Despite the difficult situation, the interest of Russian business in traveling abroad increased following the results of the autumn business season, although it did not reach the level of the pre-Covid 2019. Travelers often fly to Istanbul, the United Arab Emirates, Serbia and the countries of the former Soviet Union, the share of European countries in the structure of demand has expectedly halved.
Foreign countries accounted for 7% of business travel bookings in September— November, calculated in OneTwoTrip for Business. Over the year, the share of foreign business trips increased by 2 percentage points, but is still seriously behind the level of 2019 (16%). Aeroclub Managing Director Yulia Lipatova says that the share of tickets abroad in the structure of demand for business tourists reached 12% in autumn against 8% a year earlier and 20% in 2019. According to her, business demand for air tickets abroad increased by a third year on year. Foreign destinations also formed 13% of hotel bookings, which actually corresponds to 14% in 2019, Aeroclub added. According to Ostrovok.ru Business trips, this fall, 25% of placements were in foreign countries, in 2021 – 19%, in 2019 – 26%.
On the restoration of business interest in travel for The milestone is also evidenced by the data of Turu.ru: the share of such orders in business bookings for the year increased from 1.7% to 2.6% in the fall. The Raketa company estimates the share of foreign trips in the fall at 11%, adding that the need is growing. Autumn traditionally accounts for a significant part of business trips, which is associated with the start of a new business season, adds Raketa Marketing Director Daria Zubritskaya.
But compared to the same period last year, demand decreased by 18.5%. At the same time, business representatives began to actively fly to Tashkent – an increase of 50% (7.5% share), Dubai – by 53% (5.2%), Osh – 3.8 times (4.2%) and Astana – by 75% (2.8%). Aeroclub notes a surge in demand for trips to Serbia: the number of air ticket bookings to the country in the fall exceeded the 2019 figure by almost five times, and hotels by 20 times. According to the service, the most demanded countries for business are Kazakhstan and Turkey.
The interest remains in business trips to European countries. In Aeroclub, among them are France and Germany, the demand for flights to which increased by 31% and 17% compared to the autumn of last year, respectively. And the number of accommodation bookings has almost quadrupled. But the figures are far behind the values of 2019. Ostrovok.ru Business trips also indicate that Italy and France are among the most popular destinations this fall. Although, in general, the EU countries, according to the service, now generate only 22% of sales against 48% a year earlier.
The share of Asian countries increased by 1 percentage point over the year, to 7%. Ms. Zubritskaya believes that the directions of foreign trips generally correlate with the global situation: “Before the pandemic, there was more diversity, during the pandemic the geography narrowed, now the focus has shifted to friendly countries.” She also draws attention to the complication of logistics: a flight to Paris instead of 3.5 hours now takes almost a day, and tickets for the corporate segment have risen in price by 32% over the year. The average cost of a booked night abroad, according to Ostrovok.ru Business trips, was at the level of 12.1 thousand rubles in autumn. This is 8% lower than a year earlier, due to an increase in the share of budget destinations.
According to Daria Zubritskaya, now mainly representatives of the media business, energy, industrial and engineering companies go on business trips abroad. Yulia Lipatova notes that IT and telecommunications employees reduced their activity least of all, followed by the manufacturing sector and pharmaceuticals.