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Travel and tourism in Russia - statistics & facts

Covid-19 impact on russians' travel destinations, impact of the war in ukraine on tourism in russia, key insights.

Detailed statistics

Travel and tourism's total contribution to GDP in Russia 2019-2023

Travel and tourism's total contribution to employment in Russia 2019-2023

Tourism spending in Russia 2019-2022, by travel purpose

Editor’s Picks Current statistics on this topic

Destinations

Leading outbound travel destinations in Russia 2021-2022

Number of outbound tourism trips from Russia 2014-2022

Leading source markets for travel to Russia 2020-2022, by arrivals

Further recommended statistics

  • Premium Statistic Countries with the highest outbound tourism expenditure worldwide 2019-2022
  • Premium Statistic Travel industry revenue distribution in Russia 2022, by segment
  • Premium Statistic Tourism spending in Russia 2019-2022, by travel purpose
  • Basic Statistic Travel and tourism's total contribution to GDP in Russia 2019-2023
  • Basic Statistic Travel and tourism's total contribution to employment in Russia 2019-2023

Countries with the highest outbound tourism expenditure worldwide 2019-2022

Countries with the highest outbound tourism expenditure worldwide from 2019 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Travel industry revenue distribution in Russia 2022, by segment

Distribution of travel industry revenue in Russia in 2022, by segment

Travel and tourism spending in Russia from 2019 to 2022, by purpose (in billion U.S. dollars)

Travel and tourism's total contribution to GDP in Russia 2019-2023

Total contribution of travel and tourism to gross domestic product (GDP) in Russia from 2019 to 2023 (in billion Russian rubles)

Travel and tourism's total contribution to employment in Russia 2019-2023

Total contribution of travel and tourism to employment in Russia from 2019 to 2023 (in million jobs)

Outbound tourism

  • Basic Statistic Outbound travel expenditure in Russia 2011-2022
  • Premium Statistic Number of outbound tourism trips from Russia 2014-2022
  • Premium Statistic Leading outbound travel destinations in Russia 2021-2022
  • Premium Statistic Number of outbound tourists from Russia 2022, by territory
  • Premium Statistic Outbound tourist flow growth in Russia 2022, by destination
  • Premium Statistic European Union (EU) Schengen visas issued in Russia 2010-2023

Outbound travel expenditure in Russia 2011-2022

Outbound travel expenditure in Russia from 2011 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Number of outbound tourism trips from Russia from 2014 to 2022 (in 1,000s)

Number of outbound travel visits from Russia from 2021 to 2022, by destination (in 1,000s)

Number of outbound tourists from Russia 2022, by territory

Number of Russians travelling abroad with tourism purposes in 2022, by territory (in 1,000s)

Outbound tourist flow growth in Russia 2022, by destination

Growth in outbound travelers with tourism purposes from Russia in 2022 compared to 2019, by selected destination

European Union (EU) Schengen visas issued in Russia 2010-2023

Number of Schengen Area visas issued from applications to consulates in Russia from 2010 to 2023*

Inbound and domestic tourism

  • Basic Statistic International tourism spending in Russia 2011-2022
  • Premium Statistic Leading source markets for travel to Russia 2020-2022, by arrivals
  • Basic Statistic Domestic travel spending in Russia 2019-2022
  • Basic Statistic Number of nature protected areas in Russia 2015-2022, by type
  • Premium Statistic Estimated demand for inbound tourism in Russia Q1 2014-Q3 2023
  • Premium Statistic Inbound tourist flow growth in Russia 2020-2023
  • Premium Statistic Number of inbound tourist arrivals in Russia 2014-2022

International tourism spending in Russia 2011-2022

Spending of international tourists in Russia from 2011 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Leading inbound tourism markets visiting Russia from 2020 to 2022, by number of trips (in 1,000s)

Domestic travel spending in Russia 2019-2022

Domestic tourism expenditure in Russia from 2019 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Number of nature protected areas in Russia 2015-2022, by type

Number of nature conservation areas in Russia from 2015 to 2022, by type

Estimated demand for inbound tourism in Russia Q1 2014-Q3 2023

Estimated balance of demand for inbound tourism in Russia from 1st quarter 2014 to 3rd quarter 2023

Inbound tourist flow growth in Russia 2020-2023

Year-over-year growth in inbound tourism trips with tourism purposes in Russia from 2020 to 2023

Number of inbound tourist arrivals in Russia 2014-2022

Number of inbound tourism visits to Russia from 2014 to 2022 (in 1,000s)

Travel companies

  • Premium Statistic Travel industry organizations distribution in Russia 2022, by segment
  • Premium Statistic Number of tourism companies in Russia 2010-2022
  • Premium Statistic Most popular travel websites in Russia 2023, by traffic

Travel industry organizations distribution in Russia 2022, by segment

Distribution of travel industry organizations in Russia in 2022, by segment

Number of tourism companies in Russia 2010-2022

Number of travel agencies and reservation service establishments in Russia from 2010 to 2022

Most popular travel websites in Russia 2023, by traffic

Leading travel and tourism websites in Russia in August 2023, by monthly visits (in millions)

Package tours

  • Premium Statistic Number of package tours sold in Russia 2014-2021, by type
  • Premium Statistic Value of package tours sold in Russia 2014-2022, by type
  • Premium Statistic Package tour cost in Russia 2014-2022, by type
  • Premium Statistic Most popular travel destinations on package tours in Russia 2022

Number of package tours sold in Russia 2014-2021, by type

Number of package tours sold in Russia from 2014 to 2021, by tourism type (in 1,000s)

Value of package tours sold in Russia 2014-2022, by type

Total value of package tours sold in Russia from 2014 to 2022, by tourism type (in billion Russian rubles)

Package tour cost in Russia 2014-2022, by type

Average cost of a package tour in Russia from 2014 to 2022, by tourism type (in 1,000 Russian rubles)

Most popular travel destinations on package tours in Russia 2022

Number of outbound tourists sent on tours by travel agencies in Russia in 2022, by destination (in 1,000s)

Transportation

  • Premium Statistic Number of domestic airline passengers in Russia monthly 2020-2022
  • Premium Statistic Passenger traffic growth of airlines in Russia 2021
  • Premium Statistic Travel transportation consumer price in Russia 2022, by type

Number of domestic airline passengers in Russia monthly 2020-2022

Number of passengers boarded by domestic airlines in Russia from January 2020 to May 2022 (in millions)

Passenger traffic growth of airlines in Russia 2021

Year-over-year growth rate in air passengers in Russia in 2021, by carrier

Travel transportation consumer price in Russia 2022, by type

Average consumer price of travel transportation in Russia in 2022, by type (in Russian rubles)

Accommodation

  • Basic Statistic Paid travel accommodation services value in Russia 2015-2022
  • Premium Statistic Travel accommodation establishments in Russia 2022, by federal district
  • Basic Statistic Total room area in travel accommodation in Russia 2013-2022
  • Premium Statistic Number of visitors in hotels in Russia 2010-2022
  • Basic Statistic Number of hotel visitors in Russia 2022, by travel purpose
  • Premium Statistic Overnight accommodation cost in Moscow monthly 2020-2023
  • Premium Statistic Hotel occupancy rate in Moscow 2023, by segment
  • Premium Statistic Average daily hotel rate in Moscow 2023, by segment

Paid travel accommodation services value in Russia 2015-2022

Value of paid services provided by travel accommodation establishments in Russia from 2015 to 2022 (in billion Russian rubles)

Travel accommodation establishments in Russia 2022, by federal district

Number of collective accommodation establishments in Russia in 2022, by federal district

Total room area in travel accommodation in Russia 2013-2022

Total area of rooms in travel accommodation establishments in Russia from 2013 to 2022 (in 1,000 square meters)

Number of visitors in hotels in Russia 2010-2022

Number of visitors in hotels and similar accommodation establishments in Russia from 2010 to 2022 (in 1,000s)

Number of hotel visitors in Russia 2022, by travel purpose

Number of visitors in hotels and similar accommodation establishments in Russia in 2022, by purpose of travel (in 1,000s)

Overnight accommodation cost in Moscow monthly 2020-2023

Average cost of overnight accommodation in Moscow from May 2020 to September 2023 (in euros)

Hotel occupancy rate in Moscow 2023, by segment

Occupancy rate of quality hotels in Moscow from January to March 2023, by segment

Average daily hotel rate in Moscow 2023, by segment

Average daily rate (ADR) in hotels in Moscow from January to March 2023, by segment (in Russian rubles)

Travel behavior

  • Premium Statistic Reasons to not travel long-haul in Russia 2022
  • Premium Statistic Intention to travel to Europe in Russia 2019-2022
  • Basic Statistic Summer vacation plans of Russians 2012-2023
  • Premium Statistic Travel frequency for private purposes in Russia 2023
  • Basic Statistic Average holiday spend per person in Russia 2011-2023
  • Premium Statistic Attitudes towards traveling in Russia 2023
  • Premium Statistic Travel product online bookings in Russia 2023

Reasons to not travel long-haul in Russia 2022

Main reasons for avoiding travel outside the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Russia from September to December 2022

Intention to travel to Europe in Russia 2019-2022

Index of intention to travel to Europe from Russia from January 2019 to December 2022 (in points)

Summer vacation plans of Russians 2012-2023

Where do you plan to spend your vacation this summer?

Travel frequency for private purposes in Russia 2023

Travel frequency for private purposes in Russia as of March 2023

Average holiday spend per person in Russia 2011-2023

How much money did you spend per person on holidays this summer? (in Russian rubles)

Attitudes towards traveling in Russia 2023

Attitudes towards traveling in Russia as of March 2023

Travel product online bookings in Russia 2023

Travel product online bookings in Russia as of March 2023

Further reports

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Russia Visitor Arrivals

  • Russia Visitor Arrivals recorded 8,242,510 person in Dec 2022, compared with 7,079,810 person in the previous year
  • Russia Visitor Arrivals data is updated yearly, available from Dec 1995 to Dec 2022
  • The data reached an all-time high of 30,792,091 person in Dec 2013 and a record low of 6,358,959 person in Dec 2020

View Russia's Visitor Arrivals from 1995 to 2022 in the chart:

Russia Visitor Arrivals

What was Russia's Visitor Arrivals in 2022?

Russia Visitor Arrivals recorded 8,242,510 person in Dec 2022, compared with 7,079,810 person in the previous year See the table below for more data.

Visitor Arrivals by Country Comparison

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Tourism in Russia

Development of the tourism sector in russia from 1995 to 2020.

Tourists per year in Russia

Revenues from tourism

Tourism receipts in Russia per year

All data for Russia in detail

Comparison: quality of life

russia tourism numbers

The demand for business trips from Russia abroad increased by 15 in the first quarter of 2024%

Representatives of Russian business made 15% more business trips abroad in the first three months of 2024 compared to the same period last year. However, the share of foreign business trips as a percentage of the total number of business trips by Russian companies did not change from the previous…

russia tourism numbers

Top travel destinations Russian tourists visited 2023

Russian travelers made 14 million trips in 2023 ( with the exception of post-Soviet countries). The increase to 2022 is 27.6%., About 8.1 million of these 14 million trips were organized by tour operators, according to ATOR's preliminary estimate. This is a 16.4% increase compared to 2022.

Making…

The flow of foreign tourists to Russia has increased 3.5 times

The flow of foreign tourists to Russia has increased 3.5 times

The flow of foreign tourists to Russia in 2023 increased 3.5 times and exceeded 670,000 entries, according to the data of the FSB border service. The leaders in the number of visits were tourists from China, Germany, Turkey and the UAE. In total, foreigners crossed the Russian border 15.4 million…

Criminal deaths of Russian tourists abroad are very rare

Criminal deaths of Russian tourists abroad are very rare

Several incidents this winter, when Russian tourists died abroad, gave rise to many rumors.

