Via RT Business

Spending by Russians on travel around the country grew 1.5 times in the second half of the summer season, amounting to about 9.5 billion rubles (over $125 million), VTB Bank’s press service has announced.

According to the report published by VTB, spending on hotels, transport rental, restaurants and entertainment in the most popular tourist destinations has reached last year’s levels. One of the growth factors was the cashback program for trips across Russia launched by the government this year, said the bank.

In the first half of the summer season, money spent on domestic tourism amounted to six billion rubles ($79 million), lower than during the same period of 2019.

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“The greatest growth in the second half of the summer was shown by the entertainment sector – here the volume of spending amounted to almost 440 million rubles ($5.7 million), an increase of 2.2 times compared to the first six weeks of the season,” said the bank. Tourists have spent over 1.75 billion rubles ($23 million) on hotel accommodation since mid-July, data showed.

The largest overall increase in travel expenses was recorded in the Kaliningrad Region – 2.3 times more when compared with August 2019. Tourist spending in the Krasnodar Region increased by 90 percent, while in the Leningrad Region it rose by 29 percent. At the same time, Moscow’s popularity with tourists fell three-fold this summer compared to last year. However, the capital was still in the lead in terms of tourism spending, at 9.66 billion rubles (over $127 million). St. Petersburg was in second place with 1.7 billion rubles ($22.4 million), followed by the Krasnodar Region with 1.36 billion rubles ($17.92 million).

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