Russia plans to launch tours to Europe, taking advantage of the opening of land borders with Estonia and Finland, departing from Helsinki, Riga and Tallinn.
About the intention of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia tells BB.LVquoting ATOR:
“The lifting of restrictions on crossing the land borders of the Russian Federation caused a certain wave of interest among tourists who, before the pandemic, willingly traveled to Finland and the Baltic countries … Tour operators plan to launch travel offers to Europe with transit through Finland and Estonia. Now experts are studying the most convenient options logistics with a departure from Helsinki, Tallinn or Riga, and also carry out the calculation of such tours.
The association says that Finland has traditionally occupied a worthy place in the ranking of the demand for winter destinations, however, this was before the closure of the borders. Estonia was no less popular, offering good excursion programs and the availability of SPA services. Based on this, tour operators plan to launch winter tours to Finland on the basis of bus transportation from St. Petersburg to Helsinki. From there, tourists, using regular Finnair flights, can, if desired, easily get to the popular ski resorts of Rovaniemi, Levi, Vuokatti.
Tour operators consider the departure of Booking.com from the Russian Federation and the blocking of Russian bank cards in Europe as an important factor. According to experts, there is a possibility of a flow to tour operators of those tourists who previously preferred independent travel to Finland and Estonia. ATOR says:
“So far, tour operators find it difficult to estimate the volume of such a shift, since less than two weeks have passed since the opening of land borders. Market participants are waiting for an increase in the number of tourist requests closer to autumn.”
Recall that the border for tourists between Finland and Russia was closed from the end of March 2020 until July 15 this year.
It is worth noting that due to difficulties with flights and high prices for air tickets number of touristsarriving in Greece from Russia after the start of the war in Ukraine became extremely insignificant. And in June at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation expelled Greece from countries where Russian citizens can safely rest.