People, Travel

Russian Outbound Travel Plummets

Russian Outbound Travel PlummetsRussian Outbound Travel Plummets

The Russian outbound tourist flow decreased by 31.3% last year, the largest drop in 18 years, the Interfax news agency reported Wednesday, citing the Russian Tourism Industry Union.

A total of 12 million international trips were made by Russians in 2015, the Tourism Industry Union spokeswoman Irina Tyurina told Interfax, citing Rosstat state statistics data.

Before 2015, the sharpest drop in outbound tourism was registered in 1998, when the number of Russian tourists traveling abroad dropped by 24.4% when compared to the preceding year.

The Russian Tourism Industry Union believes 2015 was the most difficult year in the history of the private tourism sector in Russia, which has made Russian tour companies considerably reduce the volume of their business.

In 2014, the outbound tourism in Russia shrank 4% compared to the previous year, Tyrina said.

The decline in the number of Russian tourists traveling abroad resulted from the weakening of the Russian currency as well as the ban on flights to Turkey and Egypt, two most popular international tourist destinations for Russians.

Among the hardest hit by the drop of tourist flow from Russia in 2015 was Indonesia, which saw 96.6% less Russian visitors, Tunisia that saw 83% reduction in Russian tourists and Dominican Republic that was visited by 82.5% less Russian travelers last year.

In Europe, the sharpest decline in the number of travelers from Russia -48%- was registered in Greece, followed by Bulgaria, Spain and Croatia that saw Russian tourist flow drop by 41% in 2015, Interfax reported, citing data from the Russian Tourism Industry Union.