26 Jan 2024 15:28

Russia restores outbound tourism to 53% of pre-pandemic levels - expert

MOSCOW. Jan 26 (Interfax) - Russia restored outbound tourism to 53% of the 2019 pre-pandemic level in 2023, when about 24 million tourists travelled abroad, according to preliminary estimates, Fun&Sun Tour Operator Deputy General Director Alexander Sirchenko said.

"Forty-five million tourists travelled abroad in 2019, versus 19 million over the first nine months of 2023. An expert estimate suggests that the total number of tourists might reach 24 million in 2023. In terms of percentage, the outbound tourism market has recovered to approximately 53% of pre-pandemic levels in 2019," Sirchenko said at a strategic session of the Russian Union of Travel Industry on Friday.

Outbound tourism is steadily recovering, but it still needs state support, he said.

"We see the prospect of growth, but numbers are down 20%-22% even for popular Turkey," Sirchenko said.

About 7 million organized tourists spent their vacations abroad in 2023, he said.

"Some 5.5 million tourists were transported by sectoral and charter flights, versus about 10 million in the past. We still need state support, especially to open new destinations," Sirchenko said.