Visitor characteristics

  • There has been steady growth in the number of visitors aged 45-54 over the past decade
  • 70% of holiday visitors are making a repeat visit to Britain
  • Departing Russians are less likely than average to say they are either ‘very’ or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday or short-break

Popular activities

Visited a Museum

Visited Parks/ Gardens

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)34.9
Global rank for international tourism expenditure6
Number of outbound visits (m)26.5
Most visited destinationTurkey
Most visited destination in Western EuropeSpain

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)143.4
GDP per capita (US$)9,279
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)2.3
Annual average GDP growth in the past year (%)-3.7

Inbound visits to Britain

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Seasonality (Share of visits)

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Regional spread (Share of visits)

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Access to Britain from Russia

Weekly aircraft departures51
Weekly seat capacity9,315
Airports with direct routes in Russia3
Airports with direct routes in Britain2
  • Visitors from Russia require a visa to visit Britain – with a multi-entry six-month visa currently costing £87
  • Passengers destined for Moscow pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty if travelling economy class

What Russians think about Britain

  • Russians have a broadly positive perception of Britain especially for cultural heritage and contemporary culture
  • Perceptions of ‘welcome’ and ‘scenic natural beauty’ are less favourable
  • 57% associate Britain with museums
  • Nearly 2-in-5 think that a trip to Britain would be ‘educational’
  • France and Italy are the destinations that Russians most often deem to be the best place for delivering on the things that are most wanted for ensuring an enjoyable holiday experience
  • 60% think Britain is one of the ‘best places’ to ‘see world famous sites and places'
  • 54% of Russians would like to go on a tour of Buckingham Palace

Caring for visitors

  • The majority of travellers to Britain speak English and do not expect to be spoken to in Russian - however they prefer to have materials and information in Russian and Russian speaking guides for sightseeing tours and detailed itineraries and guides in Russian are highly appreciated
  • Russians book very last-minute, an estimated 80% of holidays are sold in the last four weeks before departure
  • The majority of Russian tourists (middle and lower middle class in particular) prefer to travel in groups
  • By contrast more wealthy Russians prefer individual travel
  • Russian tourists are adventurous – they are active, sociable, and seeking new experiences
  • British pubs are generally loved and pub food usually goes down well
  • They like the reassurance of branded hotels and all-inclusive trips


The leisure & travel trade

  • Potential visitors tend to use the internet for comparing prices of flights and hotels but actual booking tends to be through the travel agent
  • Working through tour operators, travel agents make up about 50% of all bookings and sales in Russia
  • Large tour operators research their programmes in February and March and August and September


Russia market profile

Find out where visitors from Russia to the UK reside in their own country. Published 2013

Explore the population, economy, perceptions and demographics of Russians in our BRIC report. Published January 2010

Learn more about the likelihood of Russian business travellers returning to Britain as leisure travellersPublished 2010

Read our report on the Russian luxury marketPublished 2010

Exchange rate

1 GBP = 73.1324 RUB

As of 26 April 2017

Retrieved from the Bank of England