Russian Association of Travel Agencies interviewed the experts of Euroince Insurance Company (ex. ERV) According to the insurer; about 300-400 of Russian tourists die abroad in total per year. This…

The tourist flow of Russians to Turkey has approached the pre-pandemic level of 2019

The tourist flow of Russians to Turkey has approached the pre-pandemic level of 2019

The number of trips from Russia to Turkey in 2023 increased by 20% up to 6.31 million, approaching the record level of the pre-pandemic 2019 (about 7 million people). At the same time, last year season was one of the worst for Russian tourists in Turkey, as due to the price increase for accommodation…

Prices for tours to popular countries are reduced by 30-35% in February

Prices for tours to popular countries are reduced by 30-35% in February

Foreign holidays in February from a number of tour operators are cheaper by about a third compared to New Year's ones. For example, a 10-night tour to Thailand can be purchased for $ 1 802 instead of New Year's $ 2 590. Emirates are available for $ 1 126 for two persons.

Holidays in Thailand,…

The most popular destinations among Russian tourists in February

The most popular destinations among Russian tourists in February

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By the end of 2023, 41 countries are available for Russian tourists on direct flights

By the end of 2023, 41 countries are available for Russian tourists on direct flights

As Alexander Osaulenko, Director of the Association of tour operators, said, outbound tourism by the end of 2023 will recover by 86-89% compared to the pre-pandemic 2019 indicators. 41 countries around the world are available to Russians on direct flights.

“If last spring of 2022, compared…

Italy has become the most popular country in Europe among tourists for the New Year

Italy has become the most popular country in Europe among tourists for the New Year

Europe remains a popular destination for Russian tourists for the New Year holidays. Italy and France are the most popular on the continent, the press service of the Russian Union of Tourism Industry (RST) reported.

“The flow of tourists to Europe is primarily hampered by the complexity…

Holidays in December: TOP 5 travel destinations for Russians

Holidays in December: TOP 5 travel destinations for Russians

More than 84% of tours booked by organized tourists for December 2023 are in 5 countries, including Russia, but the places of some leaders in the TOP 5 have changed again. Thailand has the highest average tour price in December, and tourist spending for tours to Egypt, the UAE and Turkey in December…

The cost of tours to Egypt and Thailand has increased

The cost of tours to Egypt and Thailand has increased

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In December,…

Popular destinations for Russians for the New Year holidays

Popular destinations for Russians for the New Year holidays

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Tour operators spoke about popular countries among Russians in autumn

Tour operators spoke about popular countries among Russians in autumn

The Association of Tour Operators of Russia has identified the leading foreign destinations that Russians preferred for autumn holidays in 2023.

In autumn of 2023 the tourist flow of Russians to the main foreign tourist destinations amounted to about 4,2 million trips, which was 34% more…

Outbound flow from Russia increased by more than 12%

Outbound flow from Russia increased by more than 12%

Over the three quarters of 2023, the outbound flow from Russia amounted to 21 020 012 people, which is 12,4% higher compared to the same period in 2022.

As ATOR reports with reference to data from the Border Service, outbound tourist flow from Russia to the key foreign tourist destinations…

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Outbound organized tourist flow from Russia increased by 15%

Outbound organized tourist flow from Russia increased by 15%

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TOP 5 most popular destinations in November 2023

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Tourism Teacher

Tourism in Russia 

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Tourism in Russia is big business, but why? Why is this industry so important and how should it best be managed? Read on to find out…

Tourism in Russia

Spanning two continents and enveloping a myriad of cultures, landscapes, and histories, Russia stands as a colossal testament to human civilisation’s diverse tapestry. From the historic domes of Moscow to the vast Siberian wilderness, the country beckons with tales as expansive as its geography . This article delves into the multifaceted allure of Russian tourism, offering a glimpse into a nation where age-old traditions intersect with contemporary vibrancy.

Geographical overview of Russia 

Tourism in Russia 

Russia is the world’s largest country in terms of land area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth’s land surface. It is located in northern Eurasia and spans two continents – Europe and Asia. The geography of Russia is diverse and includes a wide range of landscapes, from arctic tundras and deserts to mountains and forests.

In the west, Russia borders Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine. In the south, it borders Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, North Korea, and Mongolia. The country has a coastline of more than 37,000 kilometres, which includes the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Baltic, Black, and Caspian Seas.

The landscape of Russia is characterised by several major physical features. The Ural Mountains, which run from north to south, separate Europe and Asia. The vast Siberian plains cover most of Russia’s territory east of the Ural Mountains, and they are some of the most extensive and least populated regions in the world. To the east of Siberia lies the mountainous region of the Russian Far East, which includes the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Sikhote-Alin Mountains.

Russia has several major rivers, including the Volga, the longest river in Europe, which flows into the Caspian Sea, and the Ob and Yenisei Rivers, which are among the longest rivers in Asia and flow into the Arctic Ocean.

In terms of climate, Russia experiences a wide range of conditions due to its vast size and diverse landscapes. The Arctic regions of Russia have an extreme polar climate, while the southern regions have a humid subtropical climate. The majority of Russia’s population lives in the western part of the country, where the climate is temperate continental.

Overall, the geography of Russia is vast and varied, with a range of landscapes, climates, and physical features that make it one of the most unique and fascinating countries in the world.

Tourism industry in Russia 

Russia is a country with a rich history, culture, and natural beauty, and its tourism industry is gradually growing in popularity. The country’s diverse geography and climate, along with its numerous historical and cultural attractions, make it an exciting destination for tourists from around the world.

Some of Russia’s most popular tourist destinations include Moscow, the capital city, and St. Petersburg, known for its impressive architecture and art collections. Other popular cities include Kazan, Sochi, and Yekaterinburg, each with its unique attractions and cultural offerings.

Russia is also known for its scenic natural beauty, with vast forests, lakes, and mountain ranges that offer opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. Some of the country’s most popular natural attractions include Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake, and the Kamchatka Peninsula, home to several active volcanoes and hot springs.

In addition to its cultural and natural attractions, Russia also offers a unique experience for tourists interested in history and politics. The country has a complex and fascinating history, with several historical sites and museums that offer insights into the country’s past, including the Kremlin in Moscow, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the WWII Museum in Moscow.

Overall, the tourism industry in Russia is still developing, but it has great potential due to the country’s numerous attractions and unique offerings. However, visitors should be aware that the country has its own unique customs and culture, and it is important to research and plan accordingly to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Tourism in Russia 

Statistics about tourism in Russia 

Here are some of the most current statistics available and the time of publication about tourism in Russia:

  • In 2019, Russia welcomed approximately 24 million international tourists, generating $11.4 billion in tourism revenue. (Source: World Tourism Organization)
  • The top five source countries for international tourists to Russia in 2019 were China, Germany, South Korea, the United States, and Finland. (Source: Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation)
  • Domestic tourism is also significant in Russia, with over 70 million trips taken by Russians within their own country in 2019. (Source: Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation)
  • Moscow and St. Petersburg are the two most popular destinations for both international and domestic tourists in Russia. (Source: Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation)
  • In 2019, tourism accounted for approximately 3.5% of Russia’s GDP. (Source: World Travel and Tourism Council)
  • The tourism industry in Russia provides employment for approximately 4 million people. (Source: Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation)
  • Russia has over 57,000 hotels and other accommodation options, with a total of over 1.6 million rooms. (Source: Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation)
  • The majority of international tourists to Russia visit for leisure purposes, with business travel and visiting friends and relatives also common reasons for travel. (Source: Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation)
  • The most popular time to visit Russia is during the summer months of June to August, although winter tourism is also growing in popularity due to the country’s winter sports offerings. (Source: Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation)

Most popular tourist attractions in Russia

Russia has many popular tourist attractions that offer visitors a glimpse into the country’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Russia:

Red Square and the Kremlin – Located in the heart of Moscow, Red Square and the Kremlin are two of Russia’s most iconic landmarks. The square is home to the colourful St. Basil’s Cathedral and the GUM department store, while the Kremlin is a fortified complex that includes several palaces, churches, and museums.

The Hermitage Museum – Situated in St. Petersburg, the Hermitage Museum is one of the world’s largest and most impressive art museums. It houses a vast collection of over three million artworks and artefacts, including works by Rembrandt, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo.

Lake Baikal – Known as the “Pearl of Siberia,” Lake Baikal is the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume and is home to a unique ecosystem of flora and fauna. Visitors can take a cruise on the lake or explore the surrounding wilderness on foot.

The Golden Ring – The Golden Ring is a collection of historic towns and cities northeast of Moscow that date back to the 12th century. It includes cities such as Vladimir, Suzdal, and Sergiev Posad, each with its unique architecture and cultural attractions.

Catherine Palace – Located just outside St. Petersburg, Catherine Palace is a stunning baroque palace that was once the summer residence of the Russian Tsars. Visitors can explore the palace’s opulent interiors and stroll through the expansive gardens.

Kazan – Located in the republic of Tatarstan, Kazan is a vibrant city that blends Russian and Tatar cultures. Visitors can explore the city’s UNESCO-listed Kremlin, visit the Kul-Sharif Mosque, or enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

Trans-Siberian Railway – The Trans-Siberian Railway is the world’s longest railway, spanning over 9,000 kilometres across Russia from Moscow to Vladivostok. The journey offers stunning views of the country’s diverse landscapes and is a unique way to experience the country.

Peterhof Palace – Also known as the “Russian Versailles,” Peterhof Palace is a grand palace complex located on the Gulf of Finland near St. Petersburg. Visitors can explore the palace’s opulent interiors and enjoy the beautiful gardens and fountains.

Sochi – Located on the Black Sea coast, Sochi is a popular resort town that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. Visitors can enjoy the city’s beaches, ski resorts, and subtropical climate.

Baikal-Amur Mainline – The Baikal-Amur Mainline is a railway that spans over 4,000 kilometres through some of Russia’s most remote and beautiful landscapes. The journey is a unique way to experience the country’s natural beauty and is a popular option for adventure travellers.

These are just a few of the many popular tourist attractions in Russia, and there are many more to discover in this fascinating and diverse country.

Tourism in Russia 

Most popular types of tourism in Russia 

Russia offers a wide variety of tourism experiences, from historic cities and cultural attractions to stunning natural landscapes and adventure sports. Here are some of the most popular types of tourism in Russia:

  • Cultural tourism – Russia’s rich cultural heritage and fascinating history make it a popular destination for cultural tourism. Visitors can explore historic cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, visit museums and art galleries, and attend cultural events such as ballets and operas.
  • Heritage tourism – With its long and complex history, Russia is home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow, the historic city of St. Petersburg, and the Golden Ring of ancient towns.
  • Adventure tourism – Russia’s vast and diverse landscape offers many opportunities for adventure tourism, including hiking, skiing, and mountain climbing. Popular destinations include the Altai Mountains, Lake Baikal, and the Caucasus Mountains.
  • Ecotourism – Russia is home to some of the world’s most unique and unspoiled natural landscapes, making it an excellent destination for ecotourism. Visitors can explore national parks and nature reserves, observe wildlife, and engage in sustainable tourism practices.
  • Cruise tourism – Russia’s major cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Volgograd, are all located on major rivers or coastal waterways, making it a popular destination for river and ocean cruises. Visitors can enjoy scenic views of the countryside while stopping at historic ports and cultural attractions along the way.
  • Medical tourism – Russia has a reputation for its world-class medical facilities and expertise in specialised medical treatments. Visitors can take advantage of medical tourism to access high-quality healthcare and wellness services.
  • Sports tourism – Russia has hosted many international sporting events, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2014 Winter Olympics. Visitors can participate in sports activities or attend sporting events, such as soccer matches, ice hockey games, and skiing competitions.

These are just a few of the many types of tourism available in Russia, and the country’s diverse attractions and activities make it an ideal destination for all types of travellers.

