US Media failing, Americans visit Russia in record numbers
Monday, 10 July 2017

Since 2016 to May 2017, some interesting developments have been ongoing in the now well-known relationship between Russia and China as the quantity of both tourists and businesspeople moving between the two countries have increased by 32% from China and 37% from Russia.

True, the numbers are not spectacularly high yet the trend is apparent.

Due to sanctions and media perceptions, we initially saw a decreased demand in 2014 from US and EU businesspeople and tourists, then on the other hand, the sanctions and the cheap ruble have compensated with increased domestic travel by Russians throughout the regions of the country, which has made a positive impact on the hotel occupancy rates.

With the Russian economy adjusting to its new stability the inflow of both business travelers and tourists from inside the country and from Asia, along with events like the Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup 2018, is sparking considerable interest from investors and international hotel chains.

As of May 2017 in the hotel development industry there now are a further 8,061 rooms from over 42 projects which are being added to the hospitality base of Russia. This after a strong 2015 and 2016 in hotel performance in Moscow and St. Petersburg, all market components in these cities finishing with YOY increases in revenue per available room. That is a historic first since these indicators have been collected and monitored.

The trend today is now expanding into the regions, especially in the Russian Far East as well as the larger cities along the border between Russia and China, and Eurasian sectors.

According to available data, hotel occupancy figures for Q1 2017 are the highest they have been in five years. It is worth noting that some of the drivers of this growth is directly connected with the increasingly strident anti-Russia braying ongoing in the ‘west’. This has focused attention (and interest) in people wanting to see and evaluate Russia with their own eyes, and not through the increasingly myopic eyes of the MSM.

Bookings by the better known US-based specialized travel agencies for Americans heading to Russia have seen a dramatic turnaround with increases of 30% between 2015 and 2016, adding a further +12% so far in 2017.

Russia’s airports and airlines are also tracking with this increased influx. The first five months of 2017, the airlines of Russia carried 35.81 million passengers—up 22 percent YOY, with a record high of 8.672 million arrivals in just the month of May.

 Abe Lincoln hit the nail on the head when he said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." This seems to be at the foundation of the increasing interest by people worldwide in Russia. Can it be as evil, wicked, mean and nasty as the politicians and press paint it, or are self-serving interests selling us stories – be they budgetary or ratings lust?

 




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