Dacha instead of Dubai: Russia's tourism industry looks inward
A dacha is a summer home that can range from a small cottage to a large home with a fruit and vegetable garden. Many in Russia’s large cities rely on these plots of land in the countryside to get through periods of hardship and food crises. Many Russians used their dachas as safe havens during the Pandemic lockdowns. They are becoming more and more used as vacation homes for people who have traveled abroad before.
Russian tourists have been having difficulty traveling outside of their homeland since Russia attacked Ukraine. European skies are closed to Russian planes, while Russian airspace does not allow European planes. Russian travelers are not willing to take long detours.
All sizes of datememe are popular in Russia.
Russian tourists can only use cash to pay their bills in other countries because Russia was excluded from the international money transfer system. Paying for a vacation has become more difficult.
River cruises are popular.
New domestic vacation destinations have been sought out by those who find their dachas too small. Russia is the largest country in the world in area. Anastasia Kisilyova of the St. Petersburg travel agency “Info Flot” says that river cruises are very popular at the moment. The next few months will see a 40 to 50 percent increase in bookings compared to last year. According to Kisilyova, this year’s numbers are the highest they’ve been in 15 years.
Cruises around the so-called “Golden Ring” are popular. The tourist route goes through old Russian cities. The settlements were the scene of significant events in Russia’s history between the 11th and 17th centuries and have many churches and monasteries that are popular to visit.
Russia’s “Golden Circle,” northeast of Moscow, is a popular destination.
The tour guide from the city of Samara is happy about it. She says Russians are discovering their own country. The same is true for Russia’s Black Sea coast in the Krasnodar region, which is usually an in-demand location, despite most airports being closed since the war began.
There is a different situation for travel to the peninsula. Up to a third of hotels and guesthouses won’t be open in the summer, according to the Russian newspaper. The airport in the Russian-annexed peninsula was closed after the start of the war and many tourists are afraid of the war in neighboring Ukraine, according to a report.
Russians don’t take vacations abroad
Russian tourism abroad is not looking very good. There has been a decline in Russian tourists due to higher prices and restricted flights. The Russian Union of Travel Agencies said there were four times fewer tourists from Russia in Turkey in March.
Turkey is a popular travel destination for Russians.
The Russian Travel Suppliers Union told Forbes that the industry that caters to the super rich has remained stable.
With domestic tourism booming and tourism outside of Russia on the decline, parallels have been drawn to the events of 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and the West retaliated with sanctions. Russian counter-sanctions included banning imports of foreign foods such as cheese and apples.
Russian government investment helped the domestic food industry. Russian consumers missed French Camembert, but soon got used to new cheese produced in Russia. It’s not clear whether this inward orientation can save the country’s tourism industry. Traveling to Europe is likely to remain a challenge for most Russian tourists.
Many Russians are staying in their own country because of the war in Ukraine, while few tourists travel to Moscow.
Few foreigners in Russia.
Although domestic tourism is booming, few tourists from abroad are visiting Russia. After the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there were a lot of canceled flights, according to a Russian travel news site. She told the platform that the summer season was on the verge of collapsing.
There was hope for the industry after the International Travel Fair in Madrid at the end of January this year. Europe was reawakening. She stated that they saw interest in Russia. Politics has given the final nail in the coffin. The summer is going to be difficult. It’s very sad.
The article was translated from German to English.Tags: Russia, sanctions, tourism, travel, Ukraine war