Traveling during public holidays

Traveling during public holidays

Expert Reports  

Compared to the same period last year, the cost of travel tours for the November holidays (National Unity Day) in Russia has increased by 10-15 percent, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) reported.

The greatest increase in price for the November holiday travel tours was in the Caucasian Mineralnye Vody (Mineral Water) area and the Moscow Region. Against this background, there was a decrease in the November holiday travel tours in Sochi this year, albeit the decline was just a few percent.

A characteristic feature of the November holiday traveling is that people mainly book hotels, and the demand is mainly for 3-star hotels, less bookings are for 4-star or 5-star ones throughout the country. At the same time, most of the tourists prefer the hotels with a year-round infrastructure, including swimming pools, SPA areas, and so on. A standard November travel tour is for 4-5 days, and the most popular arrival dates (75 percent of travelers) were November 3 and 4.

The most sought-after destinations for the November vacation tours this year were the resorts in the Krasnodar Territory (Kuban), they were chosen by 30 to 44 percent of tourists; compared to last year’s November holidays, the demand for travels to the Kuban increased by 15 percent. An average November holiday travel tour per person was about 15.5 thousand rubles. The second most high-demand resort region was the Caucasian Mineral Water areas. Depending on a tour operator, this vacation destination was chosen by 3 to 15 percent of travelers. The average tour here, however, was significantly more expensive and amounted to about 43 thousand rubles per person. The Moscow Region ranked third where a tour per person cost about 25.3 thousand rubles, and around 11 percent bookings were for the Moscow Region hotels.

And finally, excursion tours - mainly along the Golden Ring - ranked fourth. An average cost of a three-day trip was between 11.5 and 14.9 per person. Travels to St. Petersburg ranked fifth. A November holiday trip to the Northern capital cost an average of 9,600 per person.

Travels to Moscow, the republics of the North Caucasus, to Kazan, Kaliningrad and the Tyumen Region were also included in the TOP 10 travel destinations during the November holidays.

It is worth mentioning that market players saw quite a serious discrepancy in the dynamics of demand for tours during the November holidays. As the ATOR noted, some tour operators saw a decrease in demand by 12 to 30 percent, while others, on the contrary, noted a 10-28 percent increase in demand.

In general, the travels during the November holidays are gradually disappearing from the ‘calendar’ of the Russian domestic tourist; many tourists no longer travel in these holidays, states ATOR Vice President for Domestic Tourism Sergey Romashkin.

“This year, the demand for travel tours during the November holidays was roughly the same as for the weekend tours (October 28-29). And the Russian tourists are mainly interested now in booking the New Year and Christmas vacations,” he said.

By the way, it is interesting that the event tours abroad are increasingly popular among the travelers. More and more often, tourists go now to festivals, concerts and various events held in the Persian Gulf countries (the UAE, Qatar), Turkey and the post-Soviet countries.

Concerts and sporting events are the most popular events among domestic tourists, especially the Formula-1 events, football matches and wrestling competitions. The cost of such trips is quite affordable, according to the PAC Group, tours become more expensive only during very large sporting events. As for concerts, only the hotels where they are held usually become more expensive. If a concert is held at a concert hall not associated with a hotel, it does not influence the hotel-room rates in the city and the tour packages as a whole.

ATOR Vice-President Artur Muradyan notes that for the cultural events this year, the option has become increasingly popular when tourists who have already planned their vacation travel to some country add a visit to an interesting event to their tour package and purchase additional tickets and transfers from a tour operator.

By the way, the tourism industry responded quickly to the wishes of potential clients in this situation. For the tourists’ convenience, tour operators started notifying their clients about the events that will take place in the host country during the tourists’ vacations and adding a program of events for the dates of various trips to the tour agents’ accounts, so that they could offer visiting any event as additional services.