The demand for European vacations among Russian tourists has slightly increased this month, despite the difficulties with flights and visas due to the war in Ukraine, writes the Kommersant daily newspaper. reported Tuesday.

European countries have tightened visa procedures for Russian citizens over the past year and increased the number of rejections following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Direct flights between Russia and Europe are also practically non-existent after the mutual airspace ban between Moscow and the EU.

But so far in April 2023, Russia’s leading independent travel management company Continent Express has recorded a 30-40% increase in EU visa requests compared to April 2022.

The current number of EU visa requests is still far from the 70-80% of all visa requests that the company received before Russia’s relations with the West deteriorated sharply due to the invasion, Julia Atvagina of Continent Express told Kommersant. .

Russian tourism industry managers note that flights to EU countries in the pre-war, pre-pandemic year of 2019 make up no more than 15-20% of their volume.

France, Italy and Spain are the most popular countries among Russian travelers this year, according to the travel booking website OneTwoTrip.

​​​​​​While international destinations accounted for only 17.5% of ticket sales between April 1 and 20, OneTwoTrip noted that this share was still 71.5% higher than the same period last year. .

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