There’s no question about it – Russians love to travel. Since international travel restrictions were lifted some 20 years ago, Russians have roamed the world on their holidays, in search of sunshine, cultural and historical attractions or simply a spot of retail therapy. Yet certain countries seem to appeal more consistently to this lucrative outbound tourist market more than others.
- Turkey tops list of most searched-for overseas destinations in 2013 (Yandex)
- Russians spent 46% more than the average tourist while in Italy in 2013 (UNIONCAMERE-ISNART)
- Russian searches for property in Thailand increase 74% in a single month (Idinaidi)
According to data from Russia’s leading search engine, Yandex, the most searched for overseas destinations in 2013 were Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Thailand, Spain and Italy. Clearly warm weather is the common theme, with many Russian visitors looking to thaw the chill of their home country’s long winter from their bones by soaking up some sun at the seaside.
Each of the top countries has its own distinct charms in addition to the promise of sunshine. Thailand and Egypt provide easy entry and hassle-free visa permits, as well as fabulous opportunities for historical sightseeing, while Turkey’s beaches and all-inclusive package holidays mean that it is viewed by Russians in much the same way that southern Spain is thought of by Brits.
Italy, of course, is popular due to its reputation as one of the world’s best places to indulge in luxury shopping. In fact, recent data from the UNIONCAMERE-ISNART Observatory on Tourism showed that Russian tourists were the highest-spending visitors to Italy in 2013, spending 46% more than the average tourist.
It’s not just designer clothes and souvenirs that Russians are picking up while on holiday these days either. According to data from the fastest-growing Russian property portal,Idinaidi, which now carries over 650,000 listings and works with 7,500 agents, Russians are increasingly looking to purchase second homes overseas in their favourite holiday destinations. COO Carlo Walther comments,
“Many Russians, having enjoyed their holidays in the sunshine, look to build a more permanent association with their preferred country by buying a holiday home there. Greece’s low prices and Spain’s golden visa programme are key attractions as far as many buyers are concerned.”
Thailand’s popularity with Russian second home buyers has increased dramatically in recent months, with searches for property there on Idinaidi up 74% in the last month alone. Phuket is the location of choice for those looking to turn their holiday into something more permanent, with the most viewed property currently being an apartment at Patong Beach for €55,000. The average budget for those buying in Thailand currently sits at €108,000, with only 5% of searches fitting the stereotype of Russians always looking to spend €1 million or more.
With May – a popular month for short beach breaks due to Russia’s Labor Day and Victory Day national holidays at the start of the month – fast approaching, smart property sellers in those destinations most favoured by Russians will no doubt be considering how best they can tap in to this highly profitable market, turning ever increasing numbers from Russians from flyers into buyers.
For more information visit Idinaidi at www.idinaidi.ru.