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Russia outbound market recovers quickly

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Domodedovo International Airport

One country in particular is the main beneficiary

The number of Russians travelling abroad for a holiday has recovered to such an extent that it has already reached its pre-crisis peak, according to stats posted by the government statistics agency Rosstat.

In the first half of this year, 17.1 million Russians vacationed in other countries, up 30% on the same period the previous year.

Russian outbound trips peaked at 42.9 million in 2014, before plummeting 19% in 2015 and 9% in 2016 due to a shutdown of the major destinations of Egypt and Turkey, as well as a devaluation of the rouble, bne IntelliNews reports.

Turkey is quickly regaining its status as Russia’s most favoured destination, with more than 4 million tourists already going there this year – almost 25% of the outbound total flow, according to news agency Interfax.

Turkey accounted for two thirds of all tour operator sales this year, followed a long way behind by Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Spain, Montenegro and Croatia.

Lacking passports
Domestic tourism, which skyrocketed during the crisis years, has grown at slower pace of 10% in 2017, the business daily Vedomosti reports. Less than 28% of Russians have a passport that is valid for travel abroad, forcing most Russians to take a holiday at home.

Meanwhile, the recent bankruptcy of the Russian charter carrier VIM Avia, which held 15% of the charter market, could push up the cost of tours to Russia’s most popular destinations next summer.

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