Russians seek Asia’s seafood and sun
Its a Russian invasion. Read More » Latest statistics from global travel analysis firm, ForwardKeys, reveal growth in Russian leisure travellers to the Asia-Pacific skyrocketed by 62.8% for the 12 months to May this year. Russian business travel to the region also rose, by 27.5%.
The huge spike in Russian visitors is the result of a doubling in direct flights from Russia to Asian tourist destinations, particularly Vietnam and Thailand, with overall seat capacity increasing by 38%.
Vietnam is experiencing the biggest rise in Russian airline seat capacity, at 153%, followed by Thailand and the Maldives, which saw growth of 125% and 58%, respectively. South Korea and India reported seat capacity expansion of more than 30% from Russian carriers.
Vietnam has emerged as a favorite destination for Russians and is expected to soon surpass Thailand, a nation long favored by Russian holidaymakers as their number one destination. Last year, Vietnam received a record high of 606,000 Russian tourists, which was 4% of foreign tourist arrivals in the country.
Russians spend an average of US$1,600 per stay in Vietnam compared with an overall average for foreign visitors of $900, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism reports.
New direct air services from multiple secondary and tertiary cities in Russia to Vietnam’s popular beach towns underpin the northern European tourism boom. In 2018, Russia’s S7 Airlines launched direct flights connecting Irkutsk City with Cam Ranh, an hour south of its much busier sister, Nha Trang. Vladivostok Air has commenced daily flights from Vladivostok and Khabarovsk also to Cam Ranh.
Guangzhou-headquartered China Southern Airlines (CSA) has increased frequencies from Urumqi to Russian cities. To better serve demand during the peak travel season, CSA has resumed its Urumqi-Saint Petersburg direct route with a four times a week service and has increased direct flights, also to four a week, between Urumqi and Moscow.
Total international arrivals in the Asia-Pacific rose 3.8%, from May 2018 to April this year. Russia’s 54.5% increase meant Europe was the top growing origin continent, up 6.3%.