Economic Impacts of tourism in Russia

Tourism has become an increasingly important contributor to Russia’s economy, generating significant economic impacts at both national and regional levels. Here are some of the key economic impacts of tourism in Russia:

  • Job creation – Tourism is a major employer in Russia, with the industry providing direct and indirect employment opportunities for millions of people. This includes jobs in hotels, restaurants, transportation, retail, and other tourism-related sectors.
  • Economic growth – Tourism generates significant economic growth in Russia, contributing to the country’s GDP and generating tax revenues for the government. In 2019, tourism contributed 3.7% to Russia’s GDP and supported 5.5 million jobs.
  • Foreign exchange earnings – Tourism is an important source of foreign exchange earnings for Russia, as international visitors spend money on accommodation, food, transportation, and other tourism-related activities. In 2019, tourism generated over $11 billion in foreign exchange earnings for Russia.
  • Regional development – Tourism can have a significant impact on regional development, particularly in less developed areas of the country. By attracting tourists to these areas, tourism can stimulate investment in infrastructure and support local businesses, creating new opportunities for economic growth and job creation.
  • Stimulating other sectors – The tourism industry also stimulates other sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, handicrafts, and cultural industries. This can help to diversify the economy and create new opportunities for local communities.
  • Improved quality of life – Tourism in Russia can also improve the quality of life for local residents by creating new job opportunities, generating tax revenues for public services, and supporting the development of new infrastructure and facilities.

Overall, tourism plays an important role in Russia’s economy, generating significant economic impacts at both national and regional levels. As the tourism industry continues to grow, it is expected to become an even more important contributor to Russia’s economic development.

Social impacts of tourism in Russia

Tourism in Russia 

Tourism can have both positive and negative social impacts on a destination, including impacts on local communities, cultural heritage, and social structures. Here are some of the key social impacts of tourism in Russia:

  • Cultural exchange – Tourism can promote cultural exchange and understanding between visitors and local communities, helping to preserve and promote cultural heritage. This can include cultural events, traditional music, dance, and crafts.
  • Employment opportunities – Tourism in Russia can create new job opportunities for local residents, particularly in rural areas where other employment opportunities may be limited. This can help to improve the standard of living and reduce poverty.
  • Community development – Tourism can contribute to community development by supporting the development of local infrastructure and services, such as roads, healthcare facilities, and schools. This can improve the quality of life for local residents.
  • Preservation of cultural heritage – Tourism can support the preservation of cultural heritage sites, traditions, and customs. This can include the restoration of historic buildings, preservation of traditional crafts, and promotion of local cultural events.
  • Environmental impact – Tourism can have negative environmental impacts, including pollution and degradation of natural habitats. This can harm local communities and wildlife.
  • Social disruption – Tourism can also cause social disruption in local communities, particularly in areas with high levels of tourism activity. This can include overcrowding, noise pollution, and loss of privacy.
  • Pressure on resources – Tourism in Russia can place pressure on local resources, such as water and energy, which can create conflict with local residents and affect the sustainability of the destination.

Overall, tourism can have both positive and negative social impacts on a destination. To maximise the positive impacts and minimise the negative impacts, it is important to develop sustainable tourism practices that prioritise the well-being of local communities and the preservation of cultural and natural heritage.

Environmental impacts of tourism in Russia

Tourism can have significant environmental impacts on a destination, both positive and negative. Here are some of the key environmental impacts of tourism in Russia:

  • Carbon emissions – Tourism in Russia can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, particularly through air travel and transportation. This can contribute to climate change and impact local ecosystems.
  • Water usage – Tourism can increase demand for water, particularly in areas where water resources are already limited. This can lead to water scarcity and impact local ecosystems.
  • Waste generation – Tourism can generate significant amounts of waste, particularly in areas with high levels of tourism activity. This can lead to pollution of local waterways and harm local wildlife.
  • Land use – Tourism in Russia can lead to increased development and land use, particularly in areas with high levels of tourism activity. This can lead to habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity.
  • Natural resource depletion – Tourism can increase demand for natural resources, such as timber, food, and water. This can lead to depletion of these resources and harm local ecosystems.
  • Wildlife disturbance – Tourism in Russia can cause disturbance to local wildlife, particularly in areas where wildlife is a key attraction for tourists. This can lead to habitat destruction and impact the ecological balance of the area.

Overall, tourism in Russia can have significant environmental impacts on a destination, particularly in areas with high levels of tourism activity. To minimise the negative impacts and promote sustainable tourism practices, it is important to prioritise environmental protection and conservation in tourism planning and management. This can include promoting eco-friendly accommodation, encouraging responsible behaviour among tourists, and implementing policies to reduce carbon emissions and waste generation.

Tourism in Russia 

FAQ’s about tourism in Russia 

Now that we know a bit more about tourism in Russia, lets answer some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic:

Do I need a visa to visit Russia?

Most foreign visitors to Russia require a visa. However, some countries have visa-free agreements with Russia, and citizens of those countries can visit without a visa for a limited period.

What is the best time of year to visit Russia?

The best time to visit Russia depends on your preferences and the activities you plan to do. The summer months of June to August are the most popular for tourism, but the winter months can also be a magical time to visit.

What is the currency used in Russia?

The official currency of Russia is the Russian ruble (RUB).

Is it safe to travel to Russia?

Overall, Russia is a safe country for tourists, but like any other country, it is not completely immune to crime. Tourists should take common-sense precautions and stay aware of their surroundings.

What language do people speak in Russia?

The official language of Russia is Russian. English is also widely spoken in major tourist destinations, but it is still a good idea to learn some basic Russian phrases before visiting.

What are the most popular tourist destinations in Russia?

Some of the most popular tourist destinations in Russia include Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Golden Ring, Lake Baikal, the Trans-Siberian Railway, and the Caucasus Mountains.

What is the cost of living in Russia?

The cost of living in Russia can vary depending on the city and the type of lifestyle you lead. In general, major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg can be quite expensive, while smaller cities and rural areas are more affordable.

Can I use my credit card in Russia?

Credit cards are widely accepted in major tourist destinations in Russia, but it is still a good idea to carry cash as a backup.

What is the public transportation system like in Russia?

Russia has an extensive public transportation system, including metros, buses, trams, and trains. The metro systems in Moscow and St. Petersburg are particularly efficient and affordable.

What are some unique cultural experiences to have in Russia?

Some unique cultural experiences to have in Russia include attending a ballet or opera performance, visiting a traditional Russian bathhouse (banya), sampling local cuisine, and learning about Russian art and history at museums and galleries.

To conclude- Tourism in Russia

So, that sums up this article about tourism in Russia. In the vast expanse of Russia, every corner narrates tales of history, culture, and natural splendour. From imperial cities to sprawling tundras, the country’s diverse tapestry invites travellers to explore and rediscover. As the curtain falls on our exploration of Russian tourism, one truth remains evident: Russia’s allure, both timeless and ever-evolving, ensures it remains an unforgettable destination on the world’s travel map.

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Russia - International tourism

International tourism, number of arrivals.

The value for International tourism, number of arrivals in Russia was 6,359,000 as of 2020. As the graph below shows, over the past 25 years this indicator reached a maximum value of 33,729,000 in 2015 and a minimum value of 6,359,000 in 2020.

Definition: International inbound tourists (overnight visitors) are the number of tourists who travel to a country other than that in which they have their usual residence, but outside their usual environment, for a period not exceeding 12 months and whose main purpose in visiting is other than an activity remunerated from within the country visited. When data on number of tourists are not available, the number of visitors, which includes tourists, same-day visitors, cruise passengers, and crew members, is shown instead. Sources and collection methods for arrivals differ across countries. In some cases data are from border statistics (police, immigration, and the like) and supplemented by border surveys. In other cases data are from tourism accommodation establishments. For some countries number of arrivals is limited to arrivals by air and for others to arrivals staying in hotels. Some countries include arrivals of nationals residing abroad while others do not. Caution should thus be used in comparing arrivals across countries. The data on inbound tourists refer to the number of arrivals, not to the number of people traveling. Thus a person who makes several trips to a country during a given period is counted each time as a new arrival.

Source: World Tourism Organization, Yearbook of Tourism Statistics, Compendium of Tourism Statistics and data files.

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International tourism, number of departures

The value for International tourism, number of departures in Russia was 12,361,000 as of 2020. As the graph below shows, over the past 25 years this indicator reached a maximum value of 54,069,000 in 2013 and a minimum value of 10,635,000 in 1998.

Definition: International outbound tourists are the number of departures that people make from their country of usual residence to any other country for any purpose other than a remunerated activity in the country visited. The data on outbound tourists refer to the number of departures, not to the number of people traveling. Thus a person who makes several trips from a country during a given period is counted each time as a new departure.

International tourism, receipts (current US$)

The latest value for International tourism, receipts (current US$) in Russia was $4,961,000,000 as of 2020. Over the past 19 years, the value for this indicator has fluctuated between $20,198,000,000 in 2013 and $4,726,000,000 in 2001.

Definition: International tourism receipts are expenditures by international inbound visitors, including payments to national carriers for international transport. These receipts include any other prepayment made for goods or services received in the destination country. They also may include receipts from same-day visitors, except when these are important enough to justify separate classification. For some countries they do not include receipts for passenger transport items. Data are in current U.S. dollars.

International tourism, receipts (% of total exports)

International tourism, receipts (% of total exports) in Russia was 1.30 as of 2020. Its highest value over the past 19 years was 4.50 in 2002, while its lowest value was 1.30 in 2020.

Definition: International tourism receipts are expenditures by international inbound visitors, including payments to national carriers for international transport. These receipts include any other prepayment made for goods or services received in the destination country. They also may include receipts from same-day visitors, except when these are important enough to justify separate classification. For some countries they do not include receipts for passenger transport items. Their share in exports is calculated as a ratio to exports of goods and services, which comprise all transactions between residents of a country and the rest of the world involving a change of ownership from residents to nonresidents of general merchandise, goods sent for processing and repairs, nonmonetary gold, and services.

Source: World Tourism Organization, Yearbook of Tourism Statistics, Compendium of Tourism Statistics and data files, and IMF and World Bank exports estimates.

International tourism, receipts for passenger transport items (current US$)

The latest value for International tourism, receipts for passenger transport items (current US$) in Russia was $2,107,000,000 as of 2020. Over the past 19 years, the value for this indicator has fluctuated between $8,210,000,000 in 2013 and $1,154,000,000 in 2001.

Definition: International tourism receipts for passenger transport items are expenditures by international inbound visitors for all services provided in the international transportation by resident carriers. Also included are passenger services performed within an economy by nonresident carriers. Excluded are passenger services provided to nonresidents by resident carriers within the resident economies; these are included in travel items. In addition to the services covered by passenger fares--including fares that are a part of package tours but excluding cruise fares, which are included in travel--passenger services include such items as charges for excess baggage, vehicles, or other personal accompanying effects and expenditures for food, drink, or other items for which passengers make expenditures while on board carriers. Data are in current U.S. dollars.

International tourism, expenditures for passenger transport items (current US$)

The latest value for International tourism, expenditures for passenger transport items (current US$) in Russia was $1,660,000,000 as of 2020. Over the past 19 years, the value for this indicator has fluctuated between $6,051,000,000 in 2013 and $444,000,000 in 2002.

Definition: International tourism expenditures for passenger transport items are expenditures of international outbound visitors in other countries for all services provided during international transportation by nonresident carriers. Also included are passenger services performed within an economy by nonresident carriers. Excluded are passenger services provided to nonresidents by resident carriers within the resident economies; these are included in travel items. In addition to the services covered by passenger fares--including fares that are a part of package tours but excluding cruise fares, which are included in travel--passenger services include such items as charges for excess baggage, vehicles, or other personal accompanying effects and expenditures for food, drink, or other items for which passengers make expenditures while on board carriers. Data are in current U.S. dollars.

International tourism, receipts for travel items (current US$)

The latest value for International tourism, receipts for travel items (current US$) in Russia was $2,854,000,000 as of 2020. Over the past 25 years, the value for this indicator has fluctuated between $11,988,000,000 in 2013 and $2,854,000,000 in 2020.

Definition: International tourism receipts for travel items are expenditures by international inbound visitors in the reporting economy. The goods and services are purchased by, or on behalf of, the traveler or provided, without a quid pro quo, for the traveler to use or give away. These receipts should include any other prepayment made for goods or services received in the destination country. They also may include receipts from same-day visitors, except in cases where these are so important as to justify a separate classification. Excluded is the international carriage of travelers, which is covered in passenger travel items. Data are in current U.S. dollars.

