How the pandemic changed tourism and what awaits us in 2021

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About the expert

Artem Kromochkin, head of short-term lease at Avito Real Estate.

Failures and growth of the year

The tourist year 2020 began with a positive start. The coronavirus epidemic in China seemed distant and not very dangerous. People continued to travel, including across Russia.

At the beginning of the year, we noted an increase in demand for short-term rental housing by about 30%. The supply was gradually pulled up by the demand and added about 10%. The picture seemed almost cloudless.

What happened next, we all know very well. During the lockdown, potential travelers were locked up in their homes. And the tourism industry has been one of the worst hit by the coronavirus crisis.

In many regions, hotels were closed. And where they continued to work, they often demanded a certificate of the absence of coronavirus from the guests. As a result, tourists who preferred to stay in hotels switched to short-term rental housing. But even in this segment there was still a serious drop in demand. According to Avito Real Estate, in April it was up to 50% of last year's figures.

Instead of a vacation, many Russians tried to move closer to nature and away from crowds - especially since companies massively transferred employees to remote locations. As a result, the demand for suburban real estate jumped sharply: in some regions, we noted a threefold growth. This situation persisted throughout the summer.

Nevertheless, the summer tourist season in Russia has finally taken place. After sitting in quarantine, people began to travel soon after the first restrictions were lifted. First - within their regions, and then between them. At the end of July, the head of Crimea, Sergei Aksenov, said that the occupancy of accommodation facilities on the southern coast of the peninsula had reached 95%.

In the summer, Russia partially opened its borders with other countries, including popular resorts - Croatia, Turkey, Montenegro. But the threat of coronavirus has not been canceled. In a pandemic, Russians preferred travel around the country to overseas travel.

So, according to the calculations of "TurStat", in the summer of 2020 the most popular destinations were the Krasnodar Territory (6.2 million tourists), Crimea (3.5 million), and Altai (2 million). Turkey took only the fifth place, and with a significant lag - only 460 thousand Russians visited it.

In addition to the listed locations, there were several new tourist discoveries for the mass traveler - Dagestan (40% growth), Karelia (doubled), Ingushetia, Altai and Kaliningrad region. The latter showed the most dynamic growth in demand in mid-July - 2.3 times compared to 2019.

How the pandemic changed tourism and what awaits us in 2021

The magazine about domestic and inbound tourism "Rest in Russia" together with the Center for Information Communications "Rating" conducted the sixth annual study devoted to the development of tourism, the tourist attractiveness of Russian regions, their tourism potential and popularity among domestic and foreign tourists ...

This year has become difficult, and according to most rating experts, catastrophic for the tourism and hotel industry in Russia. She was included in the list of those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Obviously, Russia is not the only one to face such problems. According to the calculations of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the impact from COVID-19 will be the worst in the history of tourism: the indicators of the tourism industry around the world by the end of 2020 will decrease by 60-80% compared to 2019. International tourist flows during the current crisis decreased 7.5 times more than under the influence of the most powerful recession in 2008.

According to the Federal Tourism Agency, recently announced by its head Zarina Doguzova, the drop in outbound and inbound tourism will reach 80-85%. If you look at the turnover of the entire tourism industry, then this year the amount will decrease by 60%, from 3.7 trillion (in 2019) to 1.6 trillion rubles. At the same time, the domestic tourist flow should be at least 60% of last year.

According to Rosstat, the income of collective accommodation facilities (hotels, hotels and others) for 9 months of 2020 amounted to 269 billion rubles, or 60% of the indicators of January-September last year (445 billion rubles). The revenues of health resort organizations for 9 months of 2020 amounted to 69 billion rubles, which is 65% of the indicators for the same period last year (105 billion rubles).

The number of citizens, according to the statistics department, accommodated in all Russian hotels for 9 months of this year amounted to 28.2 million people, against 46.5 million in the same period last year (about 61%). Over the same period, foreign citizens were accommodated 2.3 million people, and last year - 7.7 million, that is, the drop was 70%.

Measures of state support for enterprises in the industry, in the opinion of most experts in the rating, turned out to be insignificant, although very much in demand. At the same time, not all organizations were able to use them according to formal criteria: non-compliance with OKVED, requirements for small and medium-sized enterprises. Also, representatives of the tourist business are afraid not to fulfill the requirements for obtaining a "non-repayable" loan, namely, to retain at least 90% of the number of employees until April 1, 2021. In addition, the further spread of restrictions in a number of cities and regions, an increasing debt load, and claims for repayment of loans, according to hoteliers, may lead to bankruptcy and closure of hotels in the first quarter of next year.

