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Growing Flow of Tourists: Where Russians Went in First Half-Year 2019



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According to the latest numbers of the Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, the outbound tourist flow from Russia grew by almost 9% in the first half-year of 2019, as compared to the same period in 2018. At that, the positive growth of the total outbound flow is a bit lower (6.67%).

Turkey also leads in the total outbound flow of Russian citizens (with disregard for purposes) with 2.742 million. Besides, the top total outbound flow includes Abkhazia, Finland, Kazakhstan, and China.

Source:, 2019

Turkey Still Ranks High

An absolute leader for Russians is still Turkey—2.071 million Russian tourists opted for it. It is followed far behind by Thailand (460 thousand), Italy (458 thousand), and UAE (396 thousand), with China rounding out the top five (391 thousand).

Along with that, Turkey has also become one of the leaders in the tourist flow growth, as compared to the first half of 2018, which made 15.9%. In general, 8 countries were up out of Top 15 travel destinations. Out of them, the most significant growth, in spite of troubled political circumstances, was shown by the tourist flow to Georgia (+84.13%).

According to, ‘the most popular foreign destination of the summer became Yerevan with a departure from Moscow. The share of those who spent their summer vacation in Yerevan grew almost by a quarter from 4.7% to 5.9%’.

Summarizing the results of the first half-year of 2019, a drop is seen in ‘beach destinations’ of Thailand, UAE, Bulgaria, and Greece, which is well caused by growth of Turkey, Spain, and Cyprus.

Source:, 2019

Fall of Business Tourism

Moreover, a significant one. Negative growth of the first half-year 2019 was 18.47%, compared to the same period in 2018. The table below presents Top 15 countries where Russians went with business purposes. In total, the first half-year saw more than 300 thousand trips from Russia with business purposes.

Source:, 2019

If we talk about the dynamics country by country, the ‘leader’ in loss of the business tourist flow became Switzerland (-31.31%). Next are Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, UAE, and the Netherlands. However, Armenia became the only country out of Top 15 that demonstrated growth of the business tourist flow from Russia (+6.41%).

Source:, 2019

What Do Russian Tourists Expect from Autumn?

Most tourists from Russia still prefer holidays at the seaside in autumn. interviewed more than three thousand website users and found out what is an ideal holiday for a Russian in the autumn season. In general, more than half of respondents want to go to the sea—the majority aims for warm sea, but there are also those who prefer countries with the season running out.

The results of the poll are shown in the diagram below.

Source:, the poll was conducted from 29 August till 2 September 2019, responded by 3,010 people

As experts of noted, Top 10 countries where Russian tourists already bought tickets for autumn 2019 include Uzbekistan, Armenia, Germany, Spain, Italy, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Israel, Turkey, and Montenegro.

Do you want to know more about the Russian outbound travel market? Russian Tourism Market Report: Trends, Analysis and Statistics will help you not only get the full picture of the market, but also understand Russian tourists better.

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The Russian Tourism Market Report: Trends, Analysis & Statistics | 2019. How to impress Russian tourists and attract them to your country

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About the Author

Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog

Author Yulia Vasilyeva

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