Hilton Worldwide, having identified Russia as its fastest growing development market in Europe, commissioned the report, Balancing Russia’s tourism deficit: A report on the future of the industry. Findings suggest that incoming tourist expenditure in Russia may double to US$15.3bn by 2016 if vital infrastructure changes are implemented.
Russia’s outbound market is forecasted to become one of the fastest growing in Europe, with an annual average growth rate of 7.4% from 2011 to 2016 and a doubling of outbound tourist expenditure to $US67.1bn. By 2016, Russia’s inbound tourism could see a 5% increase in the number of visitors if vital infrastructure changes are fully implemented. Additionally, tourist expenditures may double, contributing an additional US$15.3bn to the Russian economy.
Simon Vincent, area president, Europe, Hilton Worldwide, states:
“Not only is there the opportunity in Russia to double the amount of revenue generated by incoming tourism, but the fact that outbound expenditure is three times bigger than spend by visitors to the country shows the long term potential that still remains. The report highlights the huge opportunity that exists to make Russia’s tourism industry more competitive and identifies the measures that are urgently needed to help the country attract a greater share of the growing number of international travellers.”
Research specialists Euromonitor International compiled the report. Findings indicate that many international tourists have an inaccurate perception of access to Russia believing red tape, lack of proper infrastructure, high accommodation prices and unpredictable quality of services make travel difficult. Simplifying Russia’s visa system may foster tourism growth in Russia as tourists still encounter difficulties acquiring visas relatively quickly.
The tourism suggests the Russian government get involved in tourist development by investing in a favorable financial environment for tourism to grow as well as training and education to improve the quality of tourism services. An additional boost can be achieved by portraying an attractive image of Russia as a travel destination by growing online retail, developing event tourism, increasing low cost air carriers and investment in travel transportation and accommodation.
Most tourists are drawn to large cities like Moscow and St. Petersburgh, but development of small-scale unconventional tourism, such as event-based, ethnic, ecological, extreme and industrial tourism building on the Russian regions’ unique natural sites and historical heritage are all pulls for new visitors. Hilton Worldwide plans to open 28 hotels across the country in the next few years.
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