With all the negative consequences of restrictions associated with the spread of coronavirus infection, representatives of the travel community note a number of positive changes taking place in the industry.

Perhaps the most discussed and anticipated event of the next year is the launch of a new national project "Tourism and Hospitality Industry". It is designed for 2021-2030, and the planned budget should be 629 billion rubles.

In September last year, the Strategy for the Development of Tourism in the Russian Federation until 2035 was adopted. It was approved by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The activities and key indicators of this strategy, which Rosturizm has been engaged in for a long time, migrated to the national project. Apparently, the scale of the goals and objectives set in the strategy led the creators of the document to the idea that it would not be possible to do this within the existing structure and powers of Rostourism, as well as the mechanism of budgetary funds allocated by it. After all, the financing of projects, the quality of their implementation, and human resources must grow exponentially.

Therefore, first, in June 2020, Rostourism was removed from the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and became directly subordinate to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko. The activity of the deputy chairman of the government in charge of tourism, his "struggle", even President Vladimir Putin noted at his annual press conference, saying that a separate structure would be created for the development of domestic tourism. “People say: it’s beautiful, but there is no toilet, neither drive nor pass,” the head of state shared his thoughts with journalists. He also cited Turkey and South Korea as an example, where in a few years they have created an excellent infrastructure for recreation.

How the pandemic changed tourism and what awaits us in 2021 About the expert Artem Kromochkin, head of short-term rent at Avito Real Estate. Failures and Growth 2020


Another unique country for tourism is Italy. The country is rich in sights just for every taste. Numerous beaches await you here in summer, and in winter there are many ski resorts in the Alps. There are as many as five seas off the coast of Italy: Ionian, Tyrrhenian, Adriatic, Ligurian and Mediterranean. The centuries-old rich history of Italian cities like a magnet attracts millions of tourists with its museums with works of world culture, Gothic castles, majestic cathedrals and churches.

All types of tourism are developed here, in addition to ski, beach resorts and shopping, they are agritourism, health-improving, gastronomic, religious pilgrimage, ecotourism and sports. The center of tourism in Italy, thanks to a huge number of archaeological and cultural values, is Rome (Vatican Museums, Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, Roman Forum, Pantheon, etc.). In terms of attendance in Europe, it is second only to London and Paris. The most popular cities among tourists are Milan, Naples, Venice and Florence. There are more UNESCO World Heritage Sites here than in any other country in the world.

The largest number of tourists come from Germany (over 10 million people a year). Also, a lot of tourists come or fly from countries such as the USA, France. China, UK, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Russia, Belgium, Japan, Australia and Brazil. During the year, Italy was visited by 58.3 million tourists.


China has made significant breakthroughs in tourism over the past few decades. A wealthy middle class has emerged in the country, restrictions on travel by the Chinese authorities have become less severe, which provoked a tourist boom, both in domestic tourism and internationally. A fifth of the world's international tourism spending is from Chinese tourists.

As for the guests of China, they are attracted by conventionally three groups of attractions: natural objects (mountains, lakes, waterfalls, caves), historical and cultural sites (Great Wall of China, Buddhist temples, ancient cities, the Silk Road ), folk customs (traditional holidays). Tourists are attracted by large, highly developed megalopolises: Shanghai, Beijing, special autonomous regions: Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong. The popularity of the tropical island of Hainan with its beach resorts is growing.

60.7 million foreign tourists visited China in 2017. China received the most tourists from South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, USA, Russia, Mongolia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Thailand and China.


Tourists spend more money in the US than in any other country in the world. They left almost $ 211 billion here in 2017. In 29 states out of 50, tourism is one of the main components of the economy. In addition to all this, domestic tourism is very developed here - Americans are happy to travel to other states, leave (fly out) on weekends. The United States is not only a large, but also a very diverse country - six time zones with different climates and landscapes. There is frosty Minnesota, snowy Alaska, hot beach California and Florida.

These travel sites and apps have been personally tested by us

Not well-known, but very useful travel sites. Most of the travel sites and apps on this list have been tested by us personally, something else is still waiting in line, but it doesn't get any less cool.

