65% of Russians are thinking about winter holidays, but 1/3 of them do not know how to spend it. And it would be desirable, and it is pricked to our compatriots to have a rest abroad. The main reason is the price tag bites. It is joined by the unstable geopolitical situation, and the sad fact of the suspension of cards issued by Russian banks. The results of the winter tourist mood of the Russians were cited by ATOR, publishing data from a study by the NAFI analytical center.
65% vs. 12%
Between October and May, up to 25% of Russians go on vacation. From December to February, 43% of Russians have traveled over the past three years. According to the survey, only 12% prefer winter for tourist trips. At the same time, half of the 12% travel in January, probably for the New Year holidays. However, the vast majority of Russians – they turned out to be 84% – said they choose to vacation in the summer.
“But, according to NAFI data, in 2022, as many as 65% of our compatriots “think” about a winter trip. If this is true, then every Russian who, in principle, loves to travel, is considering the opportunity to go on vacation in the winter, ”the analysts noted.
What are the statistics of tour operators?
- “Dolphin”. “According to our statistics, about 60% of Russians go on vacation in the summer and only 40% in the remaining 9 months,” explained Sergey Romashkin, ATOR vice president, director of the Dolphin tour operator.
- “Multitour ». “If the summer level of demand is taken as 100%, then in winter the sales volume, even on peak dates, reaches a maximum of 70% of the summer one, usually 60-65%,” said Margarita Nazarova, deputy director of the company. At the same time, representatives of other major tour operators also stressed that the ratio between summer and winter trips is unequal: as a rule, (charter and block flight programs of airline tour operators are carried out mainly in the summer months. Although, given all the changes that have occurred in the market in recent years, other scenarios are possible.
- Russian Express. The number of vacationers who went on vacation from May 1, 2022 to the present is two and a half times greater than the flow of tourists who had time to rest from November 1, 2021 to April 30 of the current year. “According to the tour operator, in the current conditions, the preferences of Russians are most affected by the availability of transportation. Therefore, the statistics of this year, when, presumably, more flights will be flown abroad in winter than in spring, may differ,” the experts noted. “We do not yet know what will happen this winter, given our increased transportation. There will definitely be more tourists than in summer,” Anna Filatovskaya, director of the advertising and PR department of the Russian Express tour operator, said in a statement.
- Representatives of ANEX Tour, a tour operator with Turkish roots, did not rule out that the statistics of the winter season 2022/2023 may differ from the previous ones, since not everyone was able to relax in the summer due to high prices. “In winter, there is usually a decrease in the number of tourists compared to the summer season, but a lot depends on the availability of flights and prices (taking into account how many various restrictions there have been over the past three years). Perhaps, for some reason, part of the traveling audience did not go on vacation this summer and will be able to go only in the second half of the year. A significant increase in the cost of tours, a lack of flights, the general situation in the world and fears about cards not working abroad – all this could provoke tourists to take a wait-and-see position, ”the Anex-Tour press service explained.
At the same time, tour operators admitted that these are the same tourists who have time to relax both in summer and in winter.
“It is important to understand the difference: firstly, tour operators accurately speak about those who went on a trip. I didn’t “plan”, I didn’t “wanted”, I didn’t “interested”, but I bought a tour and went. And, they note, the majority of Russians have funds for only one “exit”, a full-fledged vacation per year. And it's usually in the summer. Secondly, the availability of certain foreign destinations has a great influence on the statistics of tour operators. External turbulence affects domestic tourism to a lesser extent,” the analysts added.
Who and where goes on vacation in winter: the sea is now in the background
According to NAFI, young people aged 18 to 24, residents of the North Caucasus and the Far East, representatives of working professions, entrepreneurs or self-employed usually go on winter holidays. Most often, Russians over the age of 55, the unemployed, as well as technical or maintenance personnel refused winter trips. In this sense, there is no big difference with the general data for the current year.
The “post-crisis” reality is as follows: according to the plans of tour operators, if earlier Russians traveling in the winter months quite openly preferred trips to the warm sea, now their view has shifted. Tours around the cities of Russia and visiting natural attractions are more interested in women aged 45 to 54 years. The same age category of travelers, including men, likes the idea of spending their winter holidays in a Russian sanatorium or recreation center. Young people aged 18-24 mostly prefer to travel to other countries and visit cities within Russia. Compatriots aged 25-34 expressed a desire to ski without leaving the country. At the same time, out-of-town recreation – a dacha, a bathhouse – is preferred by interviewed men of different ages.
“When asked what types of recreation our compatriots associate (exactly “associated”, and not “popular”) with winter, they mainly chose options related to visiting natural attractions in Russia (Baikal, Altai, Yamal, Kamchatka, etc. .), ski resorts, summer cottages and trips to sanatoriums. In this sense, the rating is more or less predictable. At the same time, 14% of respondents spoke about foreign ski resorts, and 12% about sightseeing trips to other countries.
Last spring, Turkey and Egypt were at the top of tourist demand. However, this season can radically change everything, since the issue of winter charters has not yet been resolved due to the threat of secondary sanctions from the United States and Western countries on countries cooperating with the Russian Federation, in particular, within the framework of tourism.
In general, the importance of domestic tourism is undoubtedly growing, ATOR said. But it is too early to say unequivocally that this happened precisely because of a change in the preferences of Russians. To a much greater extent, other factors that differ from the naive desires of travelers contribute to this.
Economy as a factor influencing Russians' vacation plans
The desire to go somewhere and/or preferences in a variety of destinations, as a rule, do not translate into the trip itself for economic reasons. According to NAFI, the Russians are again forced to postpone their vacation due to lack of money. The same trend was this summer.
Among the most important deterrents for Russians were the high cost of living (44%), high transport costs (30%), Russian resorts are inconvenient: far away and/or poorly equipped (40%).
Researchers commented on this like this: “The older Russians get, the more serious an obstacle for them becomes the high cost of living during the winter holidays and expensive transport tickets.”
“Poor transport accessibility of holiday destinations keeps qualified specialists from traveling (26% ) and people aged 18-34 (20%). Lack of infrastructure repels young people aged 18-24 and people with higher education (25% each). The low quality of service is of fundamental importance for the interviewed entrepreneurs,” the experts said. Oddly enough, 1/3 of compatriots simply do not know where and how to go in the winter of 2022/2023. We advise them to follow the publications of Turprom.
For those who value a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “The hematologist told what to do if the bruise does not go away.”