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The Covid-19 crisis period has not only sharply reduced travelling around the world, but also greatly affected the preferences and expectations of tourists. This is also the case of Russian tourists, as Booking.com analyzed their expected travel behavior in the coming year.
During the period of isolation, 76% of Russians said that they were pleased with the idea of new trips. 40% of them noted that they began to value the opportunity to travel more and would not take it for granted in the future.
Travel Demand to Recover Quickly
At the same time, within 12 months after the restrictions were lifted, the surveyed respondents plan to make about the same number of trips within the country and abroad as in the year before the pandemic.
Furthermore, almost half of the study participants (48%) noted an increased desire to see the world, and 54% said they want to catch up by travelling more in the future.
32% of Russian tourists want to finally celebrate an event postponed to the pandemic (e. g. an anniversary or wedding) on vacation, while a third are going to rebook a hotel that was cancelled before. In response to this demand it is predicted that the industry will begin to offer new, more unusual itineraries and tour options in 2021.
It must also be noted, however, that there are still worries with regards to travel. This can be seen well by the fact that 44% of all respondents said that they are not ready to travel until the Coronavirus vaccine or a cure appears.
Interest in Domestic Tourism Will Not Decrease
The pandemic has forced people to switch to domestic tourism during the summer season. Russian resorts welcomed more than 10 million people in July and August. Moreover, the number of arriving passengers per day was broken – 41 thousand (even in 2014, during the Olympics, there were fewer visiting tourists).
And in the future, interest in such trips is not predicted to decrease. Over the next 7-12 months, 34% of Russian tourists plan to travel within their country. In the longer term (from one year onwards), the percentage is 28%.
At the same time, 45% of Russian travelers want to visit a new destination in their country or region, and 46% want to see local natural attractions. More than half (58%) of them are going to visit already familiar places they have visited before.
Safety and Saving Money
Concerning the economic impact of the pandemic, people will inevitably think about how to make future trips more profitable. 61% of Russians will pay more attention to prices when planning a trip in the future, while 64% are going to follow special offers and promotions.
82% of surveyed said they expect more transparency from online booking platforms regarding cancellation, refund and insurance policies. 60% noted that refunds on cancellations are extremely important to them, while 28% want to be able to change their dates of stay for free.
Inevitably there is also still some concern in terms of health and safety. 77 % of Russian tourists will take more precautions due to the pandemic, while 51% will avoid travelling to certain destinations if it is unsafe there.
In this regard, 71% of those surveyed would only book an accommodation option if they were provided with detailed information on health and safety measures, and 72% would prefer a home that has disinfectants.
Travel and Ecology
With regards to the exact way of travelling, more than half (60%) of the Russians surveyed want to spend their holidays in an environmentally friendly and conscious manner. In turn, 71 % of respondents expect the industry to start offering travel options that are less harmful to the environment.
In this context, 56% of respondents will strive for leisure activities such as walking and recreation with their family. 46% of them would like to relax outside the city and are generally ready to travel to less popular destinations in order to spend more time in the fresh air.
Another example of this trend is the growing popularity of renting houses and apartments instead of hotel rooms. The share of Russians who want to relax in such places has reached 36%. In addition, 45% of respondents would prefer to eat at home rather than in restaurants.
New Technologies and Tourism
Russian holidaymakers believe that in a pandemic, technological innovations will be increasingly used to improve travel safety. 71% of those surveyed agreed with this thesis, and 69% note that accommodation facilities will have to resort to latest technological solutions to help guests feel safe.
Finally, it must be noted that the expectations with regards to technological innovation does not only concern safety issues, but all aspects of travel. For example, 56% of the respondents would like to get acquainted with the future accommodation facility using virtual reality technologies before travelling.