Russian tourists will leave a void in EU travel market this summer, data shows

Very few Russian tourists are expected to reach EU member states this summer as sanctions imposed due to the war in Ukraine remain effective and continue to pile up, GlobalData reveals.

According to the data and analytics firm, Russia was the fifth country in the world with the most international departures in 2021, reaching a total of 13.7 million. Specifically, almost 20% of all outbound and domestic trips to Russia were recorded in June and July, indicating a strong interest of Russian tourists to travel in summer, according to data from last year.

Additionally, travelers from Russia spent a total of €21.3 billion in 2021, earning the country a spot in the world’s top ten source markets for total outbound tourism spending. , reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

“The start of summer usually marks an influx of Russian travelers to sunny and seaside European destinations. However, this will not be the case for many countries that usually welcome Russian tourists every year, which will not do any favors in their post-COVID-19 recovery times,” Ralph Hollister, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, says.

>> How will the sanctions imposed on Russia affect tourism in Cyprus?

The countries most affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in terms of tourism are Italy and Cyprus, which will remain subject to economic declines due to the reduction in Russian visitors.

The latter was one of Cyprus’ main tourist markets, with the country almost entirely dependent on the industry. Specifically, visitors from Russia accounted for 6% of total trips to Cyprus – representing the top ten inbound source markets for 2021.

According to GlobalData’s Third Quarter 2021 Consumer Survey, 61% of Russian respondents said they generally prefer sun and beach travel, meaning Russians will particularly miss the popular coastal areas of Cyprus, like Limassol.

Earlier, ratings agency DBRS Morningstar revealed that Cyprus’ gross domestic production (GDP) is expected to lose 1.5-2% of its value due to sanctions imposed on Russians, preventing them from traveling to Cyprus this summer.

The importance of Russian tourists as an international source market for tourism is evident, particularly as the world was emerging from a pandemic that damaged aviation and tourism.

“Although only Italy and Cyprus were mentioned, the virtual elimination of Russian tourists traveling to the EU this summer will impact tourism demand across Europe. As a result, post-COVID-19 recovery times for many destinations will be extended due to the loss of a major source market,“Hollister noted.

Russian tourists have also had an impact on the industry as they were among the first to show their willingness to travel amid massive travel uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world.

>> The EU expects a loss of more than 3 million Russian tourists this year – Germany, Greece and Cyprus remain the most affected

Willie R. Golden