Bulgaria to head the Russian market by 35% increase
Russians prefer Bulgaria beaches more and more each year. A 35% increase was realised in the first half of 2012.
Maya Lomidze, head of the Association of Russian Tour Operators, cited by Rossiyskaya Gazeta, in terms of absolute numbers Turkey and Egypt top the list of the most popular summer tourism destinations for Russians, followed by Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Croatia, Cyprus, and Montenegro (in descending order).
However, in terms of growth, the traditional European Mediterranean and Black Sea destinations have overtaken Turkey and Egypt, with Turkey seeing a mere 10% growth in demand for its tourism packages among Russian tourists, while Egypt's popularity has remained roughly the same as in 2011.
Bulgaria's growth of up to 35% in visits by Russian tourists is followed by Greece's 20%-30%, Italy's 20%, Croatia's 15%-20%, while the Russians' demand for vacations in Montenegro has doubled.
In all of 2011, Bulgaria was visited by some 450 000 Russians, with tourism officials expecting their total number to reach 600 000 by the end of 2012, or a growth rate of about 30%.