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Russian Tourists’ Spending & Travel Habits

September 19, 2012

With a +4.3% increase in total GDP in 2011, Russia has registered the 3rd highest growth rate among leading economies. Russians increased their incomes by +8% on average in the same period. Not only is the middle-class growing fast but the millionaires and billionaires are booming too.

An increasingly important market for luxury brands

The latter have a patrimony of over 300 billion US dollars and 20% belong to the Muscovite population. These Russians with a high purchasing power are travelling a lot. They have a keen interest in tourism, excursions, fine dining and of course luxury shopping. In fact, experts predict the size of the clothing and footwear market alone to reach $75bn in 2013 worldwide.

There are 2 types of Russian consumers abroad:

  • Russians with a “bling-bling” attitude who are exuberant with a passion for top of the line cars, luxury goods, luxury apartments and hotels; this elite are usually from Moscow and Rostov.
  • The subdued class of Russians who are very minimalist and possess a passion for cool taste, coming mainly from St Petersburg.

In terms of figures, 26.9 million tourists travelled out of Russia in 2011 (a number that has more than doubled in the last 4 years). Of these, 21.4 million travelled within Europe and 5.5 million to destinations outside of Europe. France is undoubtedly a premium destination for Russian tourists in Europe as well as for business travellers following agreements of cooperation between Russia and France.

Russian tourists are real shopping champions in France and spend about 1/3 of their holiday’s budget on shopping.

In 2011, there was an increase of +32% in terms of shopping spend and Russians spent an average of 1,000€ per day in France. Paris is particularly appreciated as the capital of fashion and luxury. Furthermore, French winter sport resorts are highly valuated as they offer high standards.

Finally, the French Riviera attracts the Russian Jet Set during summer. All this enable a presence of Russians in France throughout the year.

To reach travellers between Russia and France, recommended airlines are Air France and Aeroflot transporting 36,441 and 34,926 Russian passengers per month respectively. In-flight media suggested are Inflight magazines, TV on board, Lounges, Ambient and Digital media.

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