Tourism drops in Russia

 Saturday, February 11, 2023 


In 2022, the number of international tourists coming to Russia dropped drastically because of the effect of Western sanctions inflicted on the country after its Ukraine military operation and stringent restriction of COVID-19 in China, professionals related to the industry said about this on Thursday.

In 2022, only 200,100 foreigners had come to Russia, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) mentioned this by highlighting the figures from border services, a plunge of almost 96.1 percent from pre-pandemic days.

ATOR said that the reasons are obvious: the closed skies between Russia and the huge majority of countries in Europe, along with the hopelessness to make use of foreign-issued Mastercard and Visa cards in Russia.

To Russian planes, majority of Europe had closed its airspace a few days after the Kremlin introduced the Ukraine offensive in February 2022.

From March 2022, Aeroflot, the Russian national carrier, had stopped its foreign flights, even though it resumed travel to friendly countries, on a gradual basis.

However, China’s draconian COVID-related restrictions that Beijing abandoned only recently had kept tourists from China away from making the most of the situation.

To Russia, before the pandemic had hit the world, Chinese tourists were the top visitors. They accounted for almost 30 percent of the 5.1 million total.

Only 842 Chinese tourists visited Russia in last year. In 2022, the number of international tourists was even lower than what the country experienced in the midst of the pandemic.

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