With the EU (European Union) banning Russian aircraft from operating in its airspace due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, these nations are likely to receive very few Russian tourists this summer, says GlobalData. According to the data and analytics company, Russia was the fifth-ranked country globally in terms of international departures in 2021, with 13.7 million.
According to GlobalData, in 2021, almost 20 per cent of all outbound and domestic trips in Russia occurred in the months of June and July. Additionally, travellers from Russia spent a total of US$22.5 billion in 2021, which put it in the top 10 source markets globally for total outbound tourist expenditure.
Ralph Hollister, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “The start of summer usually marks an influx of Russian travellers to warm European sun and beach destinations. However, this will not be the case for many nations that usually welcome Russian tourists every year, which will not do their post-Covid-19 recovery timelines any favours.”
Italy and Cyprus most popular among Russian travellers
Italy and Cyprus were in the top five most popular destinations for Russians in 2021, meaning they will likely feel the economic pinch of a fall in Russian visitation. When looking at Cyprus, Russian visitation accounted for six per cent of the total inbound trips within Cyprus’ top 10 inbound source markets for 2021. Although this percentage is not overwhelming, it still shows Russia is an important source market for Cyprus. According to GlobalData’s Q3 2021 Consumer Survey, 61 per cent of Russians stated that they typically undertake sun and beach trips, which means Russians will especially be missed by Cyprus’ popular coastal areas, such as Limassol.
These figures display the importance of Russia as an international source market for tourism, and one which will be sorely missed by many destinations that now do not have access to these travellers. Their spending power helped aid the recovery of many international destinations as travel started to re-open last summer, as Russian tourists still showed a willingness to travel last year when the pandemic was still causing mass uncertainty.
Hollister concluded: “Although only Italy and Cyprus have been mentioned, the near elimination of Russian tourists traveling to the EU this summer will impact tourism demand across Europe. As a result, post-Covid-19 recovery timelines for many destinations will be extended due to the loss of a major source market.”