International tourism, expenditures for travel items (current US$)

The latest value for International tourism, expenditures for travel items (current US$) in Russia was $9,140,000,000 as of 2020. Over the past 25 years, the value for this indicator has fluctuated between $53,453,000,000 in 2013 and $7,097,000,000 in 1999.

Definition: International tourism expenditures are expenditures of international outbound visitors in other countries. The goods and services are purchased by, or on behalf of, the traveler or provided, without a quid pro quo, for the traveler to use or give away. These may include expenditures by residents traveling abroad as same-day visitors, except in cases where these are so important as to justify a separate classification. Excluded is the international carriage of travelers, which is covered in passenger travel items. Data are in current U.S. dollars.

International tourism, expenditures (current US$)

The latest value for International tourism, expenditures (current US$) in Russia was $10,800,000,000 as of 2020. Over the past 19 years, the value for this indicator has fluctuated between $59,504,000,000 in 2013 and $9,760,000,000 in 2001.

Definition: International tourism expenditures are expenditures of international outbound visitors in other countries, including payments to foreign carriers for international transport. These expenditures may include those by residents traveling abroad as same-day visitors, except in cases where these are important enough to justify separate classification. For some countries they do not include expenditures for passenger transport items. Data are in current U.S. dollars.

International tourism, expenditures (% of total imports)

International tourism, expenditures (% of total imports) in Russia was 3.56 as of 2020. Its highest value over the past 19 years was 13.79 in 2002, while its lowest value was 3.56 in 2020.

Definition: International tourism expenditures are expenditures of international outbound visitors in other countries, including payments to foreign carriers for international transport. These expenditures may include those by residents traveling abroad as same-day visitors, except in cases where these are important enough to justify separate classification. For some countries they do not include expenditures for passenger transport items. Their share in imports is calculated as a ratio to imports of goods and services, which comprise all transactions between residents of a country and the rest of the world involving a change of ownership from nonresidents to residents of general merchandise, goods sent for processing and repairs, nonmonetary gold, and services.

Source: World Tourism Organization, Yearbook of Tourism Statistics, Compendium of Tourism Statistics and data files, and IMF and World Bank imports estimates.

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Sub-Topic: Travel & tourism

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These are the top 10 countries for travel and tourism

A plane flying across Miami Beach, United States.

The US retains its prime position in the World Economic Forum's latest Travel & Tourism Development Index. Image:  Unsplash/EveLazco

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  • Pent-up demand after the pandemic is expected to drive passenger numbers back up to pre-pandemic levels in 2024.
  • The recovery of the travel and tourism sector since the pandemic has been uneven, however, and some nations are better placed than others to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the future.
  • The top three best-placed countries for travel and tourism are the US, Spain and Japan, according to the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index.

If you were desperate to get away after the restrictions and enforced staying at home of the pandemic years, you were far from alone.

Global international tourist arrivals are expected to meet pre-pandemic levels in 2024 driven by this pent-up demand. But, the recovery of the travel and tourism sector since the pandemic has not been without challenges. Add to that macroeconomic, geopolitical and environmental factors, which have added pressures on the industry.

These pressures will amplify and evolve over the coming years and, along with the growth of digital technologies and AI, may well force the travel industry to adapt.

Some economies are better placed than others to make these changes, respond to future risks and ensure that travel and tourism is a driver of economic growth and prosperity.

With this in mind, the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (TTDI) aims to serve as a benchmark for stakeholders to gauge progress, inform decisions and policies, and encourage sustainable and resilient growth.

A mixed recovery in challenging conditions

Europe dominates the top 10 economies for T&T, as ranked by the 2023 index, although the top spot is clinched by the US.

List showing the countries on the overall rankings in the Travel and Tourism Index.

But the index also shows that while 71 of the 119 economies it ranks improved their scores between 2019 and 2023, the average improvement is just 0.7% above pre-pandemic levels.

On the one hand, the rebound in travel and tourism has coincided with rising global air route capacity and connectivity, improved international openness, and increased investment in natural and cultural resources driving tourism. On the other hand, non-leisure demand is still lagging, there are ongoing labour shortages, and air route capacity and connectivity, capital investment and productivity have struggled to keep pace with demand.

This has created a supply and demand imbalance which, along with inflationary pressures, has led to reduced price competitiveness and service disruptions.

Charts showcasing the scores for Travel and Tourism Index.

Europe and Asia-Pacific have the most favourable conditions

Of the top 30 TTDI scorers in 2023, 26 are high-income countries. Nineteen of them are based in Europe, and seven in Asia Pacific.

These countries benefit from favourable business environments and labour markets, open travel policies, advanced technology adoption, excellent transport and tourism infrastructure, and rich natural, cultural and non-leisure attractions.

As a result, this group of 30 accounted for more than three-quarters of T&T industry GDP in 2022, and 70% of GDP growth between 2020 and 2022.

Map showcasing the scores for Travel and Tourism Index.

But although this group is leading the way, many of the above-average improvements in scores come from low- to upper-middle-income countries, including sub-Saharan and North Africa, Eurasia, South America, South Asia, and the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

While many have shown improvements, these less affluent countries still make up the vast majority of below-average scorers in the index. More investment is needed to help increase their share of the market and improve their readiness for future risks and opportunities.

Progress needed on resilience and equality

The ability of the travel and tourism sector to grow is limited by challenges like tight labour markets, growing fiscal constraints and concerns around health and security conditions. Labour market resilience will be an increasingly important factor for the sector, but issues like equality of job opportunities, workers’ rights and social protection are holding many economies – particularly low- and middle-income ones – back in this area.

As other sectors proceed to decarbonize, the aviation sector could account for a much higher share of global greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century than its 2%-3% share today.

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) can reduce the life-cycle carbon footprint of aviation fuel by up to 80%, but they currently make up less than 0.1% of total aviation fuel consumption. Enabling a shift from fossil fuels to SAFs will require a significant increase in production, which is a costly investment.

The Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow (CST) Coalition is a global initiative driving the transition to sustainable aviation fuels as part of the aviation industry’s ambitious efforts to achieve carbon-neutral flying.

The coalition brings together government leaders, climate experts and CEOs from aviation, energy, finance and other sectors who agree on the urgent need to help the aviation industry reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The coalition aims to advance the commercial scale of viable production of sustainable low-carbon aviation fuels (bio and synthetic) for broad adoption in the industry by 2030. Initiatives include a mechanism for aggregating demand for carbon-neutral flying, a co-investment vehicle and geographically specific value-chain industry blueprints.

Learn more about the Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition's impact and contact us to find out how you can get involved.

Another major hurdle for the sector is balancing growth with sustainability. Although there has been broad progress in areas like energy sustainability, some progress – like the fall in emissions seen during the pandemic – is likely to only be temporary.

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Now boarding: Faces, places, and trends shaping tourism in 2024

After falling by 75 percent in 2020, travel is on its way to a full recovery by the end of 2024. Domestic travel is expected to grow 3 percent annually and reach 19 billion lodging nights per year by 2030. 1 Unless otherwise noted, the source for all data and projections is Oxford Economics. Over the same time frame, international travel should likewise ramp up to its historical average of nine billion nights. Spending on travel is expected to follow a similar trajectory, with an estimated $8.6 trillion in traveler outlays in 2024, representing roughly 9 percent of this year’s global GDP.

About the authors

This article is a collaborative effort by Caroline Tufft , Margaux Constantin , Matteo Pacca , and Ryan Mann , with Ivan Gladstone and Jasperina de Vries, representing views from McKinsey’s Travel, Logistics & Infrastructure Practice.

There’s no doubt people still love to travel and will continue to seek new experiences in new places. But where will travelers come from, and where will they go? We developed a snapshot of current traveler flows, along with estimates for growth through 2030. For the purposes of this report, we have divided the world into four regions—the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa.

Our analysis identifies three major themes for industry stakeholders to consider:

  • The bulk of travel spending is close to home. Stakeholders should ensure they capture the full potential of domestic travel before shifting their focus to international travelers. And they should start with international travelers who visit nearby countries—as intraregional trips represent the largest travel segment after domestic trips.
  • Source markets are shifting. Although established source markets continue to anchor global travel, Eastern Europe, India, and Southeast Asia are all becoming fast-growing sources of outbound tourism.
  • The destinations of the future may not be the ones you imagine. Alongside enduring favorites, places that weren’t on many tourists’ maps are finding clever ways to lure international travelers and establish themselves as desirable destinations.

The bulk of travel spending is close to home

International travel might feel more glamorous, but tourism players should not forget that domestic travel still represents the bulk of the market, accounting for 75 percent of global travel spending (Exhibit 1). Domestic travel recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic faster than international travel, as is typical coming out of downturns. And although there has been a recent boom in “revenge travel,” with travelers prioritizing international trips that were delayed by the pandemic, a return to prepandemic norms, in which domestic travel represents 70 percent of spending, is expected by 2030.

The United States is the world’s largest domestic travel market at $1 trillion in annual spending. Sixty-eight percent of all trips that start in the United States remain within its borders. Domestic demand has softened slightly, as American travelers return abroad. 2 Dawit Habtemariam, “Domestic U.S. tourism growth levels off as Americans head overseas,” Skift, August 18, 2023. But tourism players with the right offerings are still thriving: five national parks broke attendance records in 2023 (including Joshua Tree National Park, which capitalized on growing interest from stargazers indulging in “dark sky” tourism 3 Scott McConkey, “5 national parks set attendance records in 2023, and the reasons may surprise you,” Wealth of Geeks, April 16, 2024. ).

China’s $744 billion domestic travel market is currently the world’s second largest. Chinese travelers spent the pandemic learning to appreciate the diversity of experiences on offer within their own country. Even as borders open back up, Chinese travelers are staying close to home. And domestic destinations are benefiting: for example, Changchun (home to the Changchun Ice and Snow Festival) realized 160 percent year-on-year growth in visitors in 2023. 4 Shi Xiaoji, “Why don’t Chinese people like to travel abroad anymore? The global tourism industry has lost 900 billion yuan. What is the situation?,” NetEase, February 12, 2024. In 2024, domestic travel during Lunar New Year exceeded prepandemic levels by 19 percent.

China’s domestic travel market is expected to grow 12 percent annually and overtake the United States’ to become the world’s largest by 2030. Hotel construction reflects this expectation: 30 percent of the global hotel construction pipeline is currently concentrated in China. The pipeline is heavily skewed toward luxury properties, with more than twice as many luxury hotels under construction in China as in the United States.

India, currently the world’s sixth-largest domestic travel market by spending, is another thriving area for domestic travel. With the subcontinent’s growing middle class powering travel spending growth of roughly 9 percent per year, India’s domestic market could overtake Japan’s and Mexico’s to become the world’s fourth largest by 2030. Domestic air passenger traffic in India is projected to double by 2030, 5 Murali Krishnan, “Can India’s airports cope with rapid passenger growth?,” Deutsche Welle, February 7, 2024. boosted in part by a state-subsidized initiative that aims to connect underserved domestic airports. 6 “India is seeing a massive aviation boom,” Economist , November 23, 2023.

When travelers do go abroad, they often stay close to home (Exhibit 2).

Europe and Asia, in particular, demonstrate strong and growing intraregional travel markets.

Recognizing this general trend, stakeholders have been funneling investment toward regional tourism destinations. An Emirati wealth fund, for instance, has announced its intent to invest roughly $35 billion into established hospitality properties and development opportunities in Egypt. 7 Michael Gunn and Mirette Magdy, “UAE’s $35 billion Egypt deal marks Gulf powers’ buying spree,” Bloomberg, April 27, 2024.

Europe has long played host to a high share of intraregional travel. Seventy percent of its travelers’ international trips stay within the region. Europe’s most popular destinations for intraregional travelers are perennial warm-weather favorites—Spain (18 percent), Italy (10 percent), and France (8 percent)—with limited change to these preferences expected between now and 2030.

