Relaxing without barbecue

Relaxing without barbecue

Expert Reports  

On the eve of the May holidays, booking services traditionally become active - the occupancy of hotels and hotel-type apartments tends to be maximum. Quite often, it becomes a problem to book a room or an apartment at the destinations popular among the Russians even at the very beginning of spring or in late winter.


EcoTourism Expert studied the information given by one of the Russian online booking services and found out that the popularity of the May vacations in Russia is greater nowadays compared to last year. This growth in popularity of the May vacations is very easy to explain, says Oleg Alekseyev, President of the National Professional Association of Event Tourism.

“The trips abroad are very expensive, as a result, there are fewer options for recreation. But people still want to have rest! So, they choose the recreation and travelling within the country,” said Oleg Alekseyev in a comment to EcoTourism Expert. At the same time, it is still impossible to say that the tourism market just “adapted” to the Russian tourists’ needs in the changed reality, compared to the last year, he thinks. “Today, there is an understanding that the people will chose travelling in Russia!” the expert explains.

Most often, the Russians book hotels and apartments in the tourist regions already “tested”. According to the number of bookings, the top three destinations are St. Petersburg, Krasnodar Territory and Moscow. The Kaliningrad Region, the Republic of Tatarstan, the Nizhny Novgorod and the Yaroslavl regions are very popular with tourists, too. Of course, the Moscow Region is also among the TOP-10.

The leaders in the growing number of bookings are also interesting. So, the Murmansk Region was included into this list as the number of bookings there increased by 2.5 times compared to the same period last year. The Altai Territory also showed a serious growth (by 2.3 times), quite a lot of tourists decided (twice as many as last May) to visit the Kaliningrad Region.

Another interesting feature of the May is that tourists began to book hotel-type apartments more often, their share in the total number of bookings increased from 15 to 21 percent. The increase in apartment bookings is a completely natural phenomenon; moreover, Oleg Alekseyev says, this trend is typical not only of our country, but all over the world. “For example, I booked an apartment in Sochi. It is more profitable and comfortable than staying at a hotel, especially if several friends’ families are travelling. In this case, booking a large apartment with a good kitchen, a dining room, several bedrooms is cheaper than booking a few hotel rooms,” he added.

As for hotels, preference is given to ‘3-star’ hotels in general and because there are more such hotels in the Russian regions compared to the ‘4-star’ and ‘5-star’ ones. Another logical explanation is the cost of staying at a hotel because at the ‘4-star’ and ‘5-star’ hotels, the cost of staying during the holidays is almost always above 5,000 roubles per night, and at a lower category hotel, it is quite possible to get a room of around 2-3 thousand roubles per night. One way or another, but 22 percent of bookings are for the rooms at ‘3-star’ hotels in second and third place (with shares of 13 percent each) are ‘4-star’ hotels and ‘no-star’ ones.

As analysts of the online booking service also noted, the May holidays are gradually becoming the time for family travelling. Such trips accounted for 23 percent of the booked hotel-rooms, but trips for two persons, when the children are probably given to their grandparents, are still more popular (53 percent of the booked rooms). There are also lovers of travelling alone, 14 percent of them, and 5 percent of travellers go on vacation in a large group of three or four persons.