,5 653,0 528,6 1016,1 1175,6
5 Cyprus 55,5 635,4 408,6 549,2 579,7
6 Tunisia 1327 584,0 40,9 242,9 282,5
7 Italy 7 515,4 481,4 747,4 725,8
8 Germany -11 509,6 571 820,1 830,9
9 Bulgaria 37 482,2 352,4 497,7 498,6
10 Turkey -82 481,4 2665,8 3278,4 3078,6
11 UAE 6 376,5 356,2 597,4 653,4
12 Vietnam 25 330,2 263,4 276,7 212,8
13 Chech Republic 4,6 277,1 264,9 413,2 473,6
14 Montenegro 8,7 254,2 233,7 250,4 248,7
15 France -9,6 246,7 272,8 361,7 374,9
16 Finland -10 227,2 252,4 379,2 904,7
17 Israel 11,5 190,6 171 221,4 234,5
18 Switzerland -10,4 136,7 152,5 209,2 203,1
19 India 35 134,3 99,7 177,0 172,5
20 Austria -11,4 126,4 142,7 229,0 272,6
21 South Korea 25 125,2 100 126,2 107,1
22 Dominicana 342 117,9 26,7 152,9 165,6
23 Netherlands -4,3 111,9 116,9 128,9 104,2
24 USA 5,2 109,7 104,3 151,5 146,7
25 Georgia 137 105,8 44,7 28,8 22,8
26 Great Britain -12 105,2 119,3 182,2 187,1
27 Latvia 29 92,7 72 99,2 99,9
28 Armenia 37 61,5 45,0 53,5 48,2
29 Katar 23 55,9 45,4 46,3 52,1
30 Azerbaijan 31,5 51,8 39,4 49,3 43,9
31 Kazakhstan 12 49,4 44,0 52,2 28,0
32 Servia -7 49,3 53 60,1 38,4
33 Moldavia -24 47,8 65,1 48,2 28,8
34 Croatia 14,6 47,8 41,7 70,6 82,1
35 Hungary 12 47,3 42,3 59,2 38,4
36 Belgium -7 43,4 46,7 47,5 43,8
37 Cuba 55 38,7 25 44,2 46,2
38 Poland 9 35,3 32,4 39,2 44,3
39 Marocco 329 29,2 6,8 19,1 31,0
40 Japan -0,7 26,7 26,9 37,3 33,4
  In total with purpose of tourism -18,50/0 9873 12107,1 17611,6 18291,7

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