Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Spain Reining in the Russians Once Again After Lean Years

Spain Reining in the Russians Once Again After Lean Years

Russian tourism is important to Spain and many
are taking advantage of the Golden Visa system
The roubles are coming back to Spain after the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) confirmed that Russia has moved their on-off relationship with Spain back to the “on” position.

Following the boon to the Russian economy a few years ago, many of the newly-minted middle class of the country started heading further west than they usually did, moving from the Black Sea Coast to the Mediterranean.

After taking in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas they decided that Spain was the place for them, with tourism peaking in 2014 shortly before the Russian economy collapsed once again following the massive dip in oil prices.

During the next two years it became difficult for Russians to go further afield for their vacations following wage cuts and a bad exchange rate, but things could be once again on the mend.

ATOR say that some 3.3% more Russian tourists visited Spain in 2016 over 2015. While it is still over a third less than the record 883,000 tourists of 2014, it’s still representative of a nice turnaround in the economies of both Spain and Russia.

ATOR said that between January and September of 2016 Spain was the most popular travel destination for travellers from Russia.

Greece was the most popular Russian tourist destination for a brief time in 2014, with over one million Russians heading to the country during the first nine months of 2014. Russians stayed away from the country following the Greek economic crisis and now Spain has moved ahead of Turkey, Thailand and Cyprus to be number one again.

As far as expenditure for guests goes Russians have always been generous to their Spanish hosts and will spend an average of €104 per head, which is about how much your average British tourist spends.

Spanish resorts will no doubt be revelling in the roubles but there has been extra data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showing that there’s very little for Spain to worry about as far as attracting foreign visitors goes. The amount of visitors up to October was up 11% year-on year with foreigners spending almost €70 million euros during the first ten months of 2016; an increase of 16.3%. So Spain is bringing in more tourists and these tourists are spending more money.

21% of all the foreign expenditure in Spain for 2016 came from Brits, with Germans coming in second at 17.1%.