In news from Ctrip, China’s largest travel agency, tourist flows from China to Russia increased by 150 percent in January-July compared to the corresponding period last year.
According to the company, some 40,000-50,000 Chinese tourists visited Russia during the FIFA World Cup alone, which exceeded the travel agency’s expectations. Victor Tseng, the vice president of Ctrip,, had this to say in addition:
“Over the past few years, Russia has become a destination enjoying increasing popularity among the Chinese tourists. According to our information, in January-July of this year outbound tourism from China to Russia increased by 150 percent compared to the same period last year.”
The Ctrip executive went on to stress how the news shows just how improved relations are in between Russia and China. Tseng applauded the Russian authority’s efforts to ensure Russia became a more “China-friendly” destination. According to Tseng, a simplified visa regime between the two countries was another reason for the increased number of tourist trips. He told Sputnik news agency:
“We are very inspired by the Russian market in terms of outbound tourism from China. That is why we want to work to increase the number of Russian companies providing tourism services. We want to release information about their products and services on our platform so that Chinese tourists heading to Russia can easily find them and [make bookings].”
The news from Ctrip also reflected the company’s willingness to work with Russian authorities and travel agencies in order to increase Russia’s awareness of the Chinese user base and the country’s tourism services. Some 1.8 million Chinese citizens visited Russia, including 1.1 million visits for tourism purposes during the 2017 season, according to the information, provided by the Russian Association of Tour Operators.