Russia becomes popular among foreign tourists
Federal Agency of Tourism of Russia and statistics announced preliminary results for the last six months of 2010 concerning the number of foreign tourists visiting Russia. Their number was 884,000 people, which is 17.4% above the same period during the last year.
In fact we were able to get closer to the 2008 (the lag is about 1%) as it was planned in the beginning of the year.
In 2009, according to statistics the flow of tourists to Russia dropped by 15% over the first half of the year because of the global financial crisis and the epidemic of influenza A/H1N1. That means less than 753 thousand people visited our country during the six months.
The increase in flow occurred primarily due to the tourists from Asian countries. So, almost 52,000 people came to Russia from China, which is 74.5% more than during the first half of 2009. Also, the flow of tourists from Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines increased.
Among European countries Germany showed the great results: 123.4 thousand of German tourists came to Russia in the first six months, it is 9% more than last year. However, given that last year's drop of flow was 12%, we cannot call it a great success, because the results of 2008 have not yet been achieved.
Also Netherlands showed the great interest: the increase is 21% that makes 14,500 people.
Unfortunately, the flow of tourists from Spain went down significantly – nearly at 30%. Last year Spanish tourists surprised us by their activity. And against the background of general decline rates only Spain has shown growth by 16%. We should thank for it the active advertising campaign of tourist capabilities of Russia deployed in the country, including numerous presentations and tours of the Bolshoi Theater.
One can blame also the abnormal weather conditions in the fact that the task to return the intensity tour flow at the level of 2008 was not achieved. The heat, which caused massive fires in the territory of Russia and made tourism impossible during the most popular summer months, significantly spoiled the results of the past six months.