Indian citizens have become frequent visitors to Moscow in the last few years. Why do they visit the Russian capital and how do they spend their time there?

International tourism remains one of the most important drivers of the tourist industry and the economy in general, as spending by foreign tourists is usually much higher than that of internal tourists, and international tourism contributes to the inflow of foreign currency to the country. India is a high-priority country in terms of attracting tourists to Russia, but it is important to understand what lies behind the dry figures.

From 2015 to 2019, the average annual growth rate of international trips by Indians was about 12%. In total, in 2019, 23.8 million Indian citizens went abroad, which is the highest number ever recorded. At the same time, 60% of outbound international trips were accounted for by 10 countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Thailand, USA, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Great Britain, Pakistan, and Bahrain).

Russia is not on the list of international destinations that are most popular with Indians. However, from 2015 to 2019, the average annual growth rate of arrivals to Russia from India was 16%, i.e., the growth rate outperformed the average growth of outbound international trips by +4 p.p., which is indicative of a growing interest in Russia among Indian tourists.

In 2022, trips by Indian citizens to Moscow returned to 44% of the 2019 level (48,000 arrivals compared to 109,000 arrivals in 2019). The most popular trip purposes in 2022 included tourism/private trips (40%), education (40%), and business (15%).

Who visits Moscow, and why?

Most frequently, couples or families with children visit Moscow, and the average age of tourists is 25–34 years old (61%).

As a rule, trips to Russia are planned in advance: on average, the booking depth for hotels is 31 days, while the average trip duration is 11 days. When in Moscow, 54% of tourists prefer to stay in four- and five-star hotels.

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