Posted 3 марта 2023,, 08:54

Published 3 марта 2023,, 08:54

Modified 3 марта 2023,, 14:00

Updated 3 марта 2023,, 14:00

Question of the day: Will the Chinese help restore the Russian tourism industry?

Question of the day: Will the Chinese help restore the Russian tourism industry?

3 марта 2023, 08:54
Experts say that despite the fact that Russia is popular with Chinese tourists, they practically do not bring profit to domestic regions.

Ivan Zubov

About a week ago, Russian media and social networks reported the happy news that the first Chinese tourists arrived in Moscow after the outbreak of the pandemic.

The significance of this event is evidenced by the fact that they were met at the airport with bread and salt and dancing.

It is known that our countries have renewed the agreement on visa-free group tourist trips, which was suspended during the Covid pandemic. According to this agreement, as before, Chinese citizens can stay in our country as part of tourist groups from 5 to 50 people without a visa for 15 days.

According to the FSB border service, in 2019, out of 5 million tourists who came to Russia, a little less than one and a half million were from China. Moreover, 1.2 million of them entered as part of visa-free groups.  Then there was a pandemic, and the number of tourists visiting Russia in 2022 decreased by 25 times compared to 2019 - from 4.9 million people to 200 thousand!

In addition, to restore the tourist flow, the Russian government has approved a list of 19 countries whose citizens will be able to obtain a Russian visa for six months by booking a hotel or "other accommodation facility". Previously, residents of all countries of the world could get such a visa, but since then the situation has changed so much that the list has "lost weight", and now it includes only: Bahrain, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Iran, Cambodia, China, North Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey and the Philippines.

The "main" tourists for us remain, as before, Chinese, who, according to the Central Bank, spent $ 1 billion in total in Russia in 2019. It seems to be a good profit, if not for one "but".

According to the experts of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, the tourist flow between our countries in 2023 will recover at best by 30-40% of the docovid indicators. But even this is not the main thing, but the fact that Chinese tourists practically do not leave money in the economy of the regions where they come: they are served by Chinese firms, fed by Chinese restaurants, a souvenir is also Chinese", - experts of the Kremlyovsky Mamkoved channel write. But the burden on the infrastructure of cities is enormous. So it is still not worth counting on a profitable tourist boom in Russia, it is not possible for our country to earn tourism, either external or internal.