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Survey: Online Travel Bookings Habits in Russia

Russia’s leading hotel booking website, Oktogo.ru together with Synovate Comcon market research, have recently completed a study based on residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg, regarding Russians’ travel habits.

Oktogo website

Online Travel Bookings

According to the survey, 76% of participants use online search services of Google and Yandex, although a great amount of 80% look also at offline advertisements.  62% seek friends’ advice, while a quarter of the respondents take into account online reviews. Considering that ordering travel products and services online will be less expensive, the majority of both Moscow and St. Petersburg residents surveyed end by using the web when it comes to choose their vacation.

moscow hotel rooms

Moscow's growing popularity is behind a surge in hotel room rates © Gina Sanders - Fotolia.com

Russian tourists focus on simplicity and convenience

The research proved that 81 % of Moscow and St. Petersburg inhabitants are ready to plan their vacation by using online booking services. However, vacationers from Moscow tend to use one single service they know about, while San Petersburg residents have named several online services of this type when they were asked. Concluding, simplicity and convenience seem to be the most important factors for Russians when it comes to choosing an online service to book their vacations.

Still appreciating factors such as the wide range of hotels, rapid booking confirmation and low prices, an amount of 70 % of online bookings are accompanied by phone calls or letters to customer service. Regarding their business trips, men always look to obtain financial documents for accounting while women pay more attention to factors such as: reliability, low prices and the free option of canceling reservations.

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.

Other important aspects Russians appreciate regarding online bookings include the availability of rooms at certain dates in real time, in addition to discounts and bonuses. Furthermore, residents in Moscow, even more than those in St. Petersburg, ask their booking confirmation to be sent by fax directly from the hotel.

Moscow residents prefer hot destinations and vacation packages

80% of online travelers plan their vacation in advance, though half of them are still willing to benefit of an attractive offer and take a spontaneous trip if the dates are convenient. Another interesting aspect is that people in Moscow prefer vacation packages while St Petersburg’s residents choose to plan their trips themselves.

Ukraine Hotel Moscow

Even though the price of a travel package is generally higher than independent travel bookings, 60% of travelers in the two regions, especially Moscow, prefer to seek agencies’ services at least once a year. Considering the fact that planning a vacation by yourself requires a lot of time and information, as well as the detail according to which booking a hotel or a flight from Russia it’s not such a simple thing, Russian tourists are not experts when it comes to plan voyages, which is why they often resort to agencies in order to organize their travels. However, being so close to the Finnish border, St Petersburg residents have become experienced in trips to Finland, which determined them to do the same for other destinations, too.

When it comes to travel, Moscow and St Petersburg residents chose opposite directions

With very diverse tastes, Moscow and St Petersburg inhabitants have little chances to meet while traveling, as they tend to land on different airports, except the Spanish ones, which seem to please both. While tourists from Moscow prefer hot destinations such as France, Spain, Turkey and Greece, those in St Petersburg enjoy visiting Estonia, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic and of course, Finland which is very close.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland now accessible via high speed train from Russia.

On the topic of domestic travel in Russia, it comes somehow natural for people in Moscow to visit regions in South Russia (Sochi and Krasnodar), as well as neighboring towns such as Yaroslavl and Suzdal. In the meantime, St. Petersburg residents prefer nearby destinations like Pskov, Viborg and Veliky Novgorod.

The survey made by Oktogo.ru in partnership with Synovate Comcon has shown that St Petersburg’s local are more willing to visit Moscow than vice versa, as 51 % of St Persburg population travel to the capital, while only 29 % of those in Moscow visit the other beautiful Russian city.