The number of Chinese tourists visiting Russia saw a significant boost last year, according to China’s largest travel agency, Ctrip, which organized tours for approximately 130,000 people.
It told TASS that Russia was in the top three (after the UK and France) most popular destinations among European countries for Chinese travelers.
Chinese tourists were showing increased interest in new routes in Russia, according to Ctrip.
“In 2019, in addition to Moscow and St. Petersburg, we are planning to develop and offer tourist packages to other cities… We know there are a lot of beautiful places in Russia..,” said Ctrip’s senior sales manager.
She detailed that the company was considering Kazan, Sochi, and Baikal to their traditional trips this year.
Ctrip was also actively organizing tourist groups to Murmansk (a city in northwestern Russia, at the end of a deep bay off the Barents Sea) for those who want to admire the northern lights. The destination is very popular among Chinese tourists and is significantly cheaper than, for example, a trip to the Nordic countries, said the travel agency.
In 2017, nearly 1.8 million Chinese citizens traveled to Russia, including 1.1 million tourists, according to data provided by the Russian Association of Tour Operators.