The European Union countries have started to feel the effects of the restrictions imposed against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, with the number of arrivals recording a significant drop.
Due to the sanctions that the EU countries continue to keep in place against Russians, the latter are seeking alternative travel destinations, costing the EU’s economy billions, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to France 24, France’s capital, as well as the other parts of the country, have seen a staggering decline in Russian tourist arrivals.
Commenting on the current situation and figures, a spokesperson for the Paris tourist board said that the capital recorded 95.8 per cent fewer tourists from Russia arriving by air between January and May of this year compared to the same period in 2019.
At the same time, the spokesperson noted that the upcoming months are expected to bring only a marginal increase of one per cent in Russian tourist arrivals, meaning that the arrivals from the country will continue to remain low.
As France 24 explains, the difficulties in travel from Russia to European holiday destinations stem from the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Travellers from Russia now face higher costs as well as increased complexity in obtaining visas to reach the bloc. Moreover, Russian air carriers continue to be banned from flying over or into the EU, making it difficult for them to plan holidays in Europe.
Nonetheless, despite these challenges and Europe becoming less accessible, tourists from Russia embarked on around 22.5 million overseas trips in 2022, marking a significant increase compared to 19.2 million trips in 2021, with Türkiye being the most popular destination.
As for this year, it has been revealed that holidaymakers from Russia are flocking to non-Western destinations in record numbers. Countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Egypt, the Maldives, and Türkiye have recorded a surge in Russian visitors.
In an attempt to capture a share of the Russian tourism market, several countries, excluding those in the EU, are working to establish better air travel connections.
Thailand, Morocco, and Sri Lanka plan to open direct flight paths with Russia so that travel from the country gets facilitated.
Moreover, India, Oman, and Myanmar have also been engaging in talks with the Russian authorities to explore opportunities for increasing tourism in the country.
As for the EU countries, it has been stressed that the lack of Russian tourists has negatively impacted the economies of Greece and Cyprus which up until restrictions were introduced, recorded a large number of arrivals each year. These two countries are now exploring alternative strategies to attract tourists.
Source : schengenvisainfo