Tourism in Russia
Tourism in Russia has seen rapid growth since the late Soviet times, first inner tourism and then international tourism as well. Rich cultural heritage and great natural variety place Russia among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country contains 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, while many more are on UNESCO's tentative lists.
Major tourist routes in Russia include a travel around the Golden Ring of ancient cities, cruises on the big rivers including the Volga, and long journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway. Diverse regions and ethnic cultures of Russia offer many different foods and souvenirs, and show a great variety of traditions, including Russian banya, Tatar Sabantuy, or Siberian shamanist rituals. In 2013, Russia was visited by 33 million tourists, making it the ninth-most visited country in the world and the seventh-most visited in Europe.
Unless exempt, tourists to Russia are required to purchase a visa, in addition to having a valid passport. Visas cannot be purchased at the border, and once at the border, travellers must present other relevant documents.
The most popular tourist destinations in Russia are Saint Petersburg (which appeared in the list of top visited cities of Europe in 2010) and Moscow, the current and the former capitals of the country and great cultural centers, recognized as World Cities. Moscow and Saint Petersburg feature such world-renowned museums as Hermitage and Tretyakov Gallery, famous theaters including Bolshoi and Mariinsky, ornate churches such as Saint Basil's Cathedral, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Saint Isaac's Cathedral and Church of the Savior on Blood, impressive fortifications such as Moscow Kremlin and Peter and Paul Fortress, beautiful squares such as Red Square and Palace Square, and streets such as Tverskaya and Nevsky Prospect. Rich palaces and parks of extreme beauty are found in the former imperial residences in the suburbs of Moscow (Kolomenskoye, Tsaritsyno) and Saint Petersburg (Peterhof, Strelna, Oranienbaum, Gatchina, Pavlovsk Palace, Tsarskoye Selo). Moscow contains a great variety of impressive Soviet-era buildings along with modern skyscrapers, while Saint Petersburg, nicknamed Venice of the North, boasts its classical architecture, many rivers, channels and bridges.
Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, shows a unique mix of Christian Russian and Muslim Tatar cultures. The city has registered a brand The Third Capital of Russia, though a number of other major Russian cities compete for this status, including Samara, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod, all being major cultural centers with rich history and prominent architecture. Veliky Novgorod, Pskov, Dmitrov and the cities of Golden Ring (Vladimir, Yaroslavl, Kostroma and others) have at best preserved the architecture and the spirit of ancient and medieval Rus', and also are among the main tourist destinations. Many old fortifications (typically Kremlins), monasteries and churches are scattered throughout Russia, forming its unique cultural landscape both in big cities and in remote areas.
Resorts and nature tourism
The warm subtropical Black Sea coast of Russia is the site for a number of popular sea resorts, including Crimea and Sochi, known for their beaches and wonderful nature. At the same time Sochi can boast a number of major ski resorts, such as Krasnaya Polyana; the city was the host of 2014 Winter Olympics. The mountains of the Northern Caucasus contain many other popular ski resorts, such as Dombay in Karachay–Cherkessia.
The most famous natural tourist destination in Russia is Lake Baikal, named the Blue Eye of Siberia. This unique lake, oldest and deepest in the world, has crystal-clean waters and is surrounded by taiga-covered mountains.
Other popular natural destinations include Kamchatka with its volcanoes and geysers, Karelia with its many lakes and granite rocks, Altai with its snowy mountains and Tyva with its wild steppes, Republic of Adygea for Fisht Mountain, Chechnya Republic for Lake Kezenoyam and Republic of Karelia for Ruskeala Canyon.
Souvenirs and food
Typical souvenirs include the Matryoshka doll and other handicraft, samovars for water heating, ushanka and papaha warm hats, and fur clothes among other items. Russian vodka and caviar are among the food that attracts foreigners, along with honey, blini, pelmeni, borsch (Ukrainian in origin) and other products and dishes of Russian cuisine.
Foreign travel statistics
In 2013, 27 million international tourists arrived in Russia, generating US$11.2 billion in international tourism revenue for the country. Including domestic and international tourism, the industry directly contributed RUB860 billion to the Russian GDP and supported 966,500 jobs in the country.
- Data for 2016
- Data for 2014
- Counting only guests in tourist accommodation establishments.
- Data for 2013
- Data for arrivals by air only.
- Data for 2012
- Data for 2009
- Total number includes tourists, business travelers, students, exchange visitors, temporary workers and families, diplomats and other representatives and all other classes of nonimmigrant admissions (I-94).
