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China to become leading inbound market for Russia by 2015

09:18, 29 мая 2013

The previous year resulted in the 46% growth of the overall flow of Chinese tourists to Russia totaling at 343 thousand trips, including around 185 thousand via the visa-free channel; this adds over 31% to the 2011's figures. At the same time, the number of Russians traveling to China went 4.5% down, trips with the purpose of tourism lost 11.5%, and visa-free channel ended the year short of 13%. The reason for such a decrease is a cutback of shopping tours from Russia to China. While the flow from Germany, the prime inbound market for Russia, is growing by 6-8% year-on-year, the one from the Celestial Empire adds over 40% every year; so it is sure to take over the first place in terms of international arrivals to Russia by 2014-2015, revealed the head of the International Cooperation department of RosTourism, Mr. Vladimir Fomin.

Vladivostok is one of the regions that welcome the largest numbers of Chinese tourists. It goes second after Moscow with its 82 thousand visitors from the PRC. Despite the positive growth dynamics, says Mr. Fomin, there are still certain issues: 95% of the Chinese visit just two cities and two regions – Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, and Amur Regions. "Ten travel companies from these cities receive 75% of all tourists from the PRC that come to our country," Vladimir Fomin reported. And this means that most regional tour operators and tourism governing bodies are not yet aware of the significance and prospects of China as an inbound market. Among other things standing in the way of the tourist flow development are expensive airfares, poor infrastructure, inadequately priced hotels and other services, lack of qualified staff, and safety issues.

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