Despite longer travel distances between Asian countries, Asia’s intraregional travel market is beginning to resemble Europe’s. Intraregional travel currently accounts for about 60 percent of international trips in Asia—a share expected to climb to 64 percent by 2030. As in Europe in past decades, Asian intraregional travel is benefiting from diminishing visa barriers and the development of a low-cost, regional flight network.

Thailand is projected to enjoy continued, growing popularity with Asian travelers. Thailand waived visa requirements for Chinese tourists in 2023 and plans to do the same for Indian tourists starting in 2024. It has aggressively targeted the fast-growing Indian traveler segment, launching more than 50 marketing campaigns directed at Indians over the past decade. The investment may be paying off: Bangkok recently overtook Dubai as the most popular city destination for Indian tourists. 8 “Bangkok overtakes Dubai as top destination for Indians post visa relaxation, reveals Agoda,” PR Newswire, January 18, 2024.

A McKinsey ConsumerWise survey on consumer sentiment, conducted in February 2024, suggests that Chinese travelers are also exhibiting high interest in international travel, with 36 percent of survey respondents indicating that they intend to spend more on international travel in the next three months. 9 Daniel Zipser, “ China brief: Consumers are spending again (outside of China) ,” McKinsey, April 8, 2024. Much of this interest is directed toward regional destinations such as Southeast Asia and Japan, with interest in travel to Europe down from previous years. 10 Guang Chen, Zi Chen, Steve Saxon, and Jackey Yu, “ Outlook for China tourism 2023: Light at the end of the tunnel ,” McKinsey, May 9, 2023.

Given travelers’ preference for proximity, how can tourism stakeholders further capitalize on domestic and intraregional travel demand? Here are a few strategies:

  • Craft offerings that encourage domestic tourists to rediscover local gems. Destinations, hotels, and transportation providers can encourage domestic tourists to integrate lesser-known cultural landmarks into their trips to visit friends and relatives. In France, the upscale hotel chain Relais & Châteaux markets historic properties that lie far from classic tourist sights—such as Château Saint-Jean in rural Auvergne—as a welcome escape from the bustle of Paris. In Mexico, the Pueblos Mágicos program has successfully boosted domestic tourist visits to a set of “magical towns” that showcase Mexican heritage.
  • Fold one-off domestic destinations into fuller itineraries. Route 66 in the United States is a classic road trip pathway, which spurs visits to attractions all along the highway’s length. Tourism stakeholders can collaborate to create similar types of domestic itineraries around the world. For instance, Mexico has expanded on its Pueblos Mágicos concept by branding coordinated visits to multiple villages as “magical routes.” In France, local tourism boards and vineyards have collaborated to promote bucket list “wine routes” around the country.
  • Make crossing borders into neighboring countries seamless. Removing logistical barriers to travel can nudge tourists to upgrade a one-off trip to a single attraction into a bucket list journey across multiple, less-trodden destinations. In Africa, for example, Ethiopian Airlines is facilitating cross-border travel to major regional tourist sites through improved air connectivity. In Asia, Thailand has announced its intent to create a joint visa easing travel among Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Source markets are shifting

The United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, and France remain the world’s five largest sources of travelers, in that order. These countries collectively accounted for 38 percent of international travel spending in 2023 and are expected to remain the top five source markets through 2030. But interest in travel is blossoming in other parts of the world—causing a shift in the balance of outbound travel flows (Exhibit 3).

North Americans’ travel spending is projected to hold steady at roughly 3 percent annual growth. US consumers voice growing concerns about inflation, and the most cost-constrained traveler segments are reducing travel, which is affecting ultra-low-cost airlines and budget hotels. Most travelers, however, plan to continue traveling: McKinsey research suggests that American consumers rank international and domestic travel as their highest-priority areas for discretionary spending. Instead of canceling their trips, these consumers are adapting their behavior by traveling during off-peak periods or booking travel further in advance. Travel spending by Europeans paints a slightly rosier picture, with roughly 5 percent projected annual growth. Meanwhile, the projected 12 percent annual growth in Chinese travelers’ spending should anchor substantial increases in travel spending across Northeast Asia.

Alongside these enduring traveler segments, new groups of travelers are emerging. Eastern Europe, India, and Southeast Asia are still comparatively small source markets, but they are developing fast-growing pools of first-time tourists (Exhibit 4).

India’s breakneck GDP growth of 6 percent year over year is bolstering a new generation of travelers, 11 Benjamin Laker, “India will grow to become the world’s third-largest economy by 2027,” Forbes , February 23, 2024. resulting in a projected annual growth in travel spending of 9 percent between now and 2030. Indian air carriers and lodging companies are making substantial investments to meet projected demand. Budget airline IndiGo placed the largest aircraft order in commercial aviation history in 2023, when it pledged to buy 500 Airbus A320 planes 12 Anna Cooban, “Biggest plane deal in history: Airbus clinches massive order from India’s IndiGo,” CNN, June 19, 2023. ; that same week, Air India nearly equaled IndiGo’s order size with purchase agreements for 250 Airbus and 220 Boeing jets. IndiGo later added an order for 30 additional Airbus A350 planes, well suited to serving both domestic and international routes. 13 “Airbus confirms IndiGo's A350 aircraft order,” Economic Times , May 6, 2024. The Indian Hotels Company Limited is ramping up its hotel pipeline, aiming to open two new hotels per month in the near future. International players are not sitting on the sidelines: seven hotel chains are launching new brands in India in 2024, 14 Peden Doma Bhutia, “Indian Hotels expansion plans: 2 new brands launching, 2 hotels opening every month,” Skift, February 2, 2024. including Marriott’s first Moxy- and Tribute-branded hotels in India and entrants from Hilton’s Curio and Tapestry brands. 15 Forum Gandhi, “Check-in frenzy: International hotel giants unleash fresh brands in India’s booming hospitality landscape,” Hindu Businessline , February 13, 2024. Development focus has shifted away from major metropolises such as Mumbai and Delhi and toward fast-developing, smaller cities such as Chandigarh and Hyderabad.

Southeast Asian travel spending is projected to grow at roughly 7 percent per year. Pockets of particularly high growth exist in Cambodia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. To capitalize on this blossoming source market, neighboring countries are rolling out attractive visa arrangements: for example, China has agreed to reciprocal visa waivers for short-term travelers from Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. 16 Julienna Law, “China launches ‘visa-free era’ with Southeast Asia. Will travel retail boom?,” Jing Daily , January 30, 2024.

Travel spending by Eastern Europeans is expected to grow at 7 percent per year until 2030—two percentage points higher than spending by Western Europeans. Areas of especially high growth include the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, where middle-class travelers are increasingly venturing farther afield. Major tourism players, including the TUI Group, have tapped into these new source markets by offering charter flights to warm-weather destinations such as Egypt. 17 Hildbrandt von Klaus, “TUI develops Czech Republic as a new source market,” FVW, December 22, 2023.

Although the number of travelers from these new source markets is growing, their purchasing power remains relatively limited. Compared with Western European travelers (who average $159 per night in total travel spending), South Asians spend 20 percent less, Eastern Europeans spend 40 percent less, and Southeast Asians spend 55 percent less. Only 3 percent of the current Asian hotel construction pipeline caters to economy travelers, suggesting a potential supply gap of rooms that could appeal to budget-constrained tourists.

While acknowledging that historical source markets will continue to constitute the bulk of travel spending, tourism players can consider actions such as these to capitalize on growing travel demand from newer markets:

  • Reduce obstacles to travel. Countries can look for ways to strategically invest in simplifying travel for visitors from growing source markets. In 2017, for example, Azerbaijan introduced express processing of electronic visas for Indian visitors; annual arrivals from India increased fivefold in two years. Requirements regarding passport photocopies or in-person check-ins can similarly be assessed with an eye toward reducing red tape for travelers.
  • Use culturally relevant marketing channels to reach new demographics. Unique, thoughtful marketing strategies can help destinations place themselves on first-time travelers’ bucket lists. For example, after the release of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara , a popular Bollywood movie shot in Spain with support from the Spanish Ministry of Tourism, Indian tourism to Spain increased by 65 percent. 18 “ Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara part of syllabus in Spain colleges,” India Today , June 6, 2004.
  • Give new travelers the tech they expect. Travelers from newer source markets often have access to tech-forward travel offerings. For example, Indian travelers can travel anywhere within their country without physical identification, thanks to the Digi Yatra app. The Southeast Asian rideshare app Grab has several helpful travel features that competitors lack, such as automated menu translation and currency conversion. Tourism stakeholders should consider how to adapt to the tech expectations of newer travelers, integrating relevant offerings that ease journeys.
  • Create vibrant experiences tailored to different price points. Crafting lower-budget offerings for more cost-constrained travelers doesn’t need to result in giving them a subpar experience. Capsule hotels, in which guests sleep in small cubbies, began as a response to the high cost of accommodations in Japan, but they have become an attraction in their own right—appearing on many must-do lists. 19 Philip Tang, “24 of the best experiences in Japan,” Lonely Planet, March 23, 2024.

The places you’ll go: The destinations of the future may not be the ones you imagine

The world’s top ten destination countries (the United States, Spain, China, France, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Italy, Thailand, Japan, and India, in that order) currently receive 45 percent of all travel spending, including for domestic travel. But some new locales are gaining traction (Exhibit 5).

A significant number of travelers are expanding their horizons, booking journeys to less visited countries that are near to old standbys. For instance, Laos and Malaysia, which both border Thailand—an established destination that is home to Bangkok, the world’s most visited city 20 Katherine LaGrave, “This is the world’s most visited city,” AFAR , January 31, 2024. —are up a respective 20 percent and 17 percent, respectively, in year-over-year international travel spending.

The world’s top ten destination countries currently receive 45 percent of all travel spending, including domestic-travel spending. But some new locales are gaining traction.

Several other countries that have crafted thoughtful tourism demand generation strategies—such as Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, and Vietnam—are also expected to reap benefits in the coming years. Vietnam logged a remarkable 40 percent increase in tourism spending in the five years before the pandemic. Postpandemic, it has rebounded in part by waiving visa requirements for European travelers (while indicating intent to offer similar exemptions in the future for Chinese and Indian travelers). 21 Ashvita Singh, “Vietnam looks to offer visa-free entry to Indians: India report,” Skift, November 20, 2023. The Philippines has made a concerted effort to shift its sun-and-beach branding toward a more well-rounded image, replacing its long-standing “It’s more fun in the Philippines” tourism slogan with “Love the Philippines.” Peru is highlighting less visited archeological sites while also marketing itself as a top-notch culinary destination through the promotion of Peruvian restaurants abroad. Rwanda is investing in infrastructure to become a major African transit hub, facilitated by Qatar Airways’ purchase of a 60 percent stake in the country’s major airport. 22 Dylan Cresswell, “Rwanda plots ambitious tourism recovery,” African Business , July 28, 2022. Rwanda has also successfully capitalized on sustainable tourism: by charging $1,500 per gorilla trekking permit, for instance, it has maximized revenue while reducing environmental impact.

Tourism players might consider taking some of these actions to lure tourists to less familiar destinations:

  • Collaborate across the tourism ecosystem. Promotion is not solely the domain of destination marketing organizations. Accommodation, transportation, and experience providers can also play important roles. In Singapore, for instance, the luxury resort Marina Bay Sands partners extensively with Singapore Airlines and the Singapore Tourism Board to offer compelling tourism offerings. Past collaborations have included flight and stay packages built around culinary festivals and a Lunar New Year drone show. 23 “Singapore Tourism Board, Marina Bay Sands & UOB partner to enliven Marina Bay precinct,” Singapore Tourism Board news release, January 25, 2024.
  • Use infrastructure linkage to promote new destinations. By extending route options, transportation providers can encourage visitors to create itineraries that combine familiar destinations with new attractions. In Asia, Thailand’s tourism authority has attempted to nudge visitors away from the most heavily trafficked parts of the country, such as Bangkok and Phuket, and toward less popular destinations.
  • Deploy social media to reach different demographics. Innovative social media campaigns can help put a destination on the map. Australia launched its “Ruby the kangaroo” campaign in China to coincide with the return of postpandemic air capacity between the two places. A video adapted for Chinese context (with appropriate gestures and a hashtag in Mandarin) garnered more than 20 million views in a single day on one of China’s largest social media platforms. 24 Nicole Gong, “Can Ruby the kangaroo bring Chinese tourists hopping back to Australia?,” SBS, June 5, 2023.
  • Embrace unknown status. “Off the beaten path” messaging can appeal to widely traveled tourists seeking fresh experiences. Saudi Arabia’s “#WhereInTheWorld” campaign promoted the country’s tourist spots by acknowledging that they are less familiar to travelers, using a series of images that compared these spots with better-known destinations.

