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Why do Russian tourists choose Greece?


Greece is traditionally included within the TOP 10 countries for the majority of the Russian tourists.

George Bourboulis, RMAA Group

The Russians are visiting Greece all year round, but the period from June to September accounts for half of the annual tourist flow from Russia.

The year 2019 will be no exception. Tour operators are already registering significant increase in sales of vouchers for early bookings for the summer season.

Sales growth rate of travel vouchers in January 2019 from different Tour Operators exceeds sales of the same period in 2018 by 10% -60%, according to data given by the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR).

Where do Russians prefer to go?

The undoubted leader of  Russian tourist destination preferences remains Turkey – for the last two years, over 4 million tourists from Russia preferred this particular destination.

Therefore, we have excluded it from the schedule.


Greece strengthened its position in 5th place after Turkey, China, Thailand and Spain.

In 2018, Greece showed volumes of tourist flow approximately equal to those of 2017 according to the Federal State Statistics Service of Russia, as the number of tourists visiting Greece from January to September 2018 amounted to 749 thousand people.

As noted by Russian Tour Operators, Greece as a tourist destination is mainly chosen by family people who prefer all inclusive tours.

Moreover, today in this area, many experts also note that Greece offers one of the best combinations of prices versus quality for the Russian tourists.
How do Russians choose their country for travel?

Regarding Googl’s “Features of foreign tourism 2016 – 2017. Traces of travelers in Russian digital” report the main sources of information affecting the choice of the country of travel of Russian tourists are online reviews (39%) and friends (32%)

However, this trend will continue in 2019.


What Russian tourists are looking for in Greece

The Russian search network Yandex has analyzed the requests of Russian tourists from different countries in the hot period (June-August 2018) and compiled a list of the most popular topics.

Regarding the research data, Monasteries have the most interest to Russians visiting Greece. In the top queries are:

  • Preveli Monastery in Crete
  • Monasteries of Meteora in Central Greece
  • Monastery of St. George in Crete

Also Russians were quite interested in fur coats and were concerned about fires breaking out in Greece in 2018 (request associated with forest fires raging in the summertime).

If we talk about attractions (namely, they accounted for the major share of requests), then the most popular are:

  • Meteora, Central Greece
  • Knossos Palace, Crete
  • Zeus Cave, Crete
  • Lake Kournas, Crete
  • Samaria Gorge, Crete
  • Valley of butterflies, Rhodes
  • Kiss of two seas, Rhodes
  • Seven springs, Rhodes
  • Achilleon Palace, Corfu
Want to know more about tourists from Russia?
  • How much are they willing to pay for the trip?
  • Where do they prefer to stay?
  • What budget does Greece spend on attracting tourist flow from Russia?

Learn more about Russian outbound market from a unique study of the Russian Marketing Agency RMAA Travel: “Comprehensive research of the Russian tourism market: everything you need to know when you plan to attract Russian tourists.”

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