4 August 2020
Russia's tourism industry takes $6.7 billion hit amid coronavirus pandemic

Russia's tourism industry takes $6.7 billion hit amid coronavirus pandemic

Mikhail Tereshchenko / TASS

Russia's tourism industry has lost 500 billion roubles (approximately $6.7 billion) due to coronavirus-linked travel restrictions amid the pandemic, according to an estimate by the head of Russia's federal tourism agency (Rostourism) Zarina Doguzova.

In an interview with the "Argumenty i Fakty" newspaper, Doguzova explained that the loss was due to the non-arrival of foreign travelers and added that tourism had brought Russia $10.9 billion (over 700 billion roubles) in 2019.

Doguzova went on to add that tourists who choose to stay at Russian resorts this year will be compensated up to 20% of the cost of their trip through a voucher scheme involving Russia's "Mir" payment system.

Cashback can be obtained for a trip that lasts at least five days at a cost exceeding 25,000 roubles.

Russia grounded all international flights and closed its borders on March 30 in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The restriction was eased on June 8, as Russians were once again permitted to travel abroad to work, study, receive medical care or take care of their relatives.

Flights to three countries – Turkey, Great Britain and Tanzania – resumed on August 1. Montenegro opened its borders to Russians on August 3 with no quarantine requirement.

Passenger air travel between Russia and Switzerland will also restart from August 15. South Korea, the Maldives and the UAE may also soon reach cross-border travel agreements with Russia, as negotiations between the countries are reportedly underway.