Visitor characteristics

  • Business visitors are more than five times as likely to be male than female
  • 73% of holiday visitors are making a repeat visit to Britain (excluding British nationals)
  • Nearly all visits from Russia to Britain are made by Russian nationals
  • 99% of departing Russians say they are either ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday or short-break

Popular activities

Visited a Pub

Visited Parks/ Gardens

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)31.1
Global rank for international tourism expenditure8
Number of outbound visits (m)26.7
Most visited destinationTurkey
Most visited destination in Western EuropeSpain

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)143.9
GDP per capita PPP (US$)25,093
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)0.7
Annual average GDP growth in the past year (%)1.9

Inbound visits to Britain

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Total nights spent
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Seasonality (Share of visits)

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Regional spread (Share of visits)

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Journey purpose (Share of visits)

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What Russians think about Britain

  • Russians have a broadly positive perception of Britain especially for contemporary culture
  • Perceptions of ‘welcome’ and ‘scenic natural beauty’ are less favourable
  • 50% associate Britain with museums and 44% with music and films in 2018
  • 45% 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, 66% of Russian visitors booked within two months of their arrival in Britain
  • 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

  • Friends, family and colleagues are the most influential information source for Russian visitors, closely followed by information from search engines.
  • Working through tour operators, travel agents make up of more than 50% of all holiday bookings (travel and accommodation combined) in Russia
  • Large tour operators research their programmes in February and March and August and September

Access to Britain from Russia

Weekly aircraft departures67
Weekly seat capacity12,182
Airports with direct routes in Russia4
Airports with direct routes in Britain3
  • Visitors from Russia require a standard visitor visa to visit Britain – with a multi-entry six-month visa currently costing £93
  • Passengers destined for Moscow pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty if travelling economy class