As tourism stakeholders look to the future, they can take steps to ensure that they continue to delight existing travelers while also embracing new ones. Domestic and intraregional tourism remain major opportunities—catering to local tourists’ preferences while building infrastructure that makes travel more seamless within a region could help capture them. Creative collaboration among tourism stakeholders can help put lesser-known destinations on the map. Travel tides are shifting. Expertly navigating these currents could yield rich rewards.

Caroline Tufft is a senior partner in McKinsey’s London office, Margaux Constantin is a partner in the Dubai office, Matteo Pacca is a senior partner in the Paris office, Ryan Mann is a partner in the Chicago office, Ivan Gladstone is an associate partner in the Riyadh office, and Jasperina de Vries is an associate partner in the Amsterdam office.

The authors wish to thank Abdulhadi Alghamdi, Alessandra Powell, Alex Dichter, Cedric Tsai, Diane Vu, Elisa Wallwitz, Lily Miller, Maggie Coffey, Nadya Snezhkova, Nick Meronyk, Paulina Baum, Peimin Suo, Rebecca Stone, Sarah Fellay, Sarah Sahel, Steffen Fuchs, Steffen Köpke, Steve Saxon, Sophia Wang, and Urs Binggeli for their contributions to this article.

This article was edited by Seth Stevenson, a senior editor in the New York office.

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Russia plans to increase number of tourist arrivals to Cuba

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  • June 4, 2024

Sputnik informed that all parties involved, including the Economic Development Ministry and the Transport Ministry, must develop a scheme for tourist exchange with Cuba to reach the pre-COVID-19 pandemic indicators.

The agreement also stipulates that Aeroflot Airline opened two weekly flights from Moscow to Varadero, Cuba, from June 1 to September 28, 2024, and will offer three flights a week from October 1 to October 26, 2024.

Rossiya and NordWind airlines will fly to Cuba twice or thrice weekly.

Flights between Russia and Cuba will also be operated by Venezuelan airline Conviasa, which will fly regularly between Caracas and Moscow, landing at Havana airport, the Finance Ministry stated.

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Uzbekistan reports a big decline in Russia-bound labor migrants

I n terms of the movement of people, there seems to be a lot more coming than going in Uzbekistan these days. Officials in Tashkent are reporting a surge in tourism and a steep decline in labor migration.

Uzbek media is reporting the annual number of Uzbek labor migrants seeking work in Russia has fallen to about 1 million from an average in excess of 4 million a decade ago. According to presidential spokesman Sherzod Asadov, the decline reflects “the effectiveness of ongoing economic reforms .” President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s administration has also implemented a new regulatory framework designed to better manage labor flows, expand state support for unskilled laborers, and steer job seekers toward higher paying positions outside of Russia.

Elsewhere, official data in Kyrgyzstan also indicates the number of citizens seeking work abroad has declined. In April of this year, the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry reported that over 655,000 Kyrgyz nationals were living abroad, most of them labor migrants. During the same month in 2022, over 837,000 citizens were living and/or working abroad.

Back in Uzbekistan, a presidential press service statement indicated that the country could attract up to 11 million tourists this year, generating potentially $2.5 billion for the economy. In 2019, prior to the Covid pandemic, Uzbekistan attracted 6.75 million tourists.

Mirziyoyev met with Uzbek industry representatives on June 3, after which he agreed to establish a business council for the promotion of tourism.

Authorities are additionally planning an advertising campaign to promote Uzbekistan as a tourist destination. Part of the promotional strategy will involve state-sponsored tours for social media influencers with mass audiences. State agencies are also examining ways to simplify the system for obtaining electronic visas, and to develop apps that make it easier for tourists to get around, according to the presidential statement.

NEWS... BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT

Picture-postcard tourist traps are buckling after too many visitors

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Tourists queue for a bakery in the Cotswold's Bourton-On-The-Water on Saturday (Picture: Paul Nichols Photography)

People living in the UK’s most popular picture-postcard hotspots say their towns and villages are buckling from too many visitors.

Many say they particularly dread bank holiday weekends, but claim the problem is often now year-round.

Complaints include overcrowding, parking disputes, out-of-order toilets, inflated rent and house prices, roads being blocked by selfie takers and even bad language.

Entire coach-loads of visitors will arrive in small, quaint villages, not designed to withstand such high numbers of people, they say.

The MailOnline spoke to several residents who voiced their dismay.

Parish and district councillor Jon Wareing said pretty Bourton-On-The-Water in the Cotswolds is struggling under the weight of day-trippers. 

He explained how a visitor recently threatened one of his neighbours after being asked not to park on his drive.

The parish council is considering banning coaches in the centre of Bourton-On-The-Water (Picture: Paul Nichols Photography)

‘People can spend an hour in their car, driving around. Some of the ”difficult” behaviour that follows is because they get frustrated,’ he added.

‘One of my neighbours asked this person not to park on his property and got threatened with violence. He said he knew where they lived if they did anything to his car and threatened to throw a brick through their window.’ 

Coaches could previously park on a designated piece of private land, but this has now been withdrawn, leading to congestion issues.

As a result the parish council is now considering banning coaches from central parts of the village.

District and Parish Cllr Jon Wareing said a tourist recently threatened his neighbour (Picture: Paul Nichols Photography)

Resident Bernie Roberts lives yards from the High Street, but he and other villagers rarely go there on busy days.

He said increasing tourist numbers had ruined the area, with people breaking the 20mph speed limit, ‘proper shops’ closing, and young people being forced to leave the area because homes are bought by outsiders wanting to rent them out, pushing up prices.

Not everyone in the village agrees, however. Local business owner Sarita Tapper, who runs Chestnuts Fashion Fix shop said banning coaches from the centre could force businesses to close.

Resident Bernie Roberts says tourism in Bourton-on-the-Water has spoiled the village

She also said that although there were busy days, the village could also be very quiet, especially during winter.

In Whitby North Yorkshire, meanwhile, a town made famous by classic novel, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, resident Danny Wilson plans to move because of the high tourist numbers.

The 55-year-old, who owns a Goth-themed fashion shop, said he lives in a rented flat and all the other flats in his building are now holiday lets.

‘They make a lot of noise. I cannot leave my bike outside my door. The fire alarm is going off all the time,’ Danny said.

He added that the town used to be quiet during the winter but said it’s now busy all year round.

Traffic and parking is a problem in Bourton-on-the-Water say residents (Picture: Paul Nichols Photography)

‘Locals are sick of having nowhere to park and not having any local pubs. They feel pushed out, like in any tourism destination.’

Barry Snedden, 67, has been running pleasure boat trips around Whitby Harbour for 42 years, so relies on tourism, but said it now comes with too many issues.

He explained that on busy days people are forced to walk in the road and no one cares about parking rules.

Mr Snedden said tourists also don’t check the tides and get cut off, while families often leave their kids’ buckets and plastic fishing nets next to bins, which then blow into the harbour.

One local of Salcombe, Devon says people are often walking in the middle of the road because it's so busy (Picture: Neil Hope)

The nets, he said, can get tangled into boat propellers causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

He also complained of bad language from tourists when they’ve ‘had a few beers’.

Residents in Salcombe Devon have also had enough. Parking in the pretty seaside down has become a nightmare, they say.

Sally Hannaford, 54, who manages The Pasty Shack on the waterfront explained tourists will drive around looking for somewhere to park and eventually pull up anywhere and take the risk of a ticket.

She said she sees lots of tickets on car windscreens in high season.

The mother-of-two said high property prices in the area has made it difficult to find staff as ordinary workers can’t afford to live there.

Finding staff is difficult in Salcombe said one business owner because ordinary workers can't afford to live in the area anymore (Picture: Neil Hope)

Towns and villages overrun with tourists is of course not just a UK issue, and a number of places abroad have taken drastic measures to tackle the issue.

One village in Menorca is even considering banning visitors all together.

Binibeca Vell has had a big boom in interest recently, after becoming a hit on social media.

The picturesque Spanish settlement currently has 800,000 visitors annually, mostly between the warmer months between May and October, but this year that figure is set to rise to 1 million. 

As a result of the sudden influx, local officials are now planning to put an end to tourism there.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] .

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Suspected Chinese spies, disguised as tourists, tried to infiltrate Alaskan military bases

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Chinese citizens posing as tourists but suspected of being spies have made several attempts in recent years to gain access to military facilities in this vast state studded with sensitive bases, according to U.S. officials.

In one incident, a vehicle with Chinese citizens blew past a security checkpoint at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, several soldiers told USA TODAY. The vehicle was eventually stopped, and a search found a drone inside the vehicle. The occupants claimed they were tourists who had gotten lost.

Many of the encounters have been chalked up to innocent mistakes by foreign visitors intent on viewing the northern lights and other attractions in Alaska , officials say. Other attempts to enter U.S. military bases, however, seem to be probes to learn about U.S. military capabilities in Alaska, according to multiple soldiers familiar with the incidents but who were not authorized to speak publicly about them.

Not all who appear to be tourists in Alaska, are, in fact tourists, one Army officer said. Instead, they are foreign spies.

Details about the incidents remain mostly classified. However, military briefings and publicly available information lay out why the Chinese government would be interested in Alaska where some of the Pentagon's most sophisticated military capabilities and high-end war games reside.

Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide

The Pentagon's No. 2 official, Kathleen Hicks, demurred when asked to comment on suspected Chinese spying at military facilities in Alaska. She said the military is taking a number of steps to make sure those bases are secure but she gave no specifics .

FBI and Justice Department involvement

The FBI and Department of Justice take over cases from the military involving suspected spies.

FBI Director Christopher Wray regularly sounds alarms about Chinese government-sponsored espionage, blaming Communist leaders there, not its citizens or Chinese Americans.

Wray has estimated that the FBI opens a new investigation on Chinese-government sponsored espionage every 12 hours.

“There is no doubt that the greatest long-term threat to our nation’s ideas, our economic security and our national security is that posed by the Chinese communist government,” Wray said in a speech in April.

A key concern about instrusions on U.S. military bases may have as much to do about what is left behind than photos taken, said David Deptula, a retired three-star Air Force general who was the service's senior officer for intelligence.

Spies could leave behind sensors that could pick up sensitive communications, according to Deptula, who is now dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Power Studies.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not respond to emails and phone calls requesting comment.

Why Alaska? Radars, missiles, cutting-edge war games

Alaska hosts three large military bases – Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, and Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks – along with several smaller installations. Once regarded as a backwater in the military, Alaska has seen the Pentagon increasingly funnel resources and troops to the state in recent years as competition in the Arctic heats up. The state is also seen as key to homeland defense given its proximity to Russia, the ballistic missile threat from North Korea and, increasingly, China.

The Air Force has based its top fighter jets, F-22s and F-35s, in Alaska. The Army's Fort Greely, near Fairbanks, has sophisticated radars and missiles poised to defend against nuclear attack. Last year, the Army activated the 11th Airborne Division in Alaska as arctic warfare specialists. There are about 12,000 soldiers and 10,000 active-duty Air Force personnel stationed in Alaska.

Alaska's vast wilderness affords the Pentagon the opportunity to conduct major military exercises over land and at sea. Thousands of troops and more than 150 warplanes from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia warplanes took part in the recent Northern Edge war game . The annual exercise helps troops train against the United States' greatest military adversaries: Russia and China.

