Russian Winter Tourists Flock to Finland, Egypt, Thailand

MOSCOW, June 10 (RIA Novosti) – Finland, Egypt and Thailand were the most popular destinations for Russian tourists in the first quarter of 2013, the Federal State Statistics Service said on Monday.

According to a Rosstat study, more than 9.5 million Russians went overseas in the first three months of the year, 3.3 million of them going on vacation. The overall number of trips abroad by Russians rose 15 percent year-on-year.

Finland was the top popular winter destination for Russians, with 1.4 million visitors in this period of whom 259,000 were tourists.

As many as 659,600 Russians visited Egypt over the period, most of them (575,300) tourists, up 42 percent on the same period last year. The country has lost millions of other nationalities’ tourists during the recent Arab Spring uprisings but remains a favorite for sun-seeking Russians.

Thailand was Russia’s third-favourite tourist destination, with 379,800 holiday-makers visiting, up 13 percent on the previous year, Rosstat said.

The list of Russians’ favorite destinations also includes Estonia (492,000), China (445,000), Germany (368,600), Poland (290,000), the United Arab Emirates (266,900) and Italy (213,500).

Rosstat said over 205,000 Russians visited Turkey, with more than half of them (106,700) tourists, up 33 percent on last year.

Meanwhile, Russia was the most popular destination for visitors from Poland, Finland and China in the first three months of 2013, Rosstat said. Some 6.3 million people visited Russia over the period, but just 248,000 of them were tourists.

Russia was also a popular destination among Lithuanians (133,000), Latvians (93,800), Estonians (86,600) and Germans (85,000). The study said some 76,800 Turkish citizens visited Russia in the first quarter of 2013, enjoying a visa-free regime in existence since 2011, Rosstat said.


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