List: Travel Sites: Travel Preparation

Nomadlist. A site that contains a database of almost all countries on this planet and allows you to filter them by many, many, many parameters: cost of living, weather conditions, hazard level, quality of Internet connection ... Nomadlist is ideal for remote selection of a country or countries for travel or relocation! Personally, I am absolutely delighted with this service.

Tripadvisor. One of the largest travel sites in the world. The main usefulness of the service is traveler reviews about everything in the world: cities, sights, hotels, restaurants, excursions, and so on. Tripaviser is a giant travel community where you can find and review almost any travel service. Before going out to a restaurant or booking a hotel, check tripadvisor reviews to avoid frustration, waste and time wasted.

Lonelyplanet. In general, Lonely Planet is the world's most popular travel guidebooks, which have been breaking sales records around the world for 40 years. In Russia, these guidebooks are little known, most likely due to the fact that books in Russian began to be published only three years ago. According to my personal observation, 90% of foreign tourists plan their trips using the Lonely Planet books. Almost every traveler we met had this guide in his hands or on his bedside table in the hostel. For them, it is just a must-have, something like a good tradition and an integral attribute of an independent traveler. Russian travelers, on the other hand, often illegally download e-books in English, and also use them in travel planning.

The books are written by professional travel journalists and contain tons of travel hacks. Where and how to save money, where to go, where to buy what. The history of the Lonely Planet brand is very interesting and romantic, you can get acquainted with it on the official website. There you can also read interesting travel articles and get inspired.

Vinsky Forum. Doesn't need advertising. The largest Russian-language forum for independent travelers. On it you can find the answer to any question, and if suddenly the question you are interested in is still undisturbed by experienced people, then you can easily create your own topic for discussion. Rest assured that you will be answered in less than 24 hours. The forum is lively and active.

Travel. u. The largest Russian travel site. All kinds of reviews, articles, discussions, booking hotels and planes, airline promotions, train tickets - all this is collected in one place with a user-friendly interface.

Tourister. u. Travel social network. It differs from the previous site by the fact that here, among other things, you can keep your own travel blog, create a list of visited countries and cities with display on an interactive map, as well as plan future routes.

Dorogi-ne-dorogi. u - online travel magazine. The site constantly publishes new articles, travel reports, tips on how to save money and make your vacation rich and comfortable. There is something to read and something to be inspired by. There are great guides to the cities of the Golden Ring, the Kaliningrad region, Karelia, the resorts of the Krasnodar Territory, the Baltic States, Paris, Venice, and other cities in Europe and Russia.

The number of foreign tourists on the streets of Russian cities is constantly growing. The depreciation of the ruble against major world currencies has made Russia an attractive destination for tourists from many countries. We wanted to check how the tourist flow from abroad has changed recently.

We believe that this work will be of interest not only to a wide audience, but also to companies working in the tourism sector. We hope this data will help them improve their work with foreign guests.

In preparing the study, we analyzed over 40 thousand reviews of foreign tourists about 767 hotels in the 50 most popular Russian cities among tourists (according to from January 2015 to November 2016. The study took into account the reviews of tourists from non-CIS countries (excluding the CIS countries).


Over the year, the total number of responses from foreigners has grown by 24%. The peak is traditionally in August. At the same time, we note that the growth from August 2015 to 2016 was 20%.

Consider the distribution of tourists by country.

The leaders in the number of reviews are Germany, Finland, China, Italy, France, Great Britain, Turkey, Switzerland, the United States of America and South Korea.

Finland should be noted among European countries - the number of tourists from this country has grown by 38% over the year. It should be noted the dynamics of tourist flow from South Korea - the growth for the year was 55%. The number of visits to our country by tourists from Israel (an increase of 46%) and Iran (an increase of 51%) has noticeably increased.

Among the leading countries in terms of negative dynamics are Turkey (down 410%), Saudi Arabia (down 21%) and Egypt (down 59%).

Let us consider separately the tourists who marked their trip as a business trip.

Countries with the largest share of business trips in the total number of trips: Lithuania (75% of all trips are marked as business), Poland (66%), Cyprus (65%), Czech Republic and Latvia (59% each).

At the same time, Germany (1510 trips), Italy (1264), Turkey (969) and China (891) became the leaders in absolute indicators (the number of business trips).

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