Tensions between the United States and China have risen over the last year. The Chinese spy balloon crossed the United States caused a diplomatic rupture, prompting secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a trip to Beijing. China's support for Russia after its illegal invasion of Ukraine is another point of friction. And China's designs on Taiwan, the recipient of billions in U.S. military aid, have deepened distrust.

Those tensions were highlighted May 26 when a Chinese fighter jet had a dangerous encounter with a U.S. spy plane flying over international waters in the South China Sea, according to the Pentagon's Indo-Pacific Command. The Chinese jet flew in front of the U.S. Air Force Rivet Joint reconnaisance, forcing it to encounter turbulence , the Indo-Pacific Command announced Tuesday.

Alaska's size – two-and-a-half times the size of Texas – remoteness and savage winter cold, once viewed as protective barriers, provide less security for prying eyes. Global warming has opened shipping lanes in the Arctic, and the Pentagon has tracked Chinese fishing fleets moving farther north toward Alaska in recent years in search of greater catches.

Beefed up security at military sites

Security at some military sites in Alaska has been beefed up as the Pentagon focuses on the arctic, two officials said.

In a September interview with the Pentagon's news agency last fall, Iris Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Arctic and Global Resiliences said Chinese leaders have "been trying to insert themselves into the Arctic."

"So, we're being very mindful about their activity and in wanting to ensure that our interests are protected in the region," Ferguson said.

In late January, the Chinese spy balloon, rigged with high-tech sensors, first penetrated U.S. airspace over Alaska's Aleutian Islands, an 1,100-mile archipelago. The incident seized public attention as it drifted across the continent and maneuvered over sensitive military sites before being shot down off the coast of South Carolina. The long-range radar installations that ring the state, once focused mainly on Russian warplanes, are now calibrated to detect spy balloons from China.

During a recent visit to Alaska, Hicks was asked about potential incidents of Chinese spying. She did not acknowledge them, instead focusing on efforts in general to keep bases secure.

"We take the safety and security of our people in our installations very seriously," said Hicks, the deputy defense secretary. "We always live with the possibility of intrusion on our installations, and so we work very hard to make sure, working alongside state and local authorities and others, that those bases and installations are protected from threats. We take a lot of measures to do that. And we're going to make sure we can continue to protect our installation so our folks can perform their missions."

In recent years, there have been other intrusions at military bases in the Lower 48 states.

In 2019, a federal judge sentenced a Chinese student to a year in prison for illegally taking photos at Naval Air Station Key West in Florida. His lawyer said Zhao Qianli, 20, was just a tourist who had gotten lost, according to The Associated Press. But the naval base, where F-35 pilots train, is not a tourist hotspot. It is clearly marked off limits, and Zhao's camera and cellphone had only photos from the air station.

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2 Yale researchers are pulling back the curtain on Russia's sanctions-stricken economy — and it's landed them on a list of Putin's enemies

  • Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Steven Tian, two Yale researchers, have issued dire predictions for Russia's economy. 
  • Their work has landed them on a list of sanctioned individuals in Russia. 
  • In their view, the country's economy is in shambles, and Putin could end up losing support of the people. 

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Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Steven Tian, two researchers at the Yale School of Management, have been targeted for their views on Russia's economy since the war in Ukraine began. 

Over the last few years, they've found themselves on Vladimir Putin's watch list for stating what they see as a simple truth: the Russian economy is in trouble, and there's only so much cherry-picking of the data that can obscure that fact. 

Moscow has fiercely defended its vision of a prospering economy, but the evidence speaks for itself, Sonnenfeld and Tian say. Soaring prices and ailing consumer sentiment have hit key sectors in Russia's economy , and Moscow is paying a huge cost to keep its war machine running.

The nation is in such dire straits that citizens could even start turning on Putin later this year, they predicted, assuming the West continues to supply military and financial aid to Ukraine. 

"We can list for you what Putin has concealed – suddenly – the past three years. If his economy was performing at the level he claims, he'd provide the data ad not hide those facts," Sonnenfeld told Business Insider in an interview. "Putin survives only by cannibalizing Russian businesses – throwing the living room furniture into the furnace to keep the fire burning."

The researchers, who met as a professor-student pair at Yale, have received a lot of criticism for their work on Russia, much of it in the form of hate mail and threatening phone calls.

"I've had a lot of threats on the phone, and my home has been vandalized," Sonnenfeld told BI last summer. "Now we have so many security cameras I can't even have my shirt tails untucked, let alone walk around in my shorts at home."

Both are barred from entering Russia and were put on the nation's sanctioned US citizens list in 2022. 

Still, neither of them regrets their work.

"We're pretty excited about it," they said of their research. "Any of the threats only motivate us to work down much harder."

Putin's top critics

Sonnenfeld, 70, and Tian, 25, didn't plan on getting their names added to a list of Putin's critics.

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Neither are technically economists, but they began researching Russia's economy while compiling a list of companies that exited or scaled back their operations in Russia in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

That list went viral online, and was instrumental in getting more than 1,000 companies to scale back their business in the country, the Yale School of Management says on its website.

At that time, Tian and Sonnenfeld began noticing cracks forming in Russia's economy. Putin has claimed Russia is becoming the new " growth hub " of the world, and the IMF says Russia's economy is on track to grow over 3% this year, more than any other OECD economy, including the US. But that doesn't square with data Sonnenfeld and Tian are seeing, with some pockets of the country's economy in dire shape. 

Activity in Russia's car sector is down around 95%-99%, Sonnenfeld and Tian estimate, and activity in most industries is down at least 60%, they said, despite Putin frequently brushing off the impact of sanctions .

The nation, meanwhile, is still suffering from huge capital losses from when it first invaded Ukraine. Russia lost 1 million citizens , 15% of its millionaires , as well as $19 billion in foreign direct investment in 2022 alone, making its future growth prospects dismal, the researchers say. 

Among their biggest predictions is that the situation in Russia is so bad that the country could eventually turn on Putin , with a shift in the domestic temperament coming as soon as the November US presidential election this year.

That's because if Biden is re-elected, the US will likely continue supplying aid to Ukraine, forcing Russia to continue spending money and lives to keep waging war on Ukraine.  

"Putin has no grand strategy other than to hope Trump wins and cuts a favorable deal with Russia," Tian said. "Russia is in for a world of economic pain for a long time to come."

Positive forecasts on Russia's economy are based on a lack of visibility, Sonnenfeld and Tian say.

The pair began working together when Tian was an undergraduate at Yale, chasing Sonnenfeld around lecture halls. Eventually, Sonnenfeld became Tian's advisor and has mentored Tian for over eight years.

The two researchers are still working on ways to urge the West to tighten and enforce sanctions on Russia. They also continue to update their list of companies that have exited the country in the hope that it will encourage more firms to do the same. 

Colleagues describe Sonnenfeld as opinionated but generous and charismatic. Tian, meanwhile, has a near-photographic memory and is a highly analytical thinker, colleagues mentioned.

"Steven does a lot of the analytic heavy lifting, and I do the flamboyant color," Sonnenfeld said of their work together.

People who have worked with them also say the pair is extremely passionate about their work, and both are often known to answer emails at all hours of the night and early morning.

"We don't believe in regular sleep patterns," Sonnenfeld added. "Actually, we know it's very important, but sometimes when there's a sense of urgency, we do seriously dive into the crisis du jour. We just don't like bullies, whether or not it's Putin or some other bravado."

Watch: The rise and fall of Russian oligarchs

russia tourism numbers

  • Main content

Election latest: Voters think Rishi Sunak beat Keir Starmer in first TV debate, snap poll finds

The latest reaction and fallout after Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer squared off in the first TV debate ahead of the general election on 4 July.

Wednesday 5 June 2024 00:00, UK

  • General Election 2024

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Sunak vs Starmer TV debate

  • Sunak beats Starmer in snap public poll of first debate
  • Shout of 'shame' at PM's 'foreign court' ultimatum
  • 'I dealt with terror plots': Starmer insists he's strong on defence
  • Audience groans as Sunak partly blames strikes for state of NHS
  • Jon Craig: Feisty Sunak finds success | Starmer needs to up game
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Thank you for joining us for live coverage of the general election campaign today - and updates and analysis throughout the first TV debate between the two men vying for the keys to No 10.

Scroll down to read our full coverage, and we'll be back from 6am tomorrow with the latest.

If you want to relive tonight's prime ministerial debate, watch the highlights below...

We were just speaking with the shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, when the veterans minister, Johnny Mercer, wandered over to join the conversation.

He asked if he could pose a question, but our chief political correspondent Jon Craig  (somewhat jokingly) replied: "No, I ask the questions."

Mr Mercer ploughed on, questioning how Mr Streeting is claiming that the Tories have made £71bn of unfunded pledges.

Mr Streeting replied that "it comes from adding up all the things you guys said you would do".

He listed scrapping national insurance and inheritance tax and the "teenage dad's army" national service plan.

Mr Mercer responded that the plan to scrap inheritance tax is "an ambition", to which Mr Streeting replied: "I've got an ambition to be an Olympic swimmer - doesn't mean it's going to happen."

The minister repeats that it is an ambition, and accuses Labour of "perpetrating a bit of a fraud on people" by claiming it is an immediate plan.

He also defended the national service proposal the debate audience laughed at, saying: "The idea of young people contributing, and volunteering, and being part of something greater than themselves... I think that's fantastic."

Watch their exchange below...

Amidst all the interrupting, criticising, and attack lines, the two prime ministerial hopefuls did manage to discuss some of the issues at stake as well.

YouGov viewers were asked how they think each man performed in the various sections of the debate.

Rishi Sunak came out on top in the sections about tax and immigration (just).

But Sir Keir Starmer was victorious in the discussions about the cost of living, the NHS, education, and climate change.

See the detailed results below...

Viewers polled by YouGov after the TV debate gave a rather mixed reaction.

1,657 people were asked to pick three words describing how they felt about the debate.

See the results for yourself...

By Jennifer Scott, political reporter

It's still buzzing and busy here in the spin room, with a few surprised faces from both camps over the leaders' performances.  

But Labour's national co-ordinator Pat McFadden takes time to talk to me in his characteristic calms tones (when it comes to media performances anyway...).

Asked how he thought his boss performed, he said: "I thought tonight went well on a range of issues - from the economy to the cost of living, to housing, to the health service, [Sir Keir Starmer] showed that he understood the kind of problems people are facing."

Turning to Rishi Sunak, he said: "The problem for the prime minister is that endlessly chanting 'the plan is working'... the more he does it, the more out of touch he seems with ordinary people's lives."

While the Labour leader appeared to cut through on some issues, others fell flat with the audience - including Sir Keir's plans for the environment and Great British Energy. Surely that was a blow for the man in charge of the campaign? 

I didn't really get an answer, just a justification of why it is a campaign focus...

"This is a really important nettle to grasp because if we don't grasp it, it will be more expensive for the country in the long run and more expensive for consumers," said Mr McFadden. 

And what about that poll that I surprised him and Mr Ashworth with an hour ago, now he has had time to digest it. Didn't they think Sir Keir would smash it out the park tonight? 

"No, we don't take anything for granted," he said. 

"That is a pretty even split for polling for the debate. We work very hard, we make no assumptions about this election and we keep doing that from now until polling day."

But surely it makes him nervous after riding high on poll leads of 27 points this week?

"Well, I was ignoring that anyway because the only poll that matters is the one on 4 July," said Mr McFadden.

"Everybody should remember Labour is the challenger, the Conservatives are the incumbent. 

"They have been in office for 14 years. And I do believe there is a mood for change out there in the country - but change will only come if people vote for it."

We have some more detail from the snap YouGov poll of the debate performance of the two prime ministerial candidates.

While Rishi Sunak just edged the win by 2%, digging into the detail reveals a more interesting picture.

Asked about the performance of the two men overall:

60% of viewers thought Sir Keir Starmer performed "fairly well" or "very well", whereas 55% of viewers gave Rishi Sunak the same ratings.

Sir Keir Starmer also won plaudits from 2019 Conservative voters, with 36% saying he performed "fairly well" or "very well".

Viewers were also asked about how each man came across.

