Since Russia’s tension with Ukraine began, Putin and his country have had a bad international image in the West, undoubtedly impacting the number of Western tourists arriving in Russia.
However, the numbers are not as bleak as one might suspect . The large drop in the value of the Russian ruble is making it a more cost-effective destination.
Since the beginning of 2015, tourism is up 3-5% according to Rostourism deputy chairman Nikolai Korolev.
Russian tourism is not being supported by the arrival of more German tourists, but by the increasing number of Chinese visitors. This is due to strengthening relations between the two countries; Russia’s introduction of a visa-free regime for Chinese tour groups; and the depreciation of the ruble.
Chinese arrivals were up 10% in 2014, with the trend continuing into 2015.
For more information, visit Russia Beyond the Headlines.