According to preliminary estimates of the Analytical Service of the Association of Travel Agencies of Russia (ATOR), in the first half of this year, more than 5 million Russian citizens chose to spend their holidays abroad.
More than half of them went to Egypt and Turkey. Many other countries experience an increase in interest from Russian visitors as well.
While last year's outbound tourism in Russia fell by an average of 15% compared to 2008, this year it has grown by 20% compared with 2009. There are even “champion” countries, whose popularity far exceeds not only the indicators of 2009, but also those of the pre-crisis year 2008, according to ATOR's press release.
This year is also marked by a record demand for tours to Egypt. During the first six months it has increased by almost 70% (1.437 million). At the same time, the average length of abroad stays has increased, which goes against the general trend of nowadays when tourists are not abandoning trips in general, but they try to make them more cost-effective, primarily by reducing the length of stay.
The number of Russians in Thailand has also almost doubled up to 300 thousand people. The tourist flow from Russia to Cyprus increased by 40% compared to last year (86 thousand people). It is also a 27% higher than the results of 2008. According to the Cyprus Statistic Office, the average expenditure of Russian travelers per visit is 880 Euros, which is almost 200 Euros more than the average expenditure of other foreign tourists.
Among the leading countries in the number of tourists coming to Israel, Russia was in second place after the U.S. (19%) with an index of 17%. During the first five months of 2010, more than 222 thousand Russian tourists visited Israel, which is 78% more than in the same period last year.