Where did the Russian demand move?

Undoubtedly, European tour operators have abandoned the idea, at least for this year, of seeing Russian tourists again. Together with Ukrainian ones, they were moved with resignation in the group of “frozen” markets, alongside the Chinese and Japanese ones. American and British companies are also in the same situation, all waiting for a positive turn.

Russian tourists have greatly decreased their travels abroad, but not all give up on summer holidays. If in January 2022 searches for flights towards foreign countries were about 6.6 million, in May they fell to 976 thousand, about a seventh compared to the beginning of the year.

Russian demand, therefore, is weak but still alive and has undergone important changes, especially with regard to travel destinations. It is no longer just a matter of taste: because of the sanctions, Russian travelers are severely limited in choosing their final tourist destination; therefore, this year’s modest tourist flow will be conveyed in only a few countries.

 

TURKEY ‘S STRATEGY ATTRACTS RUSSIANS

Turkey is undoubtedly the destination that is most desired by Russian tourists: considering the flight searches carried out in May, as many as 26% of travellers have chosen a destination in Turkey. This preference is not casual: already during the pandemic, the two countries have established a strong bond thanks to Turkey’s strategy, country which, unlike the European Union, has decided to recognize the Sputnik vaccine, allowing Russians to go on vacation in 2021. Relations have been strengthened even more after the outbreak of the conflict, thanks to an agreement between the two countries. While Russian flights were banned from the airspace of the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union, Russia and Turkey signed an agreement to increase air traffic between the two countries. To this, we must add the fact that in addition to being the closest bathing destination available, Turkey is seen as a safe place, since many Russians moved there after the outbreak of the war. Finally, Turkey has a strong interest in the Russian market: it was the first market by number of tourist presences in 2019 but although it is still attracting a good portion of travelers, it will still suffer a great loss in 2022. Compared to January, the tourist volume of the Russian market towards Turkey decreased by 76%.

Big Data for tourism. Flight searches from Russia made in May 2022

EUROPEAN NOSTALGIA

In addition to Turkey, the Russians’ travel intentions are all directed towards the countries of the Middle East and Central Asia. Demand is very fragmented: the few Russians traveling are scattered among Armenia (6%), Israel (4%), Azerbaijan (4%), United Arab Emirates (3%), Uzbekistan (3%), Kazakhstan (3%) and Georgia (3%).

There seems to be also someone feeling nostalgic for European destinations: in May there were about 25% searches for flights to Spain; 24% for Italy, 16% for France, 15% for Germany and 13% for Greece. These destinations, put together, weigh 10% on the total of travel intentions: this is still too little to consider it good news, but it is certainly the sign of a demand that’s still alive.

 

 

 

Lybra Destination powered by Zucchetti Travel Data Lake

 

The Travel Data Lake of Zucchetti Group collects and manages millions of overnight searches every day, thanks to which it is possible to have a statistically relevant overview on tourists’ future demand and extrapolate valuable information about travelers’ profile. The system collects anonymously stay searches carried out by travellers through the CRS of the Zucchetti group, providing an accurate forecast of hotel demand (period, destination, duration of stay, etc.). Zucchetti is the largest Italian software house: with over 40 years of experience, in 2021 it has more than 700,000 customers, revenues of over 1.3 billion euros and a group of over 8,000 people. Thanks to its Hospitality division, which provides digital tools to over 50% of accommodation facilities in Italy, in 2020 Zucchetti developed the Travel Data Lake, the largest forecasting hub in Italy, with the aim of centralizing forecast data from the group’s Booking Engine. The data is processed by Destination, the market intelligence platform of Lybra Tech, a Zucchetti Group company specialising in technologies for tourism and data analysis. Lybra Destination is a multi-source dashboard that helps Decision Makers exploit the power of future data: it is the only tool that can manage all data available in the territory by simultaneously analyzing multiple sources. Leveraging the power of AI and machine learning, Lybra Destination helps tourist destinations guide decision making and monitor the impact of their promotional activities.

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