Sir Keir Starmer was rated more "trustworthy" (49%), more "likeable" (50%) and more "in touch with ordinary voters" (66%).

But crucially, Rishi Sunak was rated more "prime ministerial" (43%).

It is frantic in the spin room as journalists climb over each other, stand on chairs and clamber round the campaign teams, trying to get their questions answered.

But I managed to get a bit of time with Health Secretary Victoria Atkins to ask her what she thought of Rishi Sunak's performance.

"I think it went really well," she said. 

"And I say that because he had the chance to show the absolute commitment and the energy that he brings to governing our great country."

Meanwhile, she thought Sir Keir Starmer "looked like a deer in the headlights at points as he is not used to answering questions". 

She refuted claims the PM came across as tetchy, saying: "We are talking about governing our country. I want someone who is determined I want someone who will speak up. 

"I want somebody who will not take nonsense, whether it is from Keir Starmer or Vladimir Putin."

And when I put to her Mr Sunak's performance had lacked somewhat on how to help young people - with his national service plan getting one of the biggest laughs of the night - she went on a bit of a tangent about the NHS app.

But I was the first to reveal to her the YouGov poll showing Mr Sunak won the day - just - and while she denied she looked surprised (she did), she said: "That means Rishi won! 

"I fully accept that we have got an enormous amount to do, as we should do in our democracy... so we will be taking that win and building on it in the weeks to come. 

"I am so pleased to hear that because I was proud of the prime minister tonight. 

"I think the policies he set out were really, really interesting and I hope the public saw some of the passion and the care that I see when I see him across the cabinet table."

Labour are "leaving Manchester stronger tonight", the shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth has told our deputy political editor  Sam Coates .

"That is because Keir Starmer made clear his commitment to fixing the NHS with 40,000 more appointments each week," he says.

"He talked about his commitment to bring down bills as we transition to clean energy and to transform education."

Mr Ashworth says he believes the British public "will decide it is time for change" after watching Sir Keir at the debate in Salford.

Pressed on whether Sir Keir really got to the heart of the questions he was asked, Mr Ashworth says "let me be clear about one topic - this issue Rishi Sunak raised about tax is a lie.

"Rishi Sunak out of desperation had to collapse into lying in that debate.

"We do not have a plan to tax households in the way in which Rishi Sunak described, and we are not putting up income tax, or national insurance and VAT.

"The only party that has made uncosted commitments in this campaign is Rishi Sunak's party."

The outgoing levelling up secretary, Michael Gove, is giving Sky News his reaction to tonight's TV debate.

It is put to him that Rishi Sunak did not do anything to transform the race, but Mr Gove disagrees, saying "it exploded Keir Starmer's claim to be a credible candidate for prime minister".

He "was found wanting" on everything from migration to taxes, he says.

Mr Gove claims the Labour leader showed he was not across the detail on his party's economic policy, as well as on energy.

During the debate, Mr Gove says the Labour leader said Great British Energy would produce energy, when in fact it's mainly an investment vehicle.

"Ed Miliband [Labour's shadow energy secretary] will have been watching this with his head in his hands as his own leader can't even recall what their climate policy is," he says.

The veteran cabinet minister adds: "You can tell from the downcast faces of Labour shadow cabinet figures - they recognise that their leader flopped tonight, their leader was exposed as a dud."

Liz Kendall, Labour's shadow work and pensions secretary, tells our deputy political editor  Sam Coates  that Sir Keir "set out a positive message of change for the country" during the debate.

She says one of the main things the Labour leader did was "connect with people about their real worries".

Asked if the public learnt a great deal about the Labour leader, Ms Kendall says Sir Keir was "really clear" about his plans to tackle the cost of living, cut NHS waiting times and to help young people.

"It's right to say if you want to judge who is the best person to run the country for the next five years, look at their record over the last 14 years," she says

"Rishi Sunak doesn't want to stand on his record because it is a record of failure."

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russia tourism numbers

IMAGES

  1. Russia

    russia tourism numbers

  2. Russian Travel & Tourism Report 2020: How Tourism Survived the Pandemic

    russia tourism numbers

  3. The Russian Outbound Travel Market: Trends, Analysis & Statistics 2019

    russia tourism numbers

  4. How Asian Countries Attract Russian Tourists

    russia tourism numbers

  5. Outbound tourism in 2019: where Russians went

    russia tourism numbers

  6. The forecast of the number of Russian and foreign tourists in the

    russia tourism numbers

VIDEO

  1. Кількість іноземних туристів у Росії зросла

  2. Famous places in Moscow

  3. Turkiye generates $24.5B in tourism revenue in 2021

  4. Touch Russia

  5. Russian Economy Numbers Out

  6. «Всё включено»: рост туристического потока по России

COMMENTS

  1. Travel and tourism in Russia

    Number of outbound travel visits from Russia from 2021 to 2022, by destination (in 1,000s) Premium Statistic Number of outbound tourists from Russia 2022, by territory

  2. Russia Tourism Statistics 1960-2024

    Russia tourism statistics for 2020 was 4,961,000,000.00, a 71.22% decline from 2019. Russia tourism statistics for 2019 was 17,235,000,000.00, a 8.01% decline from 2018. International tourism receipts are expenditures by international inbound visitors, including payments to national carriers for international transport.

  3. International tourism, number of arrivals

    International tourism, number of arrivals - Russian Federation World Tourism Organization, Yearbook of Tourism Statistics, Compendium of Tourism Statistics and data files. License : CC BY-4.0

  4. Russia Tourism Statistics 2001-2024

    Russia tourism statistics for 2018 was 18,735,000,000.00, a 25.42% increase from 2017. Russia tourism statistics for 2017 was 14,938,000,000.00, a 16.5% increase from 2016. Download Historical Data Save as Image. Data Source: World Bank MLA Citation: Similar Country Ranking; Country Name Spending ($)

  5. Tourism in Russia

    The former is relatively insignificant for the Russian tourism industry, amounting for approximately 100 thousands pilgrims yearly. The latter is more important. ... Foreign travel statistics. In 2013, 27 million international tourists arrived in Russia, generating US$11.2 billion in international tourism revenue for the country. ...

  6. Russia Visitor Arrivals [Chart-Data-Forecast], 1995

    Russia Visitor Arrivals data is updated yearly, available from Dec 1995 to Dec 2022. The data reached an all-time high of 30,792,091 person in Dec 2013 and a record low of 6,358,959 person in Dec 2020. CEIC calculates annual Tourist Arrivals from quarterly Tourist Arrivals. The Federal Agency for Tourism provides year-to-date Tourist Arrivals.

  7. Russia

    The value for International tourism, number of arrivals in Russia was 6,359,000 as of 2020. As the graph below shows, over the past 25 years this indicator reached a maximum value of 33,729,000 in 2015 and a minimum value of 6,359,000 in 2020. Definition: International inbound tourists (overnight visitors) are the number of tourists who travel ...

  8. Russian Federation

    Tourism in the economy. In 2017, tourism contributed RUB 3.2 trillion to the economy, equivalent to 3.8% of Russian GVA, and an increase of 21.4% from 2016. The tourism industry in Russia employed 540 500 people in 2017. The number of international visitor arrivals recorded in 2018 was 24.6 million, up 0.7% over 2017.

  9. Organized Tourism to Russia Drops by 90% in 2022

    Official figures place the year-on-year drop in Russia's inbound tourist numbers as a whole at just 40%, from almost 290,000 last year to 190,000 in 2022, Kommersant said. In 2019, some 5.1 ...

  10. Russia Welcomes 20% More Tourists in 2019

    Tourist arrivals to Russia have surged by 20.5% in 2019, ... The numbers come as Russia moves to simplify visa requirements for citizens of 53 countries next year and boost its tourism revenue.

  11. Tourism Statistics

    Tourism Statistics. Get the latest and most up-to-date tourism statistics for all the countries and regions around the world. Data on inbound, domestic and outbound tourism is available, as well as on tourism industries, employment and complementary indicators. All statistical tables available are displayed and can be accessed individually ...

  12. Development and importance of tourism for Russia

    By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Russia, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.044 tourists per resident, Russia ranked 130th in the world. In Eastern Europe, it ranked 8th. In 2021, Russia generated around 6.31 billion US dollars in the tourism sector alone.

  13. Analytics

    Top travel destinations Russian tourists visited 2023. Russian travelers made 14 million trips in 2023 ( with the exception of post-Soviet countries). The increase to 2022 is 27.6%., About 8.1 million of these 14 million trips were organized by tour operators, according to ATOR's preliminary estimate. This is a 16.4% increase compared to 2022.

  14. Tourism In Russia

    Statistics about tourism in Russia. Here are some of the most current statistics available and the time of publication about tourism in Russia: In 2019, Russia welcomed approximately 24 million international tourists, generating $11.4 billion in tourism revenue.

  15. Russia

    International tourism, number of departures. The value for International tourism, number of departures in Russia was 12,361,000 as of 2020. As the graph below shows, over the past 25 years this indicator reached a maximum value of 54,069,000 in 2013 and a minimum value of 10,635,000 in 1998.

  16. International tourism, receipts (current US$)

    International tourism, receipts (current US$) - Russian Federation World Tourism Organization, Yearbook of Tourism Statistics, Compendium of Tourism Statistics and data files. License : CC BY-4.0

  17. Unveiling the Shocking Russia Tourism Statistics: Stats & Trends You

    The number of inbound tourist arrivals in Russia has been steadily increasing over the years, with tourism playing a crucial role in the country's economy. However, the pandemic and the conflict with Ukraine have had a significant impact on this development. Pre-Pandemic Boom: Russian Golden Age of Tourism (2015-2019)

  18. These are the top 10 countries for travel and tourism

    Pent-up demand after the pandemic is expected to drive passenger numbers back up to pre-pandemic levels in 2024. The recovery of the travel and tourism sector since the pandemic has been uneven, however, and some nations are better placed than others to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the future.

  19. PDF of Surrey Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024

    tourism flow challenges associated with the growth in travel, including high seasonality and overcrowding. Looking at ranking results, more mature, high-income T&T economies in Europe and Eurasia (Europe) and, to a lesser extent, Asia-Pacific make up most of the top rankings in the 2024 TTDI edition. Among the top 30 scorers, 19 are from Europe,

  20. Now boarding: Faces, places, and trends shaping tourism in 2024

    After falling by 75 percent in 2020, travel is on its way to a full recovery by the end of 2024. Domestic travel is expected to grow 3 percent annually and reach 19 billion lodging nights per year by 2030. 1 Unless otherwise noted, the source for all data and projections is Oxford Economics. Over the same time frame, international travel should likewise ramp up to its historical average of ...

  21. Russia plans to increase number of tourist arrivals to Cuba

    Russia plans to increase number of tourist arrivals to Cuba. Moscow, Jun 4 (Prensa Latina) Russian tour operators and airlines have the task of increasing the flow of tourists to Cuba to pre-2019 ...

  22. Uzbekistan reports a big decline in Russia-bound labor migrants

    Officials in Tashkent are reporting a surge in tourism and a steep decline in labor migration. Uzbek media is reporting the annual number of Uzbek labor migrants seeking work in Russia has fallen ...

  23. Picture-postcard tourist traps are buckling after too many visitors

    He said increasing tourist numbers had ruined the area, with people breaking the 20mph speed limit, 'proper shops' closing, and young people being forced to leave the area because homes are ...

  24. Suspected Chinese spies posing as tourists discovered in Alaska

    The state is also seen as key to homeland defense given its proximity to Russia, the ballistic missile threat from North Korea and, increasingly, China. The Air Force has based its top fighter ...

  25. Russia Economy: 2 Yale Researchers on Watch List After Bearish Forecasts

    Putin has claimed Russia is becoming the new "growth hub" of the world, and the IMF says Russia's economy is on track to grow over 3% this year, more than any other OECD economy, including the US ...

  26. Election latest: Potentially 'critical moment' as Rishi Sunak and Keir

    Sophy pushes Mr Streeting on the apparently small number of policies from Labour, and he points to the party's plans to deliver 40,000 more NHS appointments per week, 13,000 more police officers ...