Türkiye has retained the stop spot among destinations for travelers from Russia, analysts say © Getty Images / Peter Adams

Tourist traffic from Russia to China surged by 26% in the first five months of this year, making the Asian nation the fifth most popular destination for Russians travelers, mobile operator Yota has reported, citing anonymized roaming data.

The study released on Friday showed that Türkiye remains the most-visited country for Russian tourists. Yota analysts found that the number of trips to the country saw 40% growth in January-May 2024 compared to the same period a year ago.

During that time, tourist flows from Russia to Kazakhstan surged 25% year-on-year, while Belarus saw a 10% rise in Russian visitors. The former Soviet republics were ranked second and third among the most popular destinations for Russians.

Tourist traffic to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recorded a 6% year-over-year decrease in January–May 2024, and was ranked fourth in the top five most-visited states for Russians.

Egypt and Thailand saw considerably fewer Russian arrivals during the period than a year prior, Yota analytics showed, adding that the numbers decreased by 49% and 62%, respectively.

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The researchers highlighted growing interest from Russian visitors in relatively new destinations in Asia and Africa. The Maldives and Mauritius saw a 600% and 500% surge in Russian tourist arrivals, respectively. Meanwhile, Russian tourist flows to Japan and Morocco increased by nearly 150% and 60%, respectively.

Despite an overall 11% drop in demand for trips to Europe, the number of Russian visits to France, Italy and Spain increased. The figures soared by 38%, 19%, and 14%, respectively.

With Western countries becoming less accessible to many Russians due to visa restrictions and a lack of flights, trips to some parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East have enjoyed a growing appeal over the past two years. In December, the Association of Russian Tour Operators (ATOR) reported that sub-Saharan African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, were in high demand among travelers from Russia. (RT)