COMMENT: Russian "staycation" on the decline

By bne IntelliNews June 28, 2011

Seija Lainela of Bank of Finland -

Where will most Russians go for their three-month long summer holidays this year? According to the annual poll conducted by the Levada-Center research institute, 46% of respondents said they expect to spend their summer holidays at home this year. Of those, 40% will stay home because they lack the resources to travel anywhere. The share of Russians taking "staycations" has declined steadily throughout the 2000s; in 2000, 68% of respondents planned to spend summer at home.

Approximately one in four Russians spends their summer vacations at the dacha, or the ubiquitous summer house. The dachais not merely a holiday destination, but crucial to the household economy, as Russians actively cultivate vegetables and fruits, as well as harvest forest treats like mushrooms and berries in conjunction with summer-house living. For part of the Russian population, produce from tiny farm plots makes an important contribution to the household food supply.

Another 6% of respondents said they would be vacationing in states of the former Soviet Union (including the Baltics), and 3% would be visiting non-FSU countries.

Rosstat reports that for all of 2010, Russians made a total of nearly 13m vacation trips to non-FSU countries. The number of travellers has nearly doubled since 2004, when statistical records of tourist travel began to be kept. The favourite destinations of Russian tourists are Turkey and Egypt.

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