According to the World Tourism Organization, in 2015, Russia welcomed 31.6 million tourists, 6.2 per cent more than in 2014. This influx allowed the country to climb one rung to the 8th position in the ranking of most visited countries.
While Russia's geopolitical situation is currently controversial, it remains a country full of cultural treasures and history. Russia's historic clientele has been European and eager for culture. However, the tourism landscape is changing. More than one million Chinese visited Russia in 2015, and they were particularly curious about the vestiges of communism and Lenin's career.
One factor behind the increase in the number of foreign visitors to Russia is the intensification of business tourism since the 2000s, due to the establishment of multinationals in Russia. This phenomenon has favored the construction and renovation of luxury hotels. Domestic tourism is also growing considerably, with more than 50 million domestic trips.
The geopolitical framework has played a role in this development. The interruption of air links with Egypt and sale of vouchers for Turkey have played in favor of Russian seaside resorts. According to the tourist portal tutu.ru: Simferopol, Sochi and Anapa are the destinations for which most air tickets were purchased by the Russians for the summer of 2016.
The tourism industry contributed directly to 1.5% of GDP in 2015 and more than 980,000 jobs were directly linked to it.
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