Weak Ruble Draws Foreign Tourists to Russia for Summer Vacations
(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 18, 2016)
The number of foreign tourists booking summer vacations in Russia has risen by 30 percent amid the weakening of the ruble, the Kommersant newspaper reported Wednesday, citing a study by the Momondo online reservation system.
Demand for trips to Russia during the summer months among German travelers – who made the most reservations – was up 34.6 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the study.
The number of bookings made by travelers from Israel has risen by 55 percent. The interest from the tourists from Norway and Britain in trips to Russia has grown by 127.9 percent and 143.9 percent respectively, according to data from Momondo.
The study also revealed that foreign travelers are now traveling to Russian destinations other than the traditionally popular Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The number of tourists willing to travel to the Urals city of Yekaterinburg has risen by 38.6 percent and the demand for trips to Siberia’s Irkutsk has shown 99.5 percent growth.
The surge in demand for trips to Russia has also been registered by the Skyscanner online flight booking system. The number of early flight bookings to Russia from foreign countries for June this year is 35 percent higher than last year, Skyscanner data revealed.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Russia started to grow last year as the Russian currency has lost over 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar since the beginning of 2015.