- Tentative Lists
- "Tourism Highlights 2014", UNWTO
- Russia's Sakha Republic proposes 'tourist camps' on former gulag sites
- Smolensk, Katyn, Kozelsk excursion
- Solovetsky Islands excursion
- "40 most beautiful places in Russia". Russian Blogger. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- "Tourism Highlights 2013 edition" (PDF). UNWTO. Retrieved 2013-11-27.
- "2013 Travel & Tourism Economic Impact Report Russian Federation" (PDF). WTTC. Retrieved 2013-11-27.
- The official Russian statistics.
- Federal State Statistics 2015, page 127; 2016 9.27 p.244
- Statistical Yearbook p. 91-92
- Anuário de Estatística do Turismo
- The data obtained on request. Ministerio de turismo
- The data obtained on request. Central Bureau of Statistics Aruba
- Visitors by country of residence
- Stopovers by Country
- Tourisme selon pays de provenance
- The data obtained on request. Bermuda Tourism Authority
- The data obtained on request. Tourism Council of Bhutan
- "Arrivals of informational visitors by country of residence".
- "Agencija za statistiku BiH" (PDF). Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- Tourism Statistics Annual Report 2015
- Tourism Statistics Report
- Tourism Statistics Edition 2015, table 17
- Number of non-resident travellers entering Canada, by country of residence
- Air Visitor Arrivals - Origin & General Evolution Analysis
- China Inbound Tourism in 2015
- The data obtained on request. Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo de Colombia
- ARRIVALS OF TOURISTS BY COUNTRY OF USUAL RESIDENCE
- Table 5 Guests, overnight stays (non-residents by country, numbers, indices)
- 2015 Visitors Statistics Report
- Federal State Statistics Service. 2015, page 127
- 1,477,000 according to the official Russian statistics. Number of border crossings.
- "Appendix table 5.2. Visitor arrivals and nights spent by country of residence, January-December 2016".
- Nombre de touristas
- International arrivals 2016
- Tourismus in Zahlen 2015, Statistisches Bundesamt
- Hellenic Statistical Authority. Non-residents arrivals from abroad 2015
- Visitors arrival statistics. Origin of air arrivals
- Visitor Arrivals Statistics
- VISITOR ARRIVALS(1), BY COUNTRY OF CITIZENSHIP, Central Bureau of Statistics
- IAGGIATORI STRANIERI NUMERO DI VIAGGIATORI
- Monthly Statistical Report December 2016 Vol xxvi No 12
- 2016 Foreign Visitors & Japanese Departures, Japan National Tourism Organization
- Туризм Казахстана. 2.4 Количество посетителей по въездному туризму
- Tourism in Kyrgyzstan
- 312,000 according to the official Russian statistics. Number of border crossings.
- 2013 Arrivals by nationality Table 10.1
- Number of guests and overnights in Lithuanian accommodation establishments. '000. All markets. 2014-2015
- 743,000 according to the official Russian statistics. Number of border crossings.
- Arrivals by touristic region and country of residence (All types of accommodation)
- Macao statistics database
- Statistical review: Transport, tourism and other services
- Number of visitors by country, 2009
- ANNUAIRE 2014
- Tourist arrivals by country of residence
- "Statistics of Tourists to Mongolia".
- Statistical Yearbook of Montenegro 2016 - p.148
- "Myanmar Tourism Statistics 2015" (PDF). Central Statistical Organization. Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- Toerisme in perspectief 2016
- Statistics of New Zealand. Visitor arrivals by country of residence. Russia.
- Number of Tourists to Oman
- Pakistan Statistical Year Book 2012 20.31
- The data obtained on request. Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y Turismo
- Tourism in 2015
- Tourist turnover in the Republic of Serbia - December 2016
- Slovenian Tourism in Numbers 2015
- page 43
- Entradas de turistas según País de Residencia
- TOURIST ARRIVALS BY COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE 2016
- Tourist Arrivals By Country Of Residence 2015
- Visitor Arrivals by Residence
- International Tourist Arrivals to Thailand By Nationality 2016
- "Foreign citizens who visited Ukraine in 2016 year, by countries".
- 2.10 Number of visits to UK: by country of residence 2011 to 2015
- Yearbook of Immigration Statistics
- The data obtained on request. The Ministry of tourism of Uruguay, the Department of statistics.
- ESTADÍSTICAS BÁSICAS DE LA ACTIVIDAD TURÍSTICA
- International visitors to Viet Nam in December and 12 months of 2016
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