Hilton Report Predicts Tourism Spending Boom for Russia
By Kerry Medina
July 04, 2012 12:58 PM
A new report commissioned by Hilton Worldwide titled, “Balancing Russia’s tourism deficit: A report on the future of the industry,” reveals that incoming tourist expenditure in Russia could double to $15.3 billion by 2016 if vital infrastructure changes are implemented. The report’s findings show that while Russia’s outbound market is forecast to become one of the fastest growing in Europe, showing an annual average growth rate of 7.4 percent from 2011 to 2016, and a doubling of outbound tourist expenditure to $67.1 billion, inbound tourism can only increase if the vital infrastructure changes that have been planned by the government are fully implemented.
In doing so, by 2016 Russia could see a 5 percent increase in the number of visitors and the amount spent by incoming tourists double, thereby contributing an additional $15.3 billion to the Russian economy.
“Not only is there the opportunity in Russia to double the amount of revenue generated by incoming tourism, but the fact that outbound expenditure is three times bigger than spend by visitors to the country shows the long-term potential that still remains,” said Simon Vincent, area president, Europe, Hilton Worldwide. “The report highlights the huge opportunity that exists to make Russia’s tourism industry more competitive and identifies the measures that are urgently needed to help the country attract a greater share of the growing number of international travelers.”
To make Russia’s tourism industry more competitive, the report finds that the ongoing participation of government is required in two directions -- investment and creation of a favorable financial environment for tourism to grow, plus education and training in order to achieve improvements in the quality of tourism services. Creating an attractive image of itself as a travel destination, growing online retail, developing event tourism, increasing the number of low cost air carriers and investment in travel transportation and accommodation are all needed to increase visitor numbers to Russia. The report further finds that it is visitors to Russia from Turkey, China and the U.K. have the potential to register the biggest growth in incoming tourist expenditure over the next few years.
The report was commissioned by Hilton Worldwide, which has identified Russia as its fastest-growing development market in Europe, with plans to open 28 hotels across the country in the next few years. The report was compiled by research specialists Euromonitor International. The findings reveal that while Russian tourism has strong potential, there remains a distorted perception of Russia among international tourists. This is because of red tape, lack of proper infrastructure, high accommodation prices and unpredictable quality of services.