Research by lastminute.com shows Russian holidaymakers’ willingness to spend big means hoteliers are now aiming for the Russian holiday market by offering its tour operators better deals than they would to British and German Operators.
This has led to the traditional battle between the Brits and the Germans for the sun lounges of Europe evolving into a three-way competition, with the Russians making their way to the front of the battle to take over the beaches and pools.
Previously, all Brits had to contend with were the Germans getting up at the crack of dawn to reserve the best sunbathing positions with their towels.
However, the Russians have opted for a much more brash stategy by paying hotel staff to reserve the sunbeds in advance – making them well known and popular with hotel staff.
This popularity extends to hoteliers and local businesses, as Russians’ in-resort spending far outweighs that of British and German tourists.
This has led to many hoteliers to take a large step and leave targetting the German holiday market altogether, replacing them with the free spending Russians.
The deals being offered to Russian tour operators are so good a number of tour operaters in the UK – including Thomson, Kuoni and Inghams – have already taken the step redirecting considerable resources to service the Russian tourism market.
Early signs show predictions that major UK travel brands Thomas Cook and Virgin are set to join the other UK operators.
Another advantage the Russians seem to provide hoteliers is that they will be willing to accept a lower customer service standard than more travelled tourists such as the British or Germans.
20 Years after Communism fell, a strong Russian economy has bought wealth and prosperity to many of its 145 million citizens.
Previously restricted from travelling, now Russians are marking the most of their freedom by heading to Europe’s most sought out holiday hotspots.
So far their favourite holiday destinations are Turkey, Egypt, Spain, Italy, and Greece – all made popular by British holidaymakers and all in lastminute.com’s top 10 summer holiday destinations.
Industry statistics show that more Russians visit Turkey than any other nation with 1.5 million a year taking advantage of the discount prices.
In a number of Turkish holiday resorts, the hotel cabaret is performed in Russian while nightclubs favour Russian music to entertain their growing Russian clientele.
Russia is also set to overtake the British and become the biggest tourism source market for Egypt and its expanding Red Sea Riviera, which features the resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Taba.
Roughly one million British and Russian tourists visit Egypt every year, however the Russian market is set to overtake the British market.
There has been a number of problems with Russian holiday operators booking over their quotas in Egypt. The Egyptian Tourism Ministry has accused Russian Holiday operators of flexing their muscles and expecting the hoteliers to find rooms for them.
Reports from the Egyptian Tourist Ministry, the number of holidayers who went to Egypt last September grew by a massive 45%.
lastminute.com UK Managing Director John Bevan said: “The battle for Europe’s sun beds will be more intense than ever this summer as the Russians establish themselves as the most prominent outbound tourism market in Europe.”
“The hoteliers focus for the Russians market, mainly at the expense of German tourists, has changed the in-resort holiday experience.”
“Holidaying Brits will have to have their sun bed strategy finalised before departing if they want to come back with a tan.”
Who is lastminute.com?
lastminute.com pioneered the online travel and leisure industry by offering people a 5* lifestyle for 3* prices, selling everything from hotels, flights, gifts, gig tickets, restaurants and theatre tickets all at the lastminute.
Since its birth in 1998, conceived by the vision of cutting edge entrepreneurs Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox, lastminute.com has come a long way. We now operate in 13 European countries, USA and all. lastminute.com exists to help people make the most of their free time with new, creative and unexpected ideas for every single day.
In July 2005, lastminute.com and its group of companies including car hire gurus Holiday Autos and travel agents’ best kept secret Medhotels.com all joined the Sabre Holdings Group.
Via EPR Network