Alexander Topchy13:16, 01/14/23
Spain, Greece and Italy are the countries where the number of Russian tourists has decreased less than in the rest of Europe.
In 2022, significantly fewer Russian tourists arrived in European countries . The number of arrivals fell by 80-90%.
One of the main reasons for this decline was cited as logistical difficulties and transportation costs, which increased by three to four times. It is reported by SchengenVisaInfo.com .
Russian tour operators attribute the drop in the flow of tourists to Europe primarily due to the lack of direct flights. So, due to the need to fly with transfers, the cost of air tickets has increased on average from €300-400 to €1000 and more. The flight time has also increased – from three hours to 8-24 hours.
It is noted that Poland, Finland, the Baltic countries and the Czech Republic have practically not received Russian tourists since the introduction of restrictive measures.
Greece, which was one of the ten “best travel destinations for Russian tourists,” reported 31,300 Russian arrivals, down 80% from a year ago.
Also, the number of applications submitted by Russian citizens to the visa centers of Greece, Italy and Spain decreased by 80%. In other countries, this number may be even higher.
Spain, Greece and Italy are the countries where the number of Russian tourists has decreased less than in the rest of Europe. This is due to the fact that they continue to issue visas to Russians. In other countries where Russian tourists are not allowed to enter, their number has dropped to zero. In general, the drop in tourist flow to Europe from Russia is estimated at 90-95%.
The absence of Russian and Ukrainian tourists in Cyprus has led to the fact that the tourism sector has lost 600 million euros.
“There are hotels, especially in the area of Famagusta, Ayia Napa and Protaras, which suffer mainly due to large contracts with tour operators from Russia. And now they are facing huge difficulties,” said Haris Loizides, head of the board of the Cyprus Hotel Association.
Russian tourists in Europe
As UNIAN reported, due to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, the European Union, the United States and many other countries imposed sanctions, including against the Russian civil aviation sector . In particular, the EU closed its airspace to all Russian airlines, and many air carriers around the world stopped flying to Russia. In addition, Europe has suspended the aircraft airworthiness certificates of all Russian airlines.
On September 12, 2022, the decision of the Council of the European Union on the complete termination of the visa facilitation agreement with Russia came into force .
Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands have stopped accepting documents from Russian citizens for issuing tourist visas , leaving them the opportunity to receive only certain categories of visas, including humanitarian ones. Russians will have to provide more additional documents when applying for a visa, and multiple visas will be issued much less frequently . The visa fee for citizens of the Russian Federation has also increased from 35 euros to 80 euros, and the terms for issuing visas have increased.
Later, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland closed entry for Russians with Schengen tourist visas. They believe that the trips of Russians are a threat to the public safety of the entire Schengen area.