Holidays are the most popular sector for expenditure in Russia – above categories such as cinema/theatre visits, new technology and clothing/footwear.
Forecasts by Euromonitor International revealed at the WTM Vision Conference – Moscow today.
A third of Russians quizzed said they expect to spend more on travel/holidays, and half expect spending to remain the same, while fewer than 18% said they would spend less.
Only ‘saving’ ranked above spending on travel/holidays in the survey of Russian spending habits over the coming 12 months (carried out in October 2013).
Vitalij Vladykin, Senior Research Analyst at Euromonitor International, will present the research, showing how Russia’s outbound tourism continues to perform more strongly than inbound – but both are predicted to grow between 2013 and 2018.
“New legislation regulating tour operators will boost consumer confidence and the outbound market,” he said.
However, it is hoped that the Winter Olympics in Sochi and the FIFA World Cup in 2018 will raise the country’s profile and boost inbound visitor numbers, helping to redress the balance.
However, Russia’s role in post-revolution Ukraine could cast a shadow over tourism.
Domestic tourism trips within Russia are forecast to grow strongly over the next five years, with Kostroma, Volgograd and Nizhni Novgorod regions showing the highest percentage growth rates.
Meanwhile, hotel chains are targeting business travellers by moving into second-tier cities such as Krasnodar, Primorye and Nizhni Novgorod.
A key area is the online market, said Vladykin, adding: “Travel is one of the country’s e-commerce success stories and is poised to expand.”
Russia has the largest market in Europe in terms of internet users and mobile subscriptions, and mobile phone penetration increased to reach 98% of households in 2012.
Vladykin said: “The proportion of the population using the internet expanded from 25% in 2007 to 53% in 2012.
“Russia’s urban areas are hotspots of demand for tablets and smartphones.”
His findings for the Russian market are mirrored in Euromonitor International’s global travel and tourism research.
This shows that global tourism remains vibrant, with record arrival numbers in 2013, and online bookings and mobile payments are becoming increasingly common.
Euromonitor International’s global research also shows that spending on travel is a top-three priority for consumers, and emerging markets remain the focus for growth among many international hotel groups.