Global study by Hotels.com underlines Russia’s status
Russia is now the world’s second-fastest growing outbound travel market in terms of spending, up 32% in 2012 and more than doubling since 2005, a new study says. Hoteliers are reacting to this rapid growth, which saw Russians spend $43 billion on travel abroad last year, making Russia the fifth biggest outbound travel market globally.
Fuelled by its growing middle class and rising spending power Russia is experiencing a travel boom like never before, according to research published by Hotels.com in its Russian International Travel Monitor.
Almost half (49%) of hoteliers worldwide have seen a rise in Russian guests in the last year, with 54% of these seeing bookings grow by more than 10% or more.
In 2012, 35.7 million tourists from Russia took a foreign trip, up from just 7.7 million in 2006. The country has become a top performing growth market for many destinations and international outbound travel is forecast to grow by 7.5% a year on average until at least 2017.
However, with a population of more than 140 million, Hotels.com says there is still a huge untapped market for foreign travel that will create demand for different types of holiday and new destinations
With 92% of the hoteliers surveyed expecting the volume of Russian visitors to increase over the next three years, many are making changes to deliver a warmer welcome. Almost a third (32%) have already started to offer Russian TV channels while more than a fifth (23%) have hired Russian speaking staff, with a further 12% planning to do so.
[pictured: St Regis Mexico